Single Mothers were Forcibly Sterilized in Sweden

Single Mothers were Forcibly Sterilized in Sweden June 13, 2014

but there’s no ginned up moral panic about that in the UK media.

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  • Iwishyouwell

    These things happened here in the U.S., too. It’s ALL wrong. That “everyone else was doing it” is not an excuse, especially for Catholic entities to have done it as well.

    The mindset still exists – an infertile Catholic blogger wrote extensively about her attempts to adopt a couple of years ago, mostly bemoaning the fact that the only babies available were less than desirable (not white, potentially exposed to drug use, etc.), and how back in the good old days unwed mothers understood that their penance was to “give” their babies to women like her.

    And people wonder why abortion is the preferable option…

    • Mike

      A quick fix is hard to beat, practically speaking.

      • Iwishyouwell

        True – and given the history of how badly girls were treated if they became pregnant while unmarried, I think its fair to say that this mindset was a driving force in legalizing abortion. Especially as the men and boys involved got away Scot-free.

        Plus, that whole adoption-as-flipside-of-abortion mindset is another serious problem – I mean, if you are _promoting_ adoption as a knee-jerk reaction to infertility, you’re kinda hoping for an unfortunate situation to take advantage of. Coveting the fruit of other women’s wombs is not a good thing.

        • Mike

          part 1: yes, the culture was too hard on unwed mothers and this inadvertently led to the acceptance of abortion in that it presented a very quick and easy fix to the problem and yes it let the men off the hook as it still does often today…plus rich women just didn’t want to go through labor anymore and so they led the move to “liberate” all women from having to big birth.

          part 2: i think that you’re being a bit hard here: what ppl mean is that back in the 70s and 60s and even 80s adoption was seen as way more socially acceptable and everyone knew someone who was adopted and this made life and family better and made our culture more caring and compassionate but with abortion being so available those opportunities to raise our neighbors’ kids are gone and so they only kids left for adoption are very hard to place: teenagers or kids born with sever problems.

          • Iwishyouwell

            You couldn’t be more wrong about adoption and cultural attitudes.

            Also, I am quoting from that blog piece – the woman in question and her aunt used that exact language.

            Adoption is not “raising our neighbors’ kids”. These days, it’s mostly wealthier ( relatively speaking) women preying on the poor and disadvantaged and buying babies. During the baby-scoop era, it was little more than baby-stealing, often aided, abetted and even perpetrated by Catholic organizations.

            • Mike

              I wasn’t aware of the baby scooping but i believe you; and you’re abs. correct that it’s mostly wealthy preying on poor; just like the surrogates, wealthy white (mostly) gay men and straight couples who rent womens’s bodies in india bc they demand a child, it’s shameful but very trendy and pc to like it. Let’s hope that one day all kids will be allowed to be born and will have their mom and dad there to raise them; in the mean time, abortion will remain a quick and easy fix to what our society still sees as a massive threat: an unexpected baby.

              • Catholic Fast Food Worker

                “in the mean time, abortion will remain a quick and easy fix to what our society still sees as a massive threat: an unexpected baby”. Mike, much insight into your statement, worth meditating. An Unexpected Baby viewed as a Threat (to our power, even COMFORT, social status, etc.) by the world. To King Herod, Jesus the Unexpected Baby was also a threat to him & his power. So were the Holy Innocents he ordered killed. Much parallels to our time. But as He did in that first century Judaea, the Babe will prevail against our times.

                • Mike

                  I hear you but i am some one who was “pro-choice” only 5 years ago, well “out of sight out of mind” is a more apt description or “none of my business”. So when i began to re-consider the practice i was left in a familiar position: everyone knows it’s wrong but it’s just too damn tempting as a solution to something that could radically transform our society’s understanding of itself, therefore, what do we do? Well i know what we should do: stop it and welcome every baby and reform the hook up mentality and reform the imbalance bt men and women and convince ppl that a new baby is a good thing and that adoption is a good choice; BUT some women literally don’t give a *hit and will do it no matter what; it’s their body not some baby’s and shove off if you don’t like it and so where do we go from there? We change hearts and minds, that’s what i’ve come to realize, even legislation, if society doesn’t want it, will not survive more than 1 term and will be ignored anyway.

                  It’s a dirty little secret that we as a culture keep around “just in case”.

                  PS technology ultrasounds is doing so much good in this area bc it’s objective and real and “Scientific”.

