As older Australians, is it our responsibility to stand in when the government doesn’t? 68



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There’s no doubt about it, that we live in a sad world right now. Two weeks ago a baby was found inside a suburban drain, heard only by a pair of cyclists riding past. Then last week, a baby was found deseaced, buried in the sand. The poor baby had been there so long that decomposition hindered forensic’s ability to determine the sex of the child.

When we’ve been talking about these problems, we’ve been hearing language demonising the mothers and fathers of these children. We’ve been saying how appauling it is, how disgusting and heartless it is. And, to a point I totally agree. But what I want to know, is why aren’t we talking about the bigger problem Australia is facing?

The truth is that you and I are the generation that dealt with forced adoption. We are the love child era. And the reason we had to endure that is because the stigma around young parenting, hard parenting and unplanned parenting was harsh. We sit here today thinking that this has changed but the truth is, it hasn’t really changed, at least not for everyone.

While we can in the first instance, allude these heinous actions to mental illness, irresponsibility and quite frankly, a bad heart. But I think it is time that we looked into this deeper. What about the fact that in some families the idea of young pregnancy or pregnancy out of wedlock just isn’t an option? What about the fact that when things like this happen, they are left feeling isolated, with no support, scared and alone.

Right now, it is illegal to bandon a child by Australian law. This means that someone who feels like they can’t talk about it, can’t keep the child and doesn’t have the means to, doesn’t have an option that they feel comfortable with and so they are left doing this.

I hadn’t really thought about the way our generation can help until I read about a woman from Sydney who is trying to do something about this. After hearing about these events, she set up a Facebook page called Operation Safe Haven.

Countries all over the world have places where people can give up their babies safely and in confidence. And basically, this is what Catherine Lucre is trying to do.

According to MamaMia, Catherine, a midwife told them that after mother’s hand over their babies she would “then take the baby straight to the nearest hospital, contract DOCS, contact the police but maintain the mother’s privacy and confidentiality.”

And perhaps this is where people like you and I need to help. Although I don’t personally know the emotional and mental turmoil of parting with your child out of not being able to give it the life it deserves, but I do have friends who have been through that. Perhaps it is those of us who can simply practice understanding, support and care who can change this situation.

The government right now, and for many years, hasn’t given these women or men the support they need so is this where we come in?

Today I want to know, what do you think? Do you think we, like Catherine Lucre are able to change this? And moreso, do you think we have the passion to do it? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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  1. These abandoned children are distressing, they toss their babies out like they are yesterdays garbage. Your right we need to give these young mum’s support before they ditch the most precious thing they will ever have in life

    1 REPLY
    • If they don’t want them just leave them at the hospital.

      1 REPLY
      • I agree Jenny. Leave the baby at the hospital where there is ample support for mum and bub.

        1 REPLY
        • You are so unrealistic and out of touch, which is why the stigma still exists after so many years. None of these poor girls today actually give birth in a hospital. Usually so alone in a secret place.

  2. It’s a world wide problem of human suffering. There is no easy answer! Some brave humane souls stand up trying to ease this suffering. But it is only a drop in the bucket. The only answer I can think of is capital punishment for major drug dealers and other of the most serious crimes against humanity? I have 2 friends that investigate child abuse and when they come back they are bordering on mental breakdowns!!

  3. The reason for most of these sad case is simply…. religion! It makes a young solo mother so fearful of the censure of her family or community that she will kill her baby rather than face it. It’s evil…..

    4 REPLY
    • Agreed Kathryn……..’ligion has much to answer for. It is a man-made construct for power & control & has tainted humanity for centuries.

