Letters > Unheard voices in the adoption debate

17 November 2016

Unheard voices in the adoption debate


Throughout the current debate over whether the Church should apologise over the pressure it once put upon unmarried mothers to have their babies adopted (“Era of harsh morality”, 12 November) the voice of the children themselves remains unheard. May I be permitted to add my tuppence-worth on their behalf?

I have no idea what external pressure was put upon my mother to have me adopted in 1947. I suspect that it was very little, because I understand her pregnancy was kept secret and that the decision was hers alone. That decision would indeed have been based on the “mores of the times” as Terry Philpot suggests, and the result was that not only was I given a happy and secure life but I was in all likelihood spared years of torment, bullying and educational underachievement because of the stigma of being an illegitimate child.  

Cardinal Nichols has nothing to apologise for. Times have changed although, from my point of view, they still have some way to go.  I am probably not alone in longing for the day when the use of “bastard” as a term of abuse becomes as unacceptable as “queer”.

(Dr) Stephen Turnbull


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