The title of this post sounds like the tagline from some sort of anti-Catholic horror movie. But while what happened in Australia is indeed a horror — and although it sounds quite unbelievable — it’s not fiction at all, and it truly happened. The Catholic Church in that country even plans to apologize for it … so that it occurred is not even in question. ABC News (Australia) reports on the revolting practice of forced adoptions that happened in the mid-20th century (WebCite cached article):
The Catholic Church in Australia will today issue a national apology over past adoption practices that have been described as a “national disgrace”.
The apology has been prompted by an ABC investigation into claims of abuse and trauma in Newcastle.
What happened was not isolated or localized:
It is believed at least 150,000 Australian women had their babies taken against their will by some churches and adoption agencies between the 1950s and 1970s.
From the stories related in the article, it seems unwed teenage mothers were the targets of Catholic adoption agencies all around Australia, who were either coerced or manipulated into giving up their babies, so they’d be given to couples the Catholic Church there deemed “appropriate.” Sometimes this forced “giving up” occurred while they were still on the delivery table recovering from childbirth.
This revelation is not, apparently, all that shocking, as irregularities in Catholic adoptions were known to have happened as long as 11 years ago:
The Catholic Church’s adoption agency has previously apologised for misguided, unethical or unlawful practices, after an inquiry by a New South Wales Parliamentary committee in 2000.
Honestly, I hardly know what to say any more. Really. I shudder to think what other countries this same thing happened in. Ireland, after all, had the phenomenon of the Magdalene laundries … Catholic Church-run asylums where unwed mothers were essentially imprisoned, some for decades even after they’d been forced to give birth and forfeit their children. And that, too, occurred in the 20th century.
When is this going to end? How many more of these scandals are we going to hear about? What depths of depravity and illegality did the Catholic Church not stoop to in its unending quest to control people?
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.Tags: adoption, adoptions, australia, catholic church, catholic health australia, christian, Christianity, christians, forced adoption, forced adoptions, magdalene asylums, magdalene laundries, roman catholic, roman catholic church