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Should there be apologies made for adoptions

(111 Posts)
maddyone Wed 26-May-21 19:02:22

I’m just wondering what other Gransnetters think about this. It has been on BBC news for two consecutive days about the government apologising to the mothers of children who were adopted in the past, and apologising to the children who were adopted. I’m feeling a bit puzzled about this because it seems to me that a government of today apologising about this would be somewhat meaningless since no one in government today is responsible for the attitudes of yesterday which were widespread across society. Maybe apologies by the adoption societies would be more fitting, or from the organisers of Mother and Baby Homes, or even from the parents themselves who frequently forced their daughters to give up their babies.
What do others think?

maddyone Fri 28-May-21 18:39:16

I’m glad I started this thread. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to it, it has made very interesting reading to see everyone’s different views. I still don’t really know what I think about a government apology because I can see both sides having read all your contributions.

Anniebach Fri 28-May-21 17:55:30

From that time

1. They had to get married

2. She got herself pregnant

silverlining48 Fri 28-May-21 17:27:57

Oh yes shotgun weddings...that’s a blast from the past.

theworriedwell Fri 28-May-21 16:40:37


Anniebach it always bugged me at that time and even now how men were regarded as Jack the lad. Those poor women lost their children and were locked away for decades whilst the men went on their merry way impregnating whoever they chose to. Man definitely was king then.

I remember a few from the 60s/70s where there was a "shot gun" wedding. Not all the young men went on their merry way. Some were trapped, as were their wives, in loveless marriages to avoid embarrassing the families.

Yammy Fri 28-May-21 14:39:31


Ilovecheese that is exactly what I was thinking. It would be the parents first and foremost putting on the adoption pressure the other authorities would have seen themselves as supporting the parents decision.

I agree with MOnica. Three girls got pregnant in the 5th year at school. One lost her baby through corseting herself in and did not tell her parents until she was in very dangerous labour.
Two were sent to mother and baby homes. All three girls boyfriends stood by them but were deemed too young. One lost her baby and eventually the boyfriend, the other was brought home without the baby but her parents went for it when they saw how distraught she was, she waited a few years and married the father had more children and they are still together 50 years on.
Parental attitude played a big part. let's not forget the parents of the boy involved where were they when decisions were made in how these girls were tret.
The poor woman on T.V. saying she gave the baby away her mother was waiting downstairs and they went shopping.
I also have a friend who got pregnant in the 6th form She married the father and they went to uni together her parents looked after the baby until they had the means to do so.

mokryna Fri 28-May-21 13:08:27

I was past to family member to children’s home to being fostered and adopted. I had friends in the 60s who had one of the first legal abortions and another whose parents allowed her to keep her baby. Women are nearly always blamed whatever happens to their bodies. Single or in a partnership they are more often than not left holding the baby.
Governments cannot apologize for what happened in the past, they can however let women choose what they want to do with their bodies these days.
I sadly look at what is happening now in the USA, how unfortunate girls/women will be forced to have unwanted babies. True they will not have them snatched but their lives will be changed forever.

Galaxy Fri 28-May-21 12:49:14

The majority of single parents today are women so there is still an element of that. The consequences are not as devastating obviously but it is still women who face the consequences.

sodapop Fri 28-May-21 12:30:42

Anniebach it always bugged me at that time and even now how men were regarded as Jack the lad. Those poor women lost their children and were locked away for decades whilst the men went on their merry way impregnating whoever they chose to. Man definitely was king then.

henetha Fri 28-May-21 10:39:44

Thank you theworriedwell. It was fairly successful but with lots of problems.

Anniebach Fri 28-May-21 09:47:13

Sorry sodapop , yes I did the research for our local history group, when I checked where these poor women had lived before being in the hospital, they were all from families who had ‘a position’ in their village/town, not one from ‘the working classes’.

Again a case of ‘what will the neighbours say’.

sodapop Fri 28-May-21 09:46:04

Sorry Welbeck I would find such an apology meaningless and just Government currying favour and mouthing platitudes.
We will agree to disagree.

