Martin Sixmith’s documentary “Ireland’s Lost Babies” discovers that “In Ireland thousands of so called illegitimate children were taken from their mothers and sent off for adoption”. It has sparked off a national government led inquiry. In America Dan Rathers reports in his documentary “Adopted or Abducted?” that “in the 1950’s through to the 1970’s over one million unwed mothers were forced to give up their babies for adoption”. In both documentaries the adopted children were told they were left or abandoned by uncaring mothers, even that their mothers died. It is a narrative little questioned by the adopting parents. It’s an almost perfect lie.
The imperative condition for this lie to flourish was that pregnant unwed women were an affront to state church and the nature of family. Once this became an “unquestionable truth” the process of taking, (abducting or adopting?) their children began. The only difference in this past narrative and the present is the word unwed has been changed to unfit. Although many adopting parents are good people shouldn’t we ask questions of the “unquestionable truths” given the past form? I write this morning because of the first documentary below. It was broadcast this month. It’s about Ethiopian fostered and adopted children in Seattle. The question is this. What are the “unquestionable truths” that lead to their adoption?
UNWANTED IN AMERICA – Dan Rathers
IRELAND’S LOST BABIES – Martin Sixmith
ADOPTED OR ABDUCTED? – Dan Rathers