Social worker tells of forced adoptions

A former social worker has told how she was instructed to actively encourage young unmarried mothers to give up their babies for adoption at a Sydney hospital in the 1970s.

The woman, who wishes to be known only as Jan, was a trainee social worker at Sydney’s Royal Hospital For Women when it was run by the Benevolent Society in 1972.

She has told ABC1’s Four Corners she has always felt awful about her part in pressuring young unmarried women 40 years ago.

Basically my job was to shut them up, stop them crying, get them to realise that giving up their baby was the best thing that they could do and get on with it, she said.

Jan says it was made clear to her by her superiors that adoption was the only message to be delivered to unmarried mothers.

I was one of the people who was involved with telling the girls that if they kept their baby they were being selfish. They were being selfish to the baby and selfish to the adopting parents who really wanted to have a child, she said — via

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