                  • Catholic Fast Food Worker

                    I know that antagonistic attitude of pro-abortion individuals that you’ve described, I to have seen it in my life. Yes, the only way our culture (& individuals who are staunchly pro-abortion) will change is when we show them that each unborn human life is a Miracle, no matter the circumstances. (A baby is always & most emphatically a Miracle, never a “burden” or “problem” -as society labels a baby- although the circumstances might be burdensome.) By this, I mean a sign that God still loves humanity, that He is willing to bring new grace into this dark world- just as God chose to bring our salvation, our Emmanuel, through the Incarnational act of Conception (He could have chosen a different method, but He chose conception). Like you stated, Ultrasound tech goes a long way; in my diocese we’ve a ministry (Go Life Mobile Medical) which is very effective at this. But ultimately, the issue must be addressed in Theological terms & not so much by Science. Science shows that at conception each newly formed human life (at the cell stage) has a unique DNA & technology like ultrasounds will show the human development inside a womb. But people with visceral “my body” anti-baby views will IGNORE the science because their fuss is not with science but with theological truths. In reality, most of pro-Abortion people (granted, not all) hold to anti-Christian/anti-Catholic/anti-religion views. Ultimately they have anger against “God” & “religion” & that is where we must meet them. And it’s the hardest thing to do, I’ve been called “fanatic”, “goody-goody”, & even worse. But by holding fast to a theological perspective & offering this to others (along with scientific tools like ultrasounds & also pro-life movies & such), things will change. We will be slowly but surely lighting candles instead of just throwing curses at an abyss of darkness. I’ve seen it many times, when well-meaning pro-lifers will deliberately throw faith out when discussing with the culture over abortion. But it won’t work. We have to use both science AND most importantly our faith.

                    • Mike

                      It’s “funny” bc no one really doubts where we come from, we all know that we were all once 1 cm long or 1 mill. long or whatever and that that was us, not some reindeer or whatever, but like i’ve mentioned it’s OUR little dirty secret: our mother’s, our sister’s, our wive’s, our daughter’s, our niece’s, our dirty little secret that “makes everything” ok again. It’s where we are, all of us.

            • Marthe Lépine

              Another (maybe bad) idea that came as I read “raising our neighbors kids”: Seems to me that I read a long time ago in some historical material about Aboriginals in Canada that Aboriginal and Inuit families often did just that, they shared toe raising of kids, for whatever reason, and it is still sometimes difficult to sort them out. For them, it appears that it was just a natural thing to do, and of course they did not bother with paperwork. Maybe we do have something to learn from them in that respect.

              • Iwishyouwell

                Yeah, we’re done. So now single mothers are all uneducated, uncivilized savages and the nice white ladies can “help” us raise our kids…? No.

                • Marthe Lépine

                  OH… So now all contemporary Aboriginals in Canada are uneducated, uncivilized savages… I was saying that it was THEM that might be in a position to give the nice white ladies some lessons about helping to raise their neighbours kids, but if you want to take it this way, suit yourself!

                • IRVCath

                  Actually, she is saying the opposite. The so-called “savages” may be in fact more civilized than those modern “white” ladies. Not to mention in a lot of the developing countries, many of them Catholic, it indeed does take a village to raise a child. Where that becomes hard is when places industralize, and community bonds break down. The reasoncFirst Nations communities and others can do it is because the neighbors have been there for years. The reason this sorts of thing happen is that there are less community ties, so the State abd in this case the wider Church has to step in.

                  I’ll also say that it is interesting thatcthese sorts of practices like in Tuam seem to be most prevalent in places where the Church was largely in the control of the Irish. Certainly, for example, this did not seem to be what happened in Austria at the same time (Engelbert Dolfuss, after all, was born to an unwed mother who IIRC raised him and continued the practice of her religion despite what happened, and raised someone who became his country’s head of government.) Certainly in my background illegitimate children would usually be raised in the home of the mother’s family. Orphanages would be for kids without either parent.

                  Methinks the problem is not with Catholic attitudes of the time so much as Irish Catholic attitudes of the same time.

        • m

          An alternative just came to mind as I was reading this. Instead of giving babies up for adoption, maybe it would be a good idea to start some kind of “partnering” or “mentoring” system, where a family could be matched with a single mother for a certain period of time so the single mother could be supported in whatever she would need to be doing and her child would be surrounded by some loving additional “uncle, aunt and cousins”. Just a thought, I have no idea if it can be practical…

          • Iwishyouwell

            Um, how about you let the single mother make her own choice, eh?

            Or how about the Church teach the actual relatives that only evil people throw out their family members when they’re in need?

            Do you even hear yourself?

            Single mothers aren’t second class citizens or subhuman creatures.

            • Marthe Lépine

              Of course not, but many of them are people in need, and there should be nothing wrong with trying to think about better ways to help (or support) them .

