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caths1964
Just wondered if there were any birth mothers from New Zealand out there who had their child adopted through the Motherhood of Man movement who might like to share their experiences on this thread.
Hi there
I am currently writing about my experience as a 15 year old mother who kept my baby who is now 40. An interesting tale as everything was against this decision and I have the most gorgeous daughter in law and 4 adorable grandchildren. He's a lovely son and I am glad I fought tooth and nail to keep him.
No benefits for girls my age back then, so I worked in the Auckland Laundry across the road.
What was your experience?
Thanks Barb
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caths1964
Hi Barbara, I think Peter is saying they closed "Castlemaine Hospital" owned by the Motherhood of Man. I believe they then opened "Fairleigh Hospital" which was definitely open in 1964 as I was born there. Did you see the link above on an earlier post about the politician who ran the hospital in the 50s?
I'm the original OP for this thread. In my own birth mothers case, she lived with a host family looking after their child (arranged for by the Motherhood of Man) before relinquishing me for adoption. She was in NZ on a working holiday and I have always got the impression that of the reasons given for relinquishment (no prospect of marriage with bfather, financial difficulties, wanting me to have a mother and father and her parents not knowing), I think the real reason was that she felt unable to tell her parents back in Australia. I do know though that she had very mixed feelings about the adoption (or so my info sheet says). I suppose I always wondered how girls who were relinquishing were treated at the hospital and whether they got to see their babies as I heard that in the early days of the Motherhood of Man, they prided themselves on telling adoptive parents that the birth mother would never get to see the child.
It sounds though that by the time you gave birth in 1971, they treated you very well. Did you always plan to keep your child? Did you feel any pressure not to? I have heard that after about the mid 60s, there was a bit of an oversupply of babies so they started to turn the other way (i.e. encouraging mums to parent their babies). I was able to get in contact with the host family that my birth mother lived with and I believe they treated her well. She stayed with them 6 months before going back home (perhaps stayed that long to get herself back in shape?). Unfortunately, I can't ask her myself as she passed away at the age of 39 over 30 years ago. Though I am in reunion with my uncles and cousins (going very well), they didn't know of my existence as she never told anyone about me (as far as I know, the only person who might know is her widower who I will probably never get to meet or speak to). Perhaps if she lived longer she may have, it is hard to know.
Btw you might find this link interesting, it is a film that was released in 1972.
I didn't see this message before I responded to your 2nd message. Yes they did treat us well, it was the other girls in the home that weren’t very nice. I guess because of my age and I was keeping my son, had to work I seemed different to them and only ever saw them at meal times. They resented that I didn't have to do any house hold chores too (because I worked) and I spent a good deal of time sitting on my bed reading baby books after dinner. I probably didn't do myself any favours not joining them in the lounge area but felt very uncomfortable around them. The matron was kind and very funny.
I did have another friend the same age as me, but had to adopt her little girl out, we remained friends for many years, although have now lost contact. I am trying to find her.
My parents weren't keen on me keeping my boy, but Dad came to my rescue after he was born and insisted I bring him home. I hadn't planned that far ahead. I went back to the hostel (after his birth) and stayed there for 6 mths as I had an office job in Grey Lynn.
It was an interesting time, my son doesn't know the back ground of his birth, I'd like to tell him one day, but a little afraid of what he'd think of his grandmother if I told him the truth she wanted me to adopt him out.
I suppose he would understand, considering his oldest daughter is 12, not far off the age I was when I had him, once she turns 15 he'll probably faint thinking that his Mum was that age when I had him, well just turned 15.
Barb
caths1964
Hi Barbara, I think Peter is saying they closed "Castlemaine Hospital" owned by the Motherhood of Man. I believe they then opened "Fairleigh Hospital" which was definitely open in 1964 as I was born there. Did you see the link above on an earlier post about the politician who ran the hospital in the 50s?
I'm the original OP for this thread. In my own birth mothers case, she lived with a host family looking after their child (arranged for by the Motherhood of Man) before relinquishing me for adoption. She was in NZ on a working holiday and I have always got the impression that of the reasons given for relinquishment (no prospect of marriage with bfather, financial difficulties, wanting me to have a mother and father and her parents not knowing), I think the real reason was that she felt unable to tell her parents back in Australia. I do know though that she had very mixed feelings about the adoption (or so my info sheet says). I suppose I always wondered how girls who were relinquishing were treated at the hospital and whether they got to see their babies as I heard that in the early days of the Motherhood of Man, they prided themselves on telling adoptive parents that the birth mother would never get to see the child.
It sounds though that by the time you gave birth in 1971, they treated you very well. Did you always plan to keep your child? Did you feel any pressure not to? I have heard that after about the mid 60s, there was a bit of an oversupply of babies so they started to turn the other way (i.e. encouraging mums to parent their babies). I was able to get in contact with the host family that my birth mother lived with and I believe they treated her well. She stayed with them 6 months before going back home (perhaps stayed that long to get herself back in shape?). Unfortunately, I can't ask her myself as she passed away at the age of 39 over 30 years ago. Though I am in reunion with my uncles and cousins (going very well), they didn't know of my existence as she never told anyone about me (as far as I know, the only person who might know is her widower who I will probably never get to meet or speak to). Perhaps if she lived longer she may have, it is hard to know.
Btw you might find this link interesting, it is a film that was released in 1972.
I didn't see this message before I responded to your 2nd message. Yes they did treat us well, it was the other girls in the home that weren’t very nice. I guess because of my age and I was keeping my son, had to work I seemed different to them and only ever saw them at meal times. They resented that I didn't have to do any house hold chores too (because I worked) and I spent a good deal of time sitting on my bed reading baby books after dinner. I probably didn't do myself any favours not joining them in the lounge area but felt very uncomfortable around them. The matron was kind and very funny.
