Love Child is a new television series on Channel Nine. It’s set in a fictional Kings Cross Hospital with an adjoining hostel where unwed mothers live and work until their babies are born then adopted, some forcibly. Love Child has come onto our screens not long after Julie Gillard, the former Australian Prime Minister, said sorry to all those affected by the practice of forced adoptions.
I was keen to see the first episode since it would reflect closely to my story but only insofar-as the era and location. I didn’t conceive the notion that my adoption was physically forced, and here are the reasons why:
I believe all adoptions where forced, physically or emotionally. Physically without consent, emotionally because of shame, guilt and societies condemnation
1. My birthmother Anne, was 24 at the time of my birth. Hardly an age where she would be forced into giving her baby up without her consent.
2. My birthfather, name unknown, was 40 and as the story goes was helping Anne with expenses. This leads me to believe that Anne didn’t work out her confinement in a single mother’s hostel as depicted in the TV program.
3. The address Anne gave was a private boarding house in Woollahra run by an elderly spinster named Lucy. At least that’s what Lucy’s great niece told me many years after her aunty died.
When you can’t verify the information you have, one has to fill in the gaps with assumptions
Because of the assumptions I’ve made surrounding my adoption, I didn’t immerse myself into stories of forced adoptions that graced our news and current affair shows around the time of the national apology. I simply didn’t believe that story was mine but belief can be born out of ignorance.
I was immersed in my story, as an adoptee with little information to go on and developed a story that I was happy with. I was ignorant to the story of birthparents, especially birthmothers and over the coming weeks I hope with the help of the show to get a better understanding of what it was like as a birthmother.
I understand that TV doesn’t always reflect life but in the case of Love Child, there’s plenty of evidence to support the storyline. And while this show is causing headlines, it’s a good opportunity to keep the discussion going and in my quest to find Anne Watkins I hope to get an insight to what her story may have been.