"birthmoms" Exploited By Adoption
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DISEMBABYMENT -  How Our Babies Were Taken 
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birthmother stories

"I asked why I was not allowed to hold my baby. I was told the baby was up for adoption.  But I hadn't signed anything!"
by Lina Eve
(As read on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio, Apr 23 2001)

In 1964, at 17 years of age,  I was one of the "Crown Street girls." One of the many who ended up at the Crown Street Women's Hospital in Sydney, seeking help when they were unmarried, unsupported and pregnant. I didn't realise at the time that I wouldn't be helped to keep my baby, but would be coerced to sign her away to adoption.

From the moment I arrived at the social worker's office I encountered nothing but negatives about my ability to keep my yet-to-be born baby. I was told that I was being selfish to consider bringing up a child on my own and depriving her of having two parents, and foolish to think I could cope at all, either financially or emotionally. I was never told that in fact, there was a pension available at the time for single moms, and never encouraged or assisted in any way to help keep my child.

As I still hoped my boyfriend would arrive and "rescue" us, I never seriously considered that I would lose my child. However, by the time my baby was about to be born, I still hadn't heard from him.

I don't remember much of the ambulance journey, nor of being admitted at the hospital.  I do remember bitterly, how I was treated after that.  It was as if I  had lost my identity as a human being. Everyone I encountered was hostile, as if to punish me for my "sinful" unmarried state. I was hastily stripped and shaved and put me into a hospital gown and then left alone with my contractions, which by this time were rolling in relentlessly. Finally a doctor appeared and my feet were put into stirrups.  Nobody spoke to me.  It was as if I didn't really exist. A gas mask was shoved on my face at intervals, and they kept yelling at me to push.

A wave of ecstatic emotion swept over me, as I struggled to lift my head so I could see my baby being born.   Swiftly, a pillow was held in front of my face, Iheard a little cry and then nothing. They had taken my baby away.  I couldn't understand it, and asked why I was not allowed to hold my baby. I was told the baby was up for adoption.  But I hadn't signed anything!

I thought they had removed my baby because it was hideously deformed. I didn't know it was Crown Street policy not to allow young mothers to see their babies in case they bonded with them and thus made it more difficult for social workers to get them to sign adoption papers.

It wasn't until a few years ago when the Freedom of Information Act came along and I accessed my social and medical records, that I found out I'd been heavily drugged. No wonder I had such gaps in my memory!

When my daughter and I reunited in 1990, she was hurt that I didn't even know the correct day or year of her birth. It shocked me too, until I found out what had been done to me. My daughter cut contact with me after just over a year. Hers wasn't the fairy tale adoption I had been promised, and she had a lot of anger and pain about being adopted and many abandonment issues.

I think its important to make the facts about past adoption practices public.The secrets and lies need to be addressed. There are thousands of people who were adopted who think their mothers just abandoned and forgot them. There are many mothers who lost children who never had any more and are still hurting and grieving and many who have never told their story to anyone and suffer alone.

Copyright  © Lina Eve. April 23, 2001. 

"I was told that if I loved my child I would surrender her to adoption. I was told that there was a lovely couple who could give her so much that I never could, and that it was selfish of me to even imagine I could keep her. I was made to feel worthless as a person and a mother, and having no options, I signed the adoption papers. ... The daughter I lost to adoption has had everything that money can buy, but she was never happy and her adoption issues have scarred her deeply. She tells me that if I really loved her I would never have given her up for adoption, and she doesn’t believe there were no other options. It's a no-win situation." - Lina Eve

Visit Lina Eve's website at


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