I did have another friend the same age as me, but had to adopt her little girl out, we remained friends for many years, although have now lost contact. I am trying to find her.
My parents weren't keen on me keeping my boy, but Dad came to my rescue after he was born and insisted I bring him home. I hadn't planned that far ahead. I went back to the hostel (after his birth) and stayed there for 6 mths as I had an office job in Grey Lynn.
It was an interesting time, my son doesn't know the back ground of his birth, I'd like to tell him one day, but a little afraid of what he'd think of his grandmother if I told him the truth she wanted me to adopt him out.
I suppose he would understand, considering his oldest daughter is 12, not far off the age I was when I had him, once she turns 15 he'll probably faint thinking that his Mum was that age when I had him, well just turned 15.
Barb
caths1964
Have you tried any of the schoolfriend reunion sites?
I have checked this site out before.
[url=http://www.oldfriends.co.nz/]OldFriends.co.nz - Find your old friends! - School Reunions - New Zealand[/url]
I just had a look for you and she is not on there but her school is (with over 2000 registered) and it might be worth contacting people from the year you think she finished to see if they have heard of a Karnie Walker. I wouldn't say the actual reason why, however, they might be able to give you a heads up.
Have you check the Auckland papers of the time for all Master of Arts graduates from Auckland Uni in her year of graduation to see if any of them may possibly fit (eg just under Walker)?
hi Cath, yes ive had a look at old friends site, didnt find much, but agree contacting some of the pople in the year may be helpful - didnt think about checking auckland paper, do they publish graduates then? Im slightly restricted as I was adopted out to a UK based family and so from England can only have a look online - are you NZ based?
Barbara-Ruth
I didn't see this message before I responded to your 2nd message. Yes they did treat us well, it was the other girls in the home that werent very nice. I guess because of my age and I was keeping my son, had to work I seemed different to them and only ever saw them at meal times. They resented that I didn't have to do any house hold chores too (because I worked) and I spent a good deal of time sitting on my bed reading baby books after dinner. I probably didn't do myself any favours not joining them in the lounge area but felt very uncomfortable around them. The matron was kind and very funny.
I did have another friend the same age as me, but had to adopt her little girl out, we remained friends for many years, although have now lost contact. I am trying to find her.
My parents weren't keen on me keeping my boy, but Dad came to my rescue after he was born and insisted I bring him home. I hadn't planned that far ahead. I went back to the hostel (after his birth) and stayed there for 6 mths as I had an office job in Grey Lynn.
It was an interesting time, my son doesn't know the back ground of his birth, I'd like to tell him one day, but a little afraid of what he'd think of his grandmother if I told him the truth she wanted me to adopt him out.
I suppose he would understand, considering his oldest daughter is 12, not far off the age I was when I had him, once she turns 15 he'll probably faint thinking that his Mum was that age when I had him, well just turned 15.
Barb
Hi Barbara, it was nice to hear back from you again. I'm glad that you had the support of your dad and you were able to raise your son. I don't know how my bmother's parents would have reacted if she had told them but I have a feeling that she felt she couldn't risk it - this is a thread I started on that view:
[url]http://forums.adoption.com/communication-between-birth-parents-adoptees/383866-too-great-risk-take-bmother.html[/url]
I thought you and others on this thread might find the following document interesting - it is by Anne Else and called
"'The need is ever present':The Motherhood of Man Movement and Stranger Adoption in New Zealand". It has been quoted in quite a few theses about NZ adoption. It is quite interesting though fairly long (about 20 pages I think).
[url]http://www.nzjh.auckland.ac.nz/docs/1989/NZJH_23_1_06.pdf[/url]
I look forward to hearing more about your tale, Barbara - are you going to write a book or an article?
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maori1972
hi Cath, yes ive had a look at old friends site, didnt find much, but agree contacting some of the pople in the year may be helpful - didnt think about checking auckland paper, do they publish graduates then? Im slightly restricted as I was adopted out to a UK based family and so from England can only have a look online - are you NZ based?
I am Australian-based, I've lived here since I was 8. Normally I would go to the State Library of NSW to check out newspapers if I can't find them online.
If you are near London, you could go to the National Newspaper Library, I remember visiting it when I was there in the mid 80s. I just googled it and it is in Colindale Avenue, Barnet. I believe it would have every newspaper in the world as I remember it being massive.
I am unsure if NZ Herald definitely has graduates listed for each year but I think I've seen graduates listed in other newspapers for other universities. It might be worth sending an email to Auckland University to find out how you can find old graduates.
Let us know how you go.
Hi I’m trying to find out where I was born my mother says Grey Lynn and nothing else. If I was born at Motherhood of Man Fairleigh hospital how can I check the records. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
On my original birth certificate, it said I was born at "Fairleigh Private Hospital, Grey Lynn" and given that that hospital was owned by the Motherhood of Man, I realised they were the adoption provider that organised my adoption. Fairleight did also have private patients (not related to adoption in any way).
I do note that Bethany ran a Maternity Home in Grey Lynn so it is possible you were adopted through them.
Do you have your OBC? What does it say on there? I would point out that from what I can ascertain, most of Bethany's expectant mothers lived in the Maternity Home and most of the Motherhood of Man's expectant mothers lived with host families.
This is an article about the old Bethany Home:
Fairleigh Hospital (MoM) was closed decades ago and become a mental health facility called Fairleigh Lodge. It has now been torn down and the site sold:
and this development has been built:
Hi all,
First time on this site. Not sure how this works but I’m going to try my luck anyway.
Just found out that I have a brother that was born 1959 at the Motherhood of Man, it would be around June onwards. My mother adopted him out straight after birth. That is all the information I have on hand. Can anyone advise me on how I go about finding him? I believe the records at that time were confidential.
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