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Video Of An Unwed Mother Shackled To A Bed

Video Of An Unwed Mother Shackled To A Bed:

A film that was submitted as evidence to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Past Adoption Practices, which was commissioned in 1998. It depicts an unwed mother who has just given birth, shackled to a bed with a pillow up to her face. The film made in 1967, depicts the scene in Australian labour wards during a period of Australian history known as the 'bumper adoption era' when the offspring of the unwed mother was removed without her authority at birth for adoption by married couples. 

Unmarried Mothers were shackled so as they could not get to their baby when it was born. The baby would then be removed to a locked adoption nursery and the Mother, refused discharge from hospital until she signed adoption consent papers. Her file would then be marked 'socially cleared'. This was the practice at Crown Street

Extract from an Australian video titled "The Single Mother" (1966),

Featuring Matron Jones of Carramar Home for Unwed Mothers,

 Matron Jones explains that "the girl can see her baby just once but not hold it or feed it"!, providing evidence of the coercion of the unwed mother. This video also confirms the role of the unwed mother as providing a service for infertile couples, though adoption even at that time is acknowledged by experts to be for the purpose of providing for the needs of orphans. Hospital Staff name the newborn babies that are available for adoption.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:52 AM on Apr. 15, 2011 in Adoption

Answers (17)
  • Wow. The horror. I cannot even imagine...

    Answer by enohp04 at 7:02 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Horrendous things happened and unfortunately are still happening.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 7:03 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • This sort of thing happened in the U.S. at one time. I think we have one mom here who had a similar experience.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 7:39 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Wow. I wasn't strapped down, and I was a c-section! I've had 4 and only been strapped down once! I wasn't forced to labor on my back in bed, either, when I labored with my first. I can't imagine :(

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 8:00 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • OMG!That sounds absolutly wild! What in the world?I agree I cannot even imagine that.

    Answer by Brandy928 at 8:43 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • WHAT! thats crazy!!!!!

    Answer by kylansmommy09 at 8:45 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Crazy, stupid. I'm glad we have come further than THAT. Although I agree horrendous things still go on. While I don't agree with shows like TEEN mom and such I am glad we no longer have them "visit Auntie Sue for a year"!

    Answer by brypmom at 8:52 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • That's horrible. In this country, until recently (history wise), the parents of an underage, unwed mother could sign the child over for adoption regardless of the mother's wishes.

    Answer by meriana at 8:56 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • That is so horrible!!!

    Answer by iluvmykidsxoxo at 9:31 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • It is absolutely horrific and its a shame that these same practices did occur in the US not that long ago. I read the book the "Girls that Went Away" a few years back and their stories are simply heart breaking, but at the same time very validating to some of us who have relinquished less than 20 years ago as well.
    While things have gotten better, we still have a long way go to with adoption reform. Without bringing to light these horrors and painful stories of past it would be very difficult to incite any change within society.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 10:39 AM on Apr. 15, 2011

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