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dear birthmother letters


Maternal Terrorism
By Cathy Henderson

Response to "Nobody's Children" article in the Toronto Star

Thank you for adding the natural parent perspective in your paper. The article did not look at why things have changed both past and present. It is important to understand what has happened, especially from a natural parent point of view. It is natural parents that are changing the face of adoption because of the adoption system's past brutality towards us.

In November 1956, Dr. Marion Hilliard of Womens College Hospital said to the Toronto Telegram that birthmothers should be punished and they should be punished by taking their children away. All hospitals in Ontario followed that advice for 25 years until the late 1970's. Punishment to natural mothers was extended to verbal and physical abuse in an effort to make women give up their children. It was Maternal Terrorism.

Most of these babies were wanted by their natural mothers. Natural mothers who would not sign the consent form would have their babies taken anyway without consent. In my case, it was because there was no ring on my finger. The excuses for taking children were as weak as that. The babies taken by the CAS's in the 1970's were not neglected or abandoned - they were taken to order much like cars are stolen to order. Hospital staff would target single women who were seen as easy prey. Quite often the wrong man's name was put on documents in an effort to chase away natural fathers along with lies about the fidelity of the mother so as to remove the only support that many mothers had. That is why so many newborns were available for adoption and so many of the women single in the 70's. I know - I was one of them.

Now we come to the present.

The impact on natural mothers has been ignored. Did you know that 90% of natural mothers are depressed for life due to the fact they have been cut off from their children or that time makes this worse - not better. Did you know that about 50% of natural mothers of closed adoptions never have another child. Over 42% have hysterectomies. Many commit suicide because of the unbearable heartache and indescribable pain.

Natural mothers like me are not going to let our daughters, our nieces, our friends, our neighbours lose their children and go through the hell of permanent severance by closed adoption. It is like having your soul ripped out. That is why there are so few newborns to be had and single motherhood accepted.

We are not criminals. The justice system says that everyone is innocent until proven guilty except if you are natural parent. Then you are assumed guilty until you can prove yourself. This is wrong.

The court system is flooded to over-flowing because us natural parents want contact. With the help of Legal Aid, newborns are not being snatched away the way they were in the past because natural parents can fight back now. The VAST majority of natural parents are not a threat to their children so why is such a simple thing as contact denied? The UN says it is our right and the right of our children to have family ties. Adoptees have 2 sets of parents - that is a fact that must be recognised by everyone. It also means a more enriched life in which a child can twice as much love as other children. All it takes is maturity on the part of all adults. Not sharing is selfish and is detrimental to the child as well as the natural parent.

Denying our right to contact our children is costing Ontario dearly with the huge cost of Legal Aid, the huge cost of medical services for those damaged medically, medically and emotionally by closed adoption as well as the lawsuits that are now being put forward by adoptees. No doubt there will be lawsuits by natural parents to follow. There are MILLIONS of us out there. 96% of natural parents and adoptees want contact as adults too. Records should be opened for those of us who were forced into a closed system that violated our humans rights in the first place. With any luck, Bill 16 will rectify this - it is long overdue. England has had open records for 30 years!

As for the natural parents of the 20,000 children in foster care - are any ever given a second chance to raise their children? Many would jump at the chance to do so. Why is this not being done?

Nobody's children are our children - give us a chance to be in their lives and let us give our children the best of all worlds.

Cathy Henderson - A Canadian natural mother living in the UK
Son found 16 May 2001

P.S. About Moses - the adoption industry like to point this out about him being adopted by a princess. However, like the adoption agency, you missed out on one important point. The princess hired Moses' mother so Moses mother could carrying on breastfeeding him and raising him. Moses got to meet all of his natural family. Why was that part left out? As journalists, you should do your homework, tell the WHOLE story and not perpetuate half-lies which is what the adoption industry does.

It is YOUR JOB to tell all sides and all the facts!

Mothers Exploited By Adoption
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