Galaxy Fri 28-May-21 09:39:20

Yes when I was a teenager my school seemed to think it was a good idea for us to do work experience at a long stay hospital, it was mostly for people with learning disabilities (and that's another situation where acknowledgement of mistakes might be a good thing) but there were also elderly women in there who we were told had had illegitimate children, they were completely institutionalized and displaying lots of concerning behaviours. Why my school thought it was appropriate for either the children or the residents I have no idea.

sodapop Fri 28-May-21 09:32:07

I mentioned this earlier Anniebach and in fact I worked as a nurse with some of the women who had been in hospital for decades classed as moral defectives. Some were eventually moved from hospital into the community but they were old and institutionalised by this time. Such a sad waste of lives.

Anniebach Fri 28-May-21 09:26:21

Having worked on my family tree and several trees for others I
find in 19th century and early 20th century illegitimate children lived with their mothers family.

I did research into the local mental hospital, there were women from wealthy families ,inmates, reason was immorality .

silverlining48 Fri 28-May-21 07:32:43

An apology may not be appropriate as has been said , but an acknowledgment that things that happened were wrong might, in some small way, help, certainly couldn’t hurt.

Calendargirl Fri 28-May-21 07:19:28

the govt at the time allowed those practices to go on

Which is not the govt now, so an apology is worthless!

Anyone can stand up and say ‘sorry’, but it’s just words, it doesn’t change what happened or make it go away.


Sparkling Fri 28-May-21 05:46:02

It was down to the parents who thought more about what others thought and the church for bring such hypocrists. Christ taught live and forgiveness, they showed none. Priest fathering babies, shows how much they believed in God, how much they valued people, especially their isn't child they just wanted out of the way or the innocent girl they ruined. How are governments responsible for that way of thinking at the time. My mother said to me when a teenager, she would stand by all of us and blow the neighbours if we got into trouble as she called it, but she didn't want us to be mothers until we had a husband we loved, she never mentioned sex, periods or anything like that but she was a loving mother who thought more about her family than what society went along with. Injustices have happened through the time and attitudes gradually change when people oppose them . It's unbearable what those young girls suffered its enough to send you mad. I just hope those babies they loved sought them out, I know I would never stop searching. If government wanted to help the victims they could make a central register easily available, if both parties wanted it. If its two youngsters, with their lives in front of them, both families should be responsible for the child, if they wanted the child adopted do it openly, not be forced into marriage. None of us got into trouble as they called it. We can't be apologising for things that happened years ago of which we had no control over, children down mines, child prostitution, slavery. We learn by our mistakes and you are not talking about everyone feeling that way and predudicd , just some. Everything is out there now, back in the day it wasn't.

nanna8 Fri 28-May-21 02:56:02

Not 19 year old of course,9,

nanna8 Fri 28-May-21 02:55:16

What a contrast today,thank goodness. My granddaughter had a baby, my great grandson,aged 17 in the middle of her final school year. She repeated the year the following year and took the little boy to school with her a few times to show all her admiring friends. She went on to university and did 2 degrees and is now still with her original schoolboy partner living in the house they bought together and working as an intensive care nurse in a major hospital. Lots and lots of support from the boy’s parents and my daughter which continues. One happy 19 year old great grandson who is a real cool dude with such young and energetic parents! What a different scenario it could have been in previous generations.

Hithere Fri 28-May-21 02:47:22

Totally agree, welbeck

Same case with Japan and the pleasure women cases - shame on Japan for ignoring the damage decades later.

welbeck Fri 28-May-21 02:10:59

the govt at the time allowed those practices to go on.
they did not stand up for the human rights of the mothers or babies.
they could have brought laws in to give rights and basic sustenance and shelter to young mothers in that situation.
but they didn't. not until much later.
so i think it is right and fitting that they issue an official apology.

Antonia Fri 28-May-21 01:11:41

I don't see what difference an apology would make. You can't change the past.

GrannyRose15 Fri 28-May-21 01:03:09

It's very fashionable today to demand apologies for things that happened in the past but I can't see it doing any real good. For one thing, those apologising had nothing the to do with the original wrong, so how can their apology be worth anything.

sodapop Thu 27-May-21 22:10:30

Those denominations may well have run the homes Anniebach but it was pressure from them that made it necessary in the first place.

NanKate Thu 27-May-21 22:03:29

Why was the girl always blamed and ostracised?

Thank heavens for contraception.