          • Marthe Lépine

            sorry, my mistake, I clicked too fast. “m” is meant to be “Marthe Lépine”

        • Imrahil

          No that would be wrong. It is just being logical.

          That is, yes, coveting the fruit of other women’s wombs is not a good thing.

          If a woman does not want to raise a child and hence kills it, because she does not think of the possibility of adoption, or because she does not want anyone else to raise it either, that is quite worse.

          And if she fears that, once having given birth to their child, she might love it and raise it, and hence kill it before these unwanted feelings might arise, that is breathtakingly appalling.

    • Oh my God! What would she have done if she had given birth to a “less than desirable” baby? And she thinks she’s entitled to other women’s babies because (in her mind, apparently), her sins aren’t as bad or as visible?

      • Iwishyouwell

        Yeah, that struck me at the time, too, and still strikes me when pro-lifers go on about the value of all life (which I totally agree with), but then say they only want to adopt a very specific sort of baby. Or go on about “designer babies” but only want a white baby girl who looks genetically like themselves. It’s the same thing.

        But you’ve nailed the mindset — “bad” girls were not worthy of being mothers, and anyone who superficially fit the picture of the “perfect” family was. It was all so superficial, and it really was a mid-to late 20th century thing. Previously, adoption involved orphans or relatives, and was relatively uncommon. It still was a less than perfect situation — orphans were sometimes adopted as a sort of free labor — but there wasn’t a sense of entitlement — that “good” Christian/Catholic couples are owed a baby, and that God made some girl pregnant so they could have that baby.

        • I think entitlement is what plagues most Americans today. We are entitled to love and sex when we want it, we are entitled to perfect babies, we are entitled to large homes and fancy stuff, we are entitled to happiness and personal fulfillment and a life totally free of suffering.

        • Faithr

          Who are these pro-life people who only want to adopt a very specific type of baby? I have never met one in my life and I’m old and know many prolifers. I do know of many prolifers who have adopted children of all races and with disabilities too. I can think of five families I know right off the bat. Oops…six. Just remembered another one. When people say stuff like you are saying, it makes me think you are in no way actually involved in the prolife movement. You don’t really know what you are talking about. If you were involved, you’d be amazed at the lengths good people go to, in order to save lives. Do you just like to sit back and criticize? I am sure there are probably prolifers out there who are like as you describe but they are certainly in no way representative at all. The people I know who think they are entitled to perfect babies are not prolifers. They are very much pro-choice and also pro surrogate mother, IVF, etc, upper class white females. They treat motherhood as self-fulfillment and something they are entitled to as a consumer. On the other hand I can think of one prolife lady I know who right now is struggling with infertility and poverty. She anxiously wants to have enough money so she can foster parent. She feels that is what the Lord is calling her and her husband to do, since they can’t have their own children. I just don’t buy your interpretation as authentic. It just doesn’t ring true to me from my own life experience. (oh, seven! Just remembered a family in process of adopting two older siblings from Eastern Europe!). Hang with some real prolifers. Your eyes will be opened and your heart will rejoice.

          • Iwishyouwell

            I’ve come across them — the woman in the blog I mentioned was one of them, obviously. Just because you’ve never met any doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Many Catholic prolife women looking to adopt will be very clear that they do not want to adopt older children, or handicapped children — all while they’re telling other women that it’s sinful to abort because a child is handicapped, and that they should put those babies up for adoption. The hypocrisy reeks.

            Obviously, she and others like her are not indicative of ALL pro-life women, or ALL prospective adopters. You’re jumping to that conclusion, not I.

            I’m not particularly involved with the pro-life movement, whatever that even is anymore, but I am pro-life.

            Frankly, the reason I’m not involved with the pro-life movement or “real” pro-lifers is because of the kind of rhetoric you’re throwing at me.

            • Faithr

              What kind of rhetoric am I throwing at you? Eight! Just remembered the devout prolife Baptist family that lived next to my parents. Spent decades taking in foster babies.

              • Iwishyouwell

                That kind. The kind where you toss up a handful of examples and claim that those examples negate my experiences. As if you and your examples are the only ones in the world.

                • Faithr

                  Of course they aren’t the only ones in the world, but it sounds like you have only experienced this on the internet. What are your direct experiences? If you aren’t involved in prolife work, how do you know so much about prolife workers? So you read a blog and the lady had an entitlement issue and now you’ve generalized that to most prolifers and cast aspersions on them because of one blip in the screen. It is true, prolifers are sinners too and I am sure if you scour the internet you will come up with plenty of nut cases, but where does that get you? I have known many prolife people for decades (maybe 40 years) now and have never, ever experienced what you are saying. So if you did have repeated experiences with prolifers who only want custom designed babies, I am just saying that those prolifers do not represent your usual prolifer. Anyway, I must go and I actually do wish you well! God bless.

