Gone to a good home.

The documentary about adoption practises in Australia ‘gone to a good home’ screened tonight on SBS. After watching it I must say I feel quite desolate. Empty. Stunned perhaps.

It was really interesting to hear women tell their stories and share their feelings about the process itself and the child they were separated from. It felt validating to hear them speak. One woman said something that particularly resonated with my own feelings, that in this instance single mothers were treated as being less than an animal. You wouldn’t expect an animal to be parted from it’s own offspring and not feel anything, yet these women were expected to give up a baby and simply carry on with life as if nothing had happened.

The other thing that is sitting with me is the mention of just how many mothers and children experienced devastating psychological effects from the separation. Many have committed suicide because they couldn’t deal with the emotional trauma. I feel a bit vindicated hearing that. To know that other women have experienced those symptoms of PTSD on account of the adoption. I guess I feel a little less alone in what I feel about all this. I’m not the only one who had a bad experience of adoption.

Later as I was walking in a bit of a daze around the local shopping centre, beginning to let this all sink in, the thought occurred about the judgment implicit in the whole process. The idea that a single young mother should adopt out a child rather than raise her/him herself because a married couple can give the child “a good home”. That is really telling the young woman that there is something deeply, dreadfully, horribly wrong with her. That she is unfit to raise a child that she concieved and bore from her own body. It’s an incredibly negative message.

No doubt this will all continue percolating in my mind and unconscious for the next days and weeks. Hopefully some of it will be cathartic.

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