An infertile couple with three adopted children decided in 1974 that they wanted a fourth – a boy, with tall birth parents and no “dark” blood.
Maria Hayward was 18, pregnant to her steady boyfriend and was at the Catholic Home of Compassion where nuns decided her baby fitted the bill.
She was undermined, overpowered and coerced into adoption, her baby given to strangers despite her own mother’s attempts to adopt the boy.
For years afterwards, Ms Hayward looked in every pram, at ever picture of a child the same age as her son, read every story about an adopted child wondering if it was him.
“I wondered what he might be like. The thought that he might not be loved terrified and haunted me,” she said.
Ms Hayward is connected to many other women like her, victims of coerced adoptions, by what Maggie Wilkinson calls an “amazing cord”.
“It’s grief and understanding of what we’ve all been through,” Ms Wilkinson said after presenting her petition to parliament’s social services select committee on Wednesday.
The women want a government inquiry into what they call New Zealand’s biggest shame.
In 1997 Parliament acknowledged “coercive” practices were carried out across New Zealand between the 1950s and 1980s but that’s as far as things went.
The process has been longer than Ms Wilkinson expected, but she feels she’s getting somewhere.
I’m not entirely sure what the point is of pulling this scab off. It isn’t going to actually fix anything. It is more likely this is the kind of campaign that gets airtime in an election year so that the Government can be demonised for not ‘doing something’, even if that’s providing an official apology.
I can’t put myself in the place of someone who was stolen and adopted out getting an apology 40 to 60 years later. But I can’t imagine it means much.
– NZN via Yahoo! News