    • Religion is the basis of most of our laws, customs and social mores. Perhaps “religious dogma” would be more accurate than religion per se. The predominant religions of half the world espouse patriarchal monotheism, which is violent, controlling, misogynistic and bigoted, and is the cause of much of the cruelty and oppression in the world.; that is because it is such an effective tool when used in this way, and men with a lust for power cannot resist its lure….
      Once the common people have been inculcated with fear (and all P-M religions are based on fear and death, rather than love and life and was the original purpose of most of them) they are easily controlled.
      The amazing thing is that in spite of all of that, most folk are still decent beings, and that says a lot for the resilience of the human spirit… 😉

  4. If a young woman does not want to keep the baby she can inform the hospital and they can arrange for the baby to be taken into care, at least that is what happened when I was in hospital having my son a mother of two ws having a third child and she was able to arrange for him to be taken as soon as she gave birth.

  5. I can’t imagine what these women must be going through to do this! My heart goes out to them. I know the two stories in the media has brought out the knives but surely it should have brought out some compassion for all involved. I am not agreeing with what happened I just think there must be a better way. I wholeheartedly agree that somewhere safe for the baby as is being suggested at hospitals, police stations etc and DEFINITELY some support for the mother?

  6. We can stand up and yell from the highest hill tops. No one listens no one hears..
    Society is two faced only too keen to judge punish and point fingers. When the brain snaps it doesn’t think logically… We don’t act normally….
    We don’t know what makes these mother’s dump these babies in this manner. But I do know that mental balance is a contributing factor… How they got to that point is any ones guess…

    5 REPLY
    • I have a very strong suspicion that post-natal depression was involved in at least one case. Having had that experience, I believe it is caused by hormonal imbalance. There might also have been cultural factors involved. There definitely needs to be more alternatives & adoption needs to be made more freely available. ALL parents need more support to do the most important & challenging job on the planet.

    • Point to be taken hospitals don’t give a grunt either. Once they would be aware of who is likely to have post natal and help given. Now have baby and out in 12 hours. It sad really how terrible humans are.

    • They should stay in hospital for a week like we had to in my grandmothers day it was two weeks.

    • well i think at least four days for most longer for those who struggle…. but yes it is all about the $ if you not prepared to pay get out…. i know when my mother was in hospital with kidney and heart failure after 3 weeks they kicked her out same with my brother in law died both of them,

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      • Know what you mean Di .a friend of mine died from cancer a couple of years ago they kept her in,and “alive” till he finances were exhausted.Her home and investments sold off, her superannuation drawn out and used for medical treatment When she had absolutely no money left to pay for treatment they allowed her to die. It’s all about the money

  7. we don’t know the full stories however, i do agree that a safe place to leave them would certainly help. With sex education & contraception it still hasn’t stopped pregnancies.

  8. I don,t agree that support is not there…I believe there is more than enough, birth out of wedlock is almost encouraged, and not at all unusual!! I am not commenting on the two recent events, as I don,t have any knowledge about them. I do know that it is impossible for a couple to adopt a child in this country, so if the biological mother really doesn’t want the baby, she has that option.It seems like a system failure to me, in that allegedly the baby left in a drain,s mother, left hospital unaccompanied, that should have flagged a warning to staff.I think mental illness is likely to be the cause.

    2 REPLY
    • Sorry I don’t agree. It’s like saying someone who is in an abusive partnership should walk out, you just don’t think about walking out just how you are going to get through the day without getting abused – there is no tomorrow just now and that is what is happening to a lot of females in this situation. As has been said, often nobody else knows they are pregnant and the female doesn’t talk to anyone about it so are not given any help – a very sad situation all round.

    • i agree . i think all sexually active teenager should be encouraged to have the implant…. they not going to use condoms are they….. i think todays systems suck any way…FAYS ARE on the door step of every new born baby ready to take them at a drop of a hat seen it before.

  9. I too have never had to face this, but I remember being told what would happen should I get pregnant before marriage. I would be happy to assist to co-ordinate a safe facility, I live on the Gold Coast. Feel free to contact me, pm for details.

  10. I think if they have reached that state of mind even safe haven won’t help, they need to be in place absolutely but in a society of cctv. Suspicions would be in place too.

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