                  • Iwishyouwell

                    You couldn’t be more wrong about me if you tried.

                    This isn’t about you and your agenda. Could you not let this be about the women and children who have experienced the situations this topic is about for five lousy minutes?

                    What is wrong with you people? “Prolife”, ha. Sure. You show us what you’re really all about every time you turn around.

                    Ugh. Whatever. Nothing ever changes. Nothing.

                    • Faithr

                      Honey, you are too angry to be rational. I wasn’t talking about my agenda. Here’s another example of those terrible prolifers who are such hypocrites they want only perfect babies.,23374

                    • Iwishyouwell

                      You really can’t let a topic about women who’ve been mistreated because they were pregnant out of wedlock be about them for a freakin’ second, can you?

                      You can link to all your favorite anecdotes all day long, but all you prove is that those women and their children aren’t even human beings to you. You deny those women their humanity by desperately playing my-anecdote-can-beat-up-your-anedote, all for your precious agenda.

                      Shame on you. Whatever it is you are, it sure isn’t prolife. It’s only pro-the-pro-life-agenda.

                      You’re so entirely selfish and so one-note and tone-deaf all at the same time you can’t even see the harm you do. Selfish, selfish, selfish. It’s all about you, all the time.

                      We get that you win the pro-life trophy of the year. Yay you. Whatever. I stand with Christ and I stand with the women and children who’ve had their souls and spirits shredded to pieces by the likes of you.

                      You can play your stupid, ugly game all day long. I’m done with you. You are nothing good and I want nothing to do with you and your fake, phony agenda.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Please, please… Just slow down and take a deep breath. I can understand that some of those situations can give rise to a lot of anger, but anger does not solve anything, because in such a case both parties dig in their heels. It is quite understandable, but sometimes taking a break from a discussion will bring back some balance.

                    • Iwishyouwell

                      Nah, selfish twits like her need to be told to shut up.

                    • Guest

                      Shut up.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      It was me that made the comment “Shut up” bellow. In spite of your rudeness to others in this thread, it was wrong of me to say that. I tried to delete my comment right after posting it, but Patheos didn’t allow it (it only eliminated my name). So, I’m sorry and ask for your forgiveness.

  • Alexander S Anderson

    This has been said, but we must remember that this excuses nothing. The fact that others haven’t had to face the sins of their fathers is between them and their God.

  • Michaelus

    Forcibly sterilizing people is worse than – what exactly was the horrible thing that the nuns did in Ireland again? Establishing homes for single mothers where they could earn a bit of money and have someone help take care of their babies? Find adoptive homes for babies of women who were unable or unwilling to care for their children? Let’s get this straight – the traditional default setting for a young women alone in the world with a baby is death by starvation. Why are we so ready to jump on the bad old scary nuns?

    Seriously – I am going to write an expose of how the Catholic hospitals of Ireland denied my ancestors antibiotics back in the early part of the 20th century….

    • Iwishyouwell

      So, as Christians, we’re to accept the “traditional default settings” imposed by societal norms and cultural norms of the times?

      And here I am thinking that Christians were called to something higher, that they were to stand up and do the right thing in spite of “traditional default settings”.

      It is wrong to prey upon the vulnerable. It is wrong to coerce, manipulate or force a woman to “give up” the child given to her by God. It is wrong to throw money at poor and disadvantaged women and take their children and think you’ve done a good thing. It. Is. Wrong. Full stop.

      • Heather

        That’s not quite what Michaelus said.

        The “traditional default setting” he mentioned was that a young mother, unmarried and without support from the father or her family, was extremely unlikely to be able to support herself and her child by any legitimate means at the time. Unwed mothers were not looked on as good employment (or marriage) prospects.

        Mother and baby homes at least gave these unfortunate girls and women somewhere they could give birth in privacy and as much safety as the prevailing living standards of the day allowed, so that they could hide their “disgrace” and so have a better chance of a decent life afterward. Is it awful that they were often forced to give up their babies? Yes. But I’d lay the blame for that more on deadbeat fathers and unsupportive families than the institutions that were set up as a safety net to at least keep these mothers off the street.

        • Alma Peregrina

          I agree that that is not quite what Michaelus said.

          No, the Church did not accept the “traditional deffault setting” which, according to Michaelus, is “death by starvation”.

          So the Church did NOT accept the “traditional deffault setting”, She was “called to something higher” and that was creating institutions to care for the unwed mother and her baby.

