YEARS OF SORROW: Lina Eve was forced into adopting out her first born child when she fell pregnant as a teenager.
YEARS OF SORROW: Lina Eve was forced into adopting out her first born child when she fell pregnant as a teenager. Contributed

Apology can’t erase pain of abandonment

AFTER Julia Gillard's apology to those separated by forced adoption practices on Thursday, Cawongla woman Lina Eve, who experienced having her first child taken from her in the 1960s, had a few things to say.

"My first child was taken from me at Crown Street Women's hospital when I was 17 years old," Ms Eve said.

"I was unsupported, unmarried and was treated as if I was a criminal.

"My baby was whisked away whilst a pillow was held in front of my face.

"I was bullied, coerced and drugged whilst social workers and hospital staff repeatedly told me I had nothing to offer my baby and if I truly loved her I would sign adoption papers.

"Many years later, during a reunion, my daughter told me she'd always felt abandoned."

Ms Eve said she felt the apology was well-received.

"The first step towards reparation of wrongdoing is to acknowledge past inhumane and often unlawful actions against family members torn apart by forced adoption. This the Prime Minister accomplished in an informed and heartfelt manner," Ms Eve said.

"However, I'd like you to imagine how you would feel if your baby was abducted 40 plus years ago and then decades later someone says, 'Sorry this happened to you'."

"Would 'sorry' heal your grief and loss, mend the severed family connections, give the child who was adopted back their lost identity or heal their abandonment issues?

"Adoption is thunderous with painful and complex issues a mere apology cannot erase."



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