Collusion In High Places
In 1965 the then Minister for Child Welfare, A.D. Bridges, furiously re-assured Parliament how the unmarried mothers
rights were being sufficiently guarded and complied with to get the new Adoption of Children Act 1965 passed through the Courts,
and only let slip his personal contempt towards unmarried mothers once. Knowing Parliament would never endorse such practice,
behind the scene, his Department officers and policy makers seemed to have taken it upon themselves to collude with obstetric
hospitals to introduce their own illicit hospital practices.
Without such collusion between the two Departments, adoption would have had an entirely different history than it does
These new procedures once endorsed - effectively turned the legal process of adoption into the act of abduction - by implementing
- Systematically denying mothers all knowledge of their above mentioned legal rights and options
- Using both overt and covert methods of coercion to obtain consents
- Actually promoting adoption - rather than following their legal fiduciary duty of having to warn mothers' of the potential
harm such a course of action may cause them
- Introducing the violent act of interfering in the very primal act of giving birth between a mother and child by snatching
newborns from their mothers wombs prior to the completion of birth while their mother was still in labour, often heavily sedated
and bound by stirrups.
- Introducing the inhuman practice of forbidding eye contact between mother and child to supposedly prevent bonding (severing
instead the natural symbiotic bond between mother and child which had already begun at conception, which culminated in a violent
trauma to the psyche of both mother and child from which neither is ever able to recover).
The measures used to prevent bonding included placing a pillow on the mothers chest or at her face, holding a sheet up
to obstruct her view, turning lights down or off, blindfolds, turning mothers head away, standing in way of vision, rushing
baby out of labour room immediately upon birth, using heavy sedation during labour, holding shoulders down to prevent mother
from lifting herself up, pushing mother back down if she sat up, shackling mother to bedhead as per video.
The consequences of forbidding a mother to see, touch and smell her child at birth, by the way, keeps the mother suspended
forever in a psychologically pregnant state having never completed the birthing process. Which could account for why an estimated
60% of such mothers never conceived again, while others fell pregnant soon after the loss of their baby in a futile attempt
to finish giving birth to their lost firstborn and replace the lost child.
- Preventing lactation by using the synthetic hormone DES Stilboestrol, administered in three times the legal dosage and
known since 1971 to be carcinogenic, and or by the method of breast binding. All without written consent from the mother.
Most mothers would still not know they had been administered this hormone nor would they be aware of the now known potential
health risks to themselves or their subsequent children in having been administered Stilboestrol.
- Sedating mothers during labour with what were known as lytic cocktails (used medically to obliterate feelings) consisting
of phenobarbitone, pethidine, sparine, largactyl. Postnatally hypnotic memory altering barbiturates such Pentabarbital, Sodium
Amytil, Methadone, Heroin, and Chloral Hydrate, Bombardon, would be administered during the post confinement period until
a consent was taken. The letters PRN or the stamp of a star noted on the patients medical drug sheet indicated that the listed
drugs could be used "as required. "
- Hiding babies from their own mothers within the confines of the hospital, in staff rooms, in linen closets, in locked
or hidden nurseries, denying mothers free access to their own babies - at a time when she was still the sole legal guardian
of her child and could not legally be denied access to her child.
- Showing mothers the wrong baby after signing a consent to ensure no bonding take place
- Telling mothers their babies had died at birth - when they had in fact been adopted. (known in the trade as rapid adoptions
- more later)
- Transporting mothers by ambulance, whilst heavily sedated to different hospitals without their babies and without their
permission (an act of kidnap by maternity hospital regulations)
- Forbidding mothers to see their babies until they signed a consent (legally classified as inducement to sign a contract)
- Taking consents from mothers prior to or upon birth and post-dating the consenting date to the legally required day five
(check Wagga Base hospital)
- Getting Mothers to sign empty documents and filling them in at a later date.
- Forging signatures
- Shackling mothers to the bedhead during labour with leather straps attached to chains or using bandages (see video supplied)
- Forbidding mothers to leave the hospital until their records were marked with the term "socially cleared" indicating that
they had signed a consent and could then "legally" leave the hospital.
- Forcing mothers to sign a consent on day five when she could legally take time to recover from the birth before making
a decision. Day five was only the earliest time her signature could legally be taken.
- Taking unenforceable (and therefore invalid) consents from minors, their consents only becoming valid upon reaching the
age of majority which was 21 years of age - reducing in the early 1970's to 18 years.
- Not informing mothers of the 30 day revocation period.
- Preventing mothers their legal right of revocation within her legally permitted time by advising them that their child
had already been adopted when it had only been placed in an interim placement that was not legally binding.
- Not providing professional counselling facilities either prior to during or after confinement.
- Employing non-skilled and non-licensed staff to conduct legal transactions, prepare legal documents and interview unmarried
mothers without knowing the law. In trying to get the heat off their profession social workers now tell us that as many as
80% of people working in the adoption industry were non-professionals.
- Expecting young unskilled mothers to sign legal documents without an adult advocate present, and without her understanding
the legal meaning of interpretation of the document she was signing.
- Not advising young mothers of the permanent nature of adoption. Some young mothers believed that adoption meant that an
adult would help her to raise her child, that she would only be giving up her parental rights. Many young mothers had no idea
that they would never see their child again until they contacted the agency, or went to get their baby upon leaving the hospital
- Misrepresenting the more recent open adoption system where the girl would be promised open access to her child but would
not warn the mother that the adopting parents of her child were under no duty to comply with any promises they made to her
in order to acquire her child.
This was adoption Australia style.
It must be made very clear that until 1967 two thirds of all adoption arrangements were carried out by the state government
agencies. The other third were made up of what was known as independent baby traders who were ultimately outlawed when the
state took over control of all adoptions in Australia in 1967 by licensing only reputable agencies to arrange adoptions.
We are not speaking of those privately arranged baby traders, although they are included. We are speaking of the abuses
carried out by the licensed adoption agencies and the hospitals to which they were associated.
Abduction / Kidnapping
Which ever way it is viewed, a mother cannot be denied her legally available options to enable her to make a free and informed
decision, be forbidden to see or have eye contact with her own child, have her baby hidden from her and remain heavily sedated
until her signature can be taken to make it all look so legal, and not call it abduction.
Where the concept of forbidding a mother to see her child sprang from is as yet unclear but perhaps a comment found in
a 1968 annual report of Medical Social Work at the Royal Womens Hospital in Melbourne might offer a clue:
Forcing girls temporarily to hold medically deferred babies is a course which holds such dangers that - humanitarian reasons
aside, it would be against the community's interests to permit this to occur.
And another concept found in an article titled Abortion and Adoption from an Australian Social Work Journal back in 1977
might shed some light on the concept.
If abortion is an absolute measure of `unwantedness', and if surrendering a baby for adoption is tantamount to abortion,
or at least an alternative to abortion, then the availability of babies for adoption is also a measure of 'unwantedness',
a rather doubtful proposition in psychodynamic terms.