          As the article linked in Mark’s post shows, that was “something higher” than the “traditional deffault setting” (namely Sweden).

          However, Iwishyouwell is right when she points out that: “is wrong to throw money at poor and disadvantaged women and take their children and think you’ve done a good thing. It. Is. Wrong. Full stop.”

          That is correct. It is not the fault of deadbeat fathers or unsupportive families. Those were faulty of abandoning the mothers. But taking the children from their mothers was the fault of the institutions.

          What I’m trying to say is this: the Church is indeed called to be higher than the “traditional deffault setting”. But just because you go higher than the “traditional deffault setting” that doesn’t mean that you’re imune to acting wrongly.

          From my studies of various historical issues, I reached the conclusion that the Church is, in the majority of times, exactly in that spot. Erring, but still a moral light to the World (even if only theoretically). That’s why I’m catholic… I’ll continue to be a sinner and a jerk, but at least I’m better than what I would be if I were an atheist.

          • Heather

            Thing is, at the time given the societal circumstances, taking those babies was often considered the kindest thing to do, since it gave the mothers the chance to return to a “normal” life instead of the stigma of unwed motherhood. Is it still appalling? Of course, I am not denying that. But I still find the stigma and the deadbeats to have the greater share of blame here. Given how hard life was back then for an unwed mother, especially a poor one, I find it hard to issue a blanket condemnation on the practice itself (though I am quite willing to believe there were plenty of instances of the practice being abused and enforced even in cases where it WAS reasonable to hope that mama and baby would able to make a go of it).

            • Iwishyouwell

              And yet the Church was partly (in Ireland, even mostly) to blame for that stigma in the first place.

              It’s always — always, always, always — wrong to steal babies from their mothers. Always. Period. Full stop.

              The Church should have been leading the effort to make sure that the mothers and children were kept together, as God intended, not to cave to societal norms (which they had a hand in creating, which makes this all even more hypocritical) and commit evil.

              The end does not justify the means — and the end turned out to be a living nightmare for those women and for many of those children anyway, so even assuming good intentions here does not excuse the evil they did.

              You still can’t see that Catholics were supposed to do better. They were supposed to be better than that.

              When push came to shove, they weren’t better at all.

              • Heather

                Did you not see how I agreed that it was an appalling practice? Yes, the Church should have transformed societal attitudes. But in the mean time, what do you do?

                All I said was that given the societal pressures, I can see how people could come to the conclusion that it was less appalling than letting them starve on the street or be driven into a life of crime or the poorhouse.

                • Iwishyouwell

                  No, actually what you said was that you found it hard to give a blanket condemnation of the practice itself.

              • Marthe Lépine

                “It’s always — always, always, always — wrong to steal babies from their mothers. Always. Period. Full stop.”
                I don’t disagree, but I have a problem with this. If that statement is true, what is a mother to do? With her child, she would still have day to day problems in her life: How to support herself and her child with a job providing a living wage (which is not always too easy), at the same time as finding a way for her child to be properly taken care of while she is at work (with some day care arrangement that is affordable and of reasonable quality – again, it is not that simple). And if she is not able to find either one or the other of the above, or even both of them, and stays home, there will be people, even Catholic people, who will claim that social assistance is encouraging irresponsibility (maybe they also mean “sin”…). It is not so rare that a lot of life circumstances, whether prior or current, will make it difficult for a person to make the right choice, particularly in the middle of a highly charged emotional situation – such as being tempted to have premarital relations with a very insistent male! Then, if a woman becomes pregnant because of such a bad decision, there are people, even Catholics, who claim that people are poor because of their bad decisions… And that the State is wrong to support them, they should be left to the care of individual – and too often judgmental, in my own experience – charity.
                I could write more, but I am sure you are getting my meaning…

                • Iwishyouwell

                  Again, the Catholic Church should have been telling her parents and her community and her priest that they should not have abandoned her in her time of need and her child’s time of need. Because that’s what Christ would have done. All you’ve done is confirm what I already know – the Catholic Church is no different than the worst of human-made institutions and stooped to the worst of human behavior – actually, they openly encouraged the worst of human behavior and then profited from it, which is pretty damned evil.

                  • Alma Peregrina

                    OK. After a little more reflection upon it, I must say that your statement is completely misguided.

                    You claim that if the Church said that her parents and community had not abandoned her in her time of need and the mother would be allowed to keep her baby, then everything would’ve been pink unicorns and everyone would live happily ever after.

                    Well, it is not so. And I know it, because of my experience.

