Adoption policy forced Wollongong mother to give up child at 2 years old

By Emily Laurence

September 22, 2012 /

A Wollongong woman who was a victim of the forced adoption policy has revealed that a church group kept encouraging her to give-up her baby until she finally succumbed when he was 2 years old.

The woman, who wants to be known only as Gwen, gave birth to the boy in Sydney in 1972 when she was 17 years old and married the father.

But the marriage did not last and she ended up living with the baby in a group home, where the minister insisted she was an unsuitable mother.

She says she was placed under immense pressure to give her son up for adoption, and continually told he was not thriving, a claim she denies.

"There was the you know 'you can't support him', 'you can see that you know he is emotionally disturbed'...of course he's not, he's an extremely bright adult, he wasn't developing as he should, that we weren't nurturing him," Gwen said.

She says she feels this week's apology delivered by Premier Barry O'Farrell in the NSW State Parliament did not resonate with her personally because she still accepts some responsibility for her son's adoption.

But she says it is an important step.

"It's a mark of a mature and tolerant society to be able to get up and express regret for practices that may may have been done on some level with all the best intention but but were flawed practices," she said.

"The whole system, the whole social order of the time was based on shaming people.

"It's just not how we think today."


NSW Apology for Forced Adoption

Hello Kerry, I tried to send you a message on the contact page, however I suspect it failed, so am trying again here. I wanted to let you know that I am the 'Gwen' referred to in this article. I have written a book on my experience and have been fortunate to get an agent, who is currently offering it to publishers. If you or your readers would like to know if and when it gets published, please let me know.

Published Projects

Hi 'Gwen',
Thanks for contacting us. Indeed I did not receive a private email, so I'm glad you took the time and initiative to post on PPL, where your story relates to a very troubling issue: forced adoptions.

By all means, please keep up updated on the status of your book, and where readers can find it, once published!

Warm wishes,

Pound Pup Legacy