OK, so this one is close to our hearts… We had this topic on our future-episode list for some time but somehow we always had other things to cover… like murder, hoarding and fairies. And then, we discussed doing a podcast on The Allen V Farrow case but we quickly realised we didn’t have enough time to re-watch the 4 episodes of the documentary before our recording day. So we decided on the spur of the moment to cover Australia’s Forced Adoption Scandal, which rocked the nation 8 years ago when then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised to 250,000+ women who’d had their babies taken from them during the 1940s through to the 1970s.
It’s a shocking and heart-breaking case that was at times really heart-wrenching to research – so many of the women who were brave enough to come forward and be interviewed over the years about their experience of forced adoption spoke plainly, and often with detachment, about their pain and personal tragedies. So many broken women, so many ruined lives.
And while shining a light on this dark moment in Australian history was something we both wanted to do, the story was also deeply personal to us… because Geordie was one of the children who was taken from their birth mother and adopted out to a new loving family. And in case you’re wondering, the picture above is of Fran, Geordie’s birth mother, who we talk about in the episode.
We know forced adoption is a complex issue – from the point of view of the unwed young mothers who were coerced to give up their babies, as well as from the point of view of the families who adopted the children. The cultural landscape at the time did not support young unmarried mothers and their options were limited. The government did not want the financial burden of these children to fall on the state. Loving families who couldn’t have children were desperate to adopt. It seemed like a win all round. But like we said, the issue is complex: the situation is difficult to comprehend when looking at it through the lens of today’s cultural norms and institutionalised governmental financial support for single parents but we gave it a red hot go!
And I’m sure if you listen to the episode you’ll be moved by the plight of the women we talk about in the episode and also Geordie’s very personal story.
We hope you find the episode enlightening. Please like, share, subscribe, tell your friends, spread the word and all that – and keep Eavesdroppin’!
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