                    In live in a majorily catholic country, but only at a cultural level. Only 10% of catholics attend mass and we have legal abortion and homosexual “marriage”. The influence of the Church is weak.

                    But not everything is fine and dandy with our needy children. You know why? Because adoption here is a heavily burocratized process. For religious and secular adoption agencies. Jurisprudence here is still heavely commited to the “biological mother is the real mother” mindset.

                    You know, that Paradise for out-of-wedlock children and their mothers that you find so Christ-like.

                    And it’s a problem. A problem that is causing grave ills to children in my country.

                    Why? Because a mother can “keep” her children no matter what! She can live her life the way she wants and leave the children in institutions for them to take care of. If you try to make the mother take those children into her care, she will say she doesn’t have the economic possibilities to do so, that she doesn’t “want” them, that those children are better in an institution.

                    But then, just when children are just about to be put into adoption lists, the mothers regret what they did, have a sudden change of hearts, and visit their children. By doing that, the courts overrule the adoption candidacies and give the children again to the care of their mom.

                    And this keeps going on for years!

                    So, we have children institutionalized for years, until adolescence, without the possibility of ever having, you know, a family, just because their mothers visit them once or twice a year. Just because it is “always, always, always” wrong to take the children from their mothers, those children will never have real mothers and fathers, and will be raised by nuns, volunteers or social service employees.

                    So yeah! Those irish catholic institutions weren’t perfect and adoption agencies can turn in selfish child entitlement by rich people… but your solution doesn’t solve much, either! The problem lies in our own sinfulness, in our own limitations! There is nothing good that cannot be abused! At least those catholic institutions had good intentions (as you yourself admited!)! So come down from your high horse already… speaking in an on-line forum is easy, thinking you’ve got all the answers is easy. But you do not.

                    • Iwishyouwell

                      Um, the biological mother _is_ the real mother.

                      The solution to all of this is – was – will always be – Christians actually living Christ’s message.

                      Good intentions…? You know what they say about the road to hell, right…right?

                      I earned my right to my high horse, dear. When you’ve lived my life , you can get back to me with your stupid, self-serving theories.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      The EXPERIENCE of my country’s children is “stupid, self-serving theories”? The suffering of children for being locked up in institutions, without ever experiencing a family, is a “theory”?

                      I’m sorry, I’ve not given you any theories. I’ve given you facts. Which you don’t want to hear. You’re completely isolated yourself from hearing anything that collides against your theory. Yes, you’ve read it right: “theory”. Because for you, an adoptive mother can’t be a real mother, ever! Even if she provides roof, and food and affection, she will never be a REALLY REAL mother. Why? Because she hasn’t endured a physiologic process known as birth. That’s what makes a mother, for you.

                      No, for you the real mother is ALWAYS the biological mother. Even if she just visits her child once a year, keeping the child lockep up in an institution to be there at her disposal whenever she feels like it, she will always be better than an adoptive mother.

                      And no, I’ve not lived your life. And I sense there is more to it than a mere Internet argument. You’re completely and emotionally invested in your worldview. It shows in the agressiveness and irrationality with which you desperately hold to your position. There must be something lying deeper to this need of yours to insult people that have a sensible position on adoption.

                      But, even though I’ve not lived your life, I do know that innocent children should not suffer on account of your life.

                      And this just brings me to my first comment in this thread: that you are not even remotely interested in the child’s well-being. You’re just interested, on account of something that happened in your life, to defend the right of a biological mother to retain their children no matter what, even at the expense of those children’s suffering.

                      Keep your high horse, and your bigotry. If you think it will make you feel better… I, on the other hand, will not reply to you further. Instead of enduring Internet insults from a complete stranger, I’d rather prefer to focus on how to help children that are suffering now. Those that should NOT be taken away from their biological mothers and those that should be given to adoptive mothers. Those that are suffering ill-treatment at the hands of biological families and those that are suffering ill-treatment at the hands of adoptive familes and those that are suffering ill-treatment at the hands of institutions. Those that are suffering because of catholics and because of atheists.

                      There’s no “one size fits all”, there are no “all explaining theories” for these cases. That’s why your insult about “stupid, self-serving theories” doesn’t hit me the least. Anyone on this thread can see who is desperately clinging to a theory.

                      Good bye. May you find peace with your life story.

                    • Iwishyouwell

                      My life is not a “theory”.

                      But please continue to think you get to decide who deserves to keep their children and who doesn’t.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      Hum… so I was right. There’s something in your life that links directly to this issue.

