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In 1970, Lynda Holden faced the daunting prospect of keeping her baby while young, unmarried, and pregnant

[supplied by Catherine Szentkuti]


Image: supplied

150,000 adoptions took place between 1950 and 1975. It is estimated that one in 15 was forced. Lynda Holden tells her own heartbreaking story and exposes this shameful chapter in Australian history.  


In 1970, Lynda was eighteen, unmarried and pregnant when she was forced to give her baby up for adoption. Sent by a doctor, with the firm instruction “This is where you have to go”, to a Catholic girls’ home for unmarried mothers, she was told she’d have no hope of keeping her baby because she was Aboriginal.  


Lynda went on to get married and have children, but she never forgot her beautiful baby boy and after twenty-six years, she made contact with her son. But the much-wished-for reunion didn’t go well – not only was her son angry about being given up for adoption, he was also unaware of his Aboriginal heritage.  


She looked into finding the paperwork from the adoption as proof of her attempts to keep her son, but what she found was a web of lies: lies about her family, the baby’s father, her ‘consent’ to adopt and her Aboriginal heritage, and that her signature had been forged.  


This began a quest for justice to expose the wrongs of the past and to give a voice to women who had been through similar ordeals. Lynda sued the Catholic church and won. In this incredibly powerful memoir, she sheds light on the long-term consequences of the practice of forced adoption on mothers, children and their families. 



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