“Rapid Adoptions” — Stillborn or Stolen?

This article is from Australia, but could it have happened in Canada as well?

According to the Proceeding Seminar held on February 3rd 1967 to proclaim the new Adoption of Children Act 1965, concerns were been raised by the medical profession regarding what they considered to be the best form of adoption. These were known as “rapid adoptions”.

A rapid adoption was a process whereby the parents of a recently stillborn child (not having intended to adopt) were offered a substitute baby to replace their own dead infant so as not to leave the hospital empty handed. But the decision had to be made quickly as the swap had to be made prior to leaving the hospital.

As the grieving mother of the stillborn, in having just given birth could immediately breastfeed the alien child, this was considered to be a much favoured adoption variation by many in the medical profession. It relied simply on swapping the dead infant for an available recently born ex-nuptial one.

Naturally the security of such a placement would have been imperative and may well have relied on telling the unwed mother her baby had been stillborn to ensure she didn’t try to legally reclaim her child.

Some mothers had been told their baby had died and would be buried in the `rose garden’ in the grounds of the hospital.

Rapid adoptions were very much discussed at the seminar, and could well be the answer to the recently exposed adoption/stillborn scandal of 1996 where many unwed mothers across Australia, having been told their babies had been stillborn, have reunited with their so-called dead babies in recent years. Their children had been taken for adoption instead.