                      Listen, I don’t know how you feel, and I have no right to say I understand. So I’d like to ask YOU to understand, if you find the heart. You see: I’ve had quite some painful blows in my life myself, that nearly destroyed me. It is because of those blows that I’ve turned sour. It shows in my comments. I should be more nice to those that disagree with me, like you, but unfortunately I can’t. So I’m sorry.

                      On the other hand I really do hope that everything turns out to be fine to you, one way or the other. And I sincerely hope you find peace, which is something that I would like to have too.

                      I would just like to tell you that, just because you’ve had a painful lifestory, that doesn’t mean you should deal in absolutes to validate yourself. You story is YOUR story. And you’re right that your story is not a theory. But it becomes a theory when you extrapolate your story to everything and everyone.

                      I really hope you get what I’m saying.

                      I have no wish in keeping this debate further. It is futile. You don’t need to win an argument, you need healing and friendship. Please accept my best wishes and prayers… they are all I have.

                      Pax Christi

                    • Iwishyouwell

                      Oh, screw it. Kathy Schiffer just showed me the true face of what the Catholic Church thinks Christianity is. I don’t owe ANYONE an apology. Screw it.

                      Whatever. Have your ignorant, abusive, hateful Church. Y’all deserve it.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      It’s OK, Iwishyouwell. I’ve read your original comment and I thank your kind words. I hope that someday the feelings you expressed in your original comment will triumph over the angst in your edited comment. 🙂

              • HornOrSilk

                “It’s always — always, always, always — wrong to steal babies from their mothers. Always. Period. Full stop.”

                Define “stealing.” For example if a woman went to prison for murdering someone in cold blood, should the children go to prison with their mother so not to have the child “stolen”? If a mother is abusive and divorced, and the father is kind, considerate, a true “Mr Mom” and rich and could take care of the children, should they be raised with the mother so not to be “stolen” but have a life of abuse day after day? Sorry, but there are times when a mother loses rights for children. Your absolute terms are nonsense and can be used to accept abuse.

        • Iwishyouwell

          Right. And what _I_ said is it’s a damned shame these Catholic and Christian parents, among others, didn’t do what Catholics and Christians are called to do, which is stand up for the right thing to do in the face of the “traditional default setting”.

          If Catholics and Christians had done the right thing in Ireland, there would have been no need for such homes.

  • ray

    Wow the twisted bioted prejudice of some of the ”experts on Irish history” commenting here is only matched by the twisted morality and ”anti christ” witness of some of the nuns who were asked to run mothers and babies homes by the nascent Irish state.The nascent Irish state post War of Independence,post brutal Civil war,during the Great depression, trying to survive and rebuild a nation having been brutally exploited by the folks on today’s moral high ground the British elite.Yes it is obvious that that minority of callous cold hearted folks shielded by religious garb who perverted the mission of Jesus and his Church in Ireland of the 1930s-1960s have not gone away.Their modern day counterparts have simply changed their religious garb and superficial adherence to Christ for the latest cool kid on the block’s dogma of anti- catholic prejudice.You see power attracts weak minded folks no matter if it appears as religious power and influence of secular hate speech.As long as a headline shocks the world it matter little if it is grossly untrue,as long as a headline shocks the world and smears the name of the Catholic church sufficiently then even outright lies can be justified.

  • Alma Peregrina

    While it is good to point out the forced sterilizations and how it doesn’t scandalize people as much because it was not the eeeeevil Catholic Church…

    … I can’t help but feel that the two items should not be conflated. Those are two distinct problems, altogether. People should be scandalized by forced sterilizations in Sweden on their own right. And people should be scandalized about Tuam, provided it is proved to be true as alleged by the newspapers and blogs (which, in my opinion, and having read about it, is not likely).

    If you want to highlight the hypocrisy of the Tuam’s outrage, you should equate issue with issue. Namely, there are many children dying horrible deaths by starvation, neglect and abuse in orphanages in China. Like, right now. As we type on our keyboards, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of such children suffering terrible deaths. Today. Now.

    And people just get outraged about children that allegedly were in that situation, like, decades ago? That are long gone? We can’t do anything for those children besides burying them and punishing the perpetrators! We… can’t… do… anything… else!

    Why don’t people direct their outrage to something useful? Something that can really make a difference? Today? Or is this outrage just a tool to serve a prejudice against the Church, a political agenda, or just to feel good about an alleged “high moral ground” relative to an institution that “should be held to higher standards” (even though those people never, ever, held the Church in higher standard before)?

    Maybe (maybe!) Tuam’s childrens lived miserable lives of neglect and abuse… but if that is so, then let them be at peace at least in their deaths! Don’t dig them from their graves to use them as ideological ammo! Go help some other children that are living miserable lives of neglect and abuse, if your outrage is so true…

    • Iwishyouwell

      Can we at least try to name them, to restore some of their inherent human dignity? i said this elsewhere, and I’ll say it here — let’s at least provide a marker and name them. Is that so much to ask?

