Part 2 - The Importance of the Western Australian Apology to Mothers and Fathers brutally separated from their infants
I first met David Templeman MP at a mental health information weekend about two years ago. What struck me about this gentleman, and he is a gentleman in every sense of the word, was the way that he talked about his little boy and the expected arrival of his baby twins later that year. His countenance softened as he gently spoke of his children. Tears brimmed in the corners of his eyes. They came straight from his heart and my own tears gathered, as my heart responded to his obvious love for his children. I felt the missing and the love for my first born daughter Sharon and my twin grand daughters, Chloe and Jade. Little did I know that day, David and I would share a journey spanning nearly two years. This incredible journey would involve us being instrumental in an historical apology in the WA Parliament. It would be the first apology in Australia to mothers, fathers and children who were separated by forced adoption.
The phone rang several weeks later on a beautiful Autumnal day. It was a lady from the Adoption Research Council in WA. Apparently, the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital had issued a formal apology to Queensland Mothers for the barbaric and unlawful way they had treated unmarried mothers who gave birth in their hospital. Chris Cole from an organization called the Apology Alliance, had contacted Channel Seven in the Eastern States, who then contacted their Australia-wide Seven network. They were looking for mothers from other States, who had their face covered whilst giving birth and had their children unlawfully taken from them immediately. The Council knew that this happened to me in 1968 and asked if I would be interviewed along with another mum who experienced this in 1982. We both agreed, interviewed for hours, telling our stories which were then edited to six minutes for the evening news bulletin. It’s amazing what you can say in such a short period of time and how emotional and overwhelming the loss still affects us today. We called upon the Government to apologize for the hurt and suffering caused to so many.............
Australian Journal of Adoption Vol 2, No 3, 2010
* To read the complete article, please check out the attached file