      Yes, there are atrocities being perpetrated against children, women, men the world over and we absolutely should fight for the rights of those people. You’re correct.

      However, you are not correct in assuming that any criticism of past abuses is about “outrage”. That’s a word people use to silence others, along with “troll”. What it means is they’re saying something that makes you uncomfortable, so you want to shut them up by denying them any humanity at all.

      It’s possible, you know, to want to put human faces and names to those who’ve been abused in the past AND to work NOW to end the suffering of those being abused as we speak. It’s not necessarily either/or.

      • Alma Peregrina

        Yes it is possible to mark and name them. Who said otherwise? It’s in my comment, for Pete’s sake! Want me to say again that we should?

        We should. We EMPHATICALLY should! In fact, we should thoroughly investigate what happened and, if any abuse or neglect is found, we should prosecute and punish the perpetrators accordingly to the law!

        I really can’t understand you people, at all… so much strawmen, really…

        And no, I’m not trying to shut people up because I want to “deny humanity” for Tuam’s children or because it “makes me uncomfortable”. I really do hope that that swing of yours wasn’t just another way to stereotype me to earn free points in this combox (as is usual). Because you failed. By a mile. If you don’t understand what my position is, then don’t comment on it.

        PS: And I eagerly await to know how many times you commented in a forum related to orphans in China. Since it’s not either/or.

        • Iwishyouwell

          There are points…? Huh?

          I’ve commented on the situation in China plenty of times, and I’ve commented on abuses and neglect and atrocities perpetrated against children right here in the US plenty of times.

          Do I get points for that, too…? Sheesh. It’s not a freakin’ contest, lady.

          • Alma Peregrina

            “I’ve commented on the situation in China plenty of times, and I’ve commented on abuses and neglect and atrocities perpetrated against children right here in the US plenty of times

            Do I get points for that, too…? Sheesh. It’s not a freakin’ contest, lady.”
            Yes. You do get points for that. Respect. 🙂

            PS: The expression “earn free points” is a typical expression in my native language. I thought I could convey my meaning that way, but I guess I can’t.

            PS2: I’m not a lady.

            • PalaceGuard

              Just another pilgrim soul? *S*

  • Imrahil

    The confusion of Puritan attitudes with Catholicism is particularly confusing.

    I haven’t heard about any harassment (other than the often usual poverty, difficulty to find a husband, and an occasional bad look) about single mothers in traditional Catholic countries not under Protestant emotional (or governmental) influence, including my great-great-grandmother (in Bavaria that was). Except that she was poor and, with a son to care for, had to find a benevolent employer, whom thank God she did find; but I’ve never heard that confinement into penitentiaries was part of the “solutions” back then.

    That said, I agree to the article on that abortion as “our time’s” method to deal with such occasions is still worse.

    is also incredible is that some of the same people who are waxing most
    indignant about the mother and child homes think an equivalent scandal
    today is the fact that 4,000 Irish women have to travel to England each
    year for abortions. But that is how we deal with unwanted children
    today; we abort them, and many of us want them to be aborted on Irish
    soil in the name of ‘choice’. – See more at:
    is also incredible is that some of the same people who are waxing most
    indignant about the mother and child homes think an equivalent scandal
    today is the fact that 4,000 Irish women have to travel to England each
    year for abortions. But that is how we deal with unwanted children
    today; we abort them – See more at:
    is also incredible is that some of the same people who are waxing most
    indignant about the mother and child homes think an equivalent scandal
    today is the fact that 4,000 Irish women have to travel to England each
    year for abortions. But that is how we deal with unwanted children
    today; we abort them – See more at:

    • Imrahil

      Forgive me! There was no apparent reaction to the Ctrl-V, and so I did it more times until resolving that apparently I could not cut&paste here, and thus wrote a circumlocution. 😉

  • Diane Kamer

    Sweden, nuthin’. It happened right here in the US of A — right here in Winston-Salem, where my husband and I have lived for the past 25 years:

    It happened under the aegis of Baptist Hospital and the Baptist-affiliated Wake Forest University.

    We are all sinners, and every communion has committed grave sins and crimes. The Catholic Church has not cornered the market on evil.

    Moreover, the more we find out about Tuam, the more we realize that those nuns were the Good Guys, not the Bad Guys. They were taking care of people no one else wanted to take care of. Apparently they were doing this to the best of their ability. And they sure in heck were not forcibly sterilizing anyone.