We’ve heard of the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, homes for ‘fallen women’ - including unmarried mothers - who were subject to horrible sexual, physical and mental abuse. But what of the children? The recent discovery of a mass grave containing the bones of 800 babies and children at the site of the former Bon Secour … Continue reading Beyond the Grave
My article When Black is Not the Only Colour appeared in Open Democracy on 20th February 2017. It's an account of being too Black for the adoption agencies but not Black enough for the political campaigners.
A beautifully written novel by Kit de Waal My Name is Leon tells of nine-year-old Leon’s struggle to come to terms with the circumstances of his life. It’s set in Birmingham where the violence of the 1981 Handsworth riots contrast with the street party planning fervour for Charles and Diana’s wedding. At the beginning of the book … Continue reading My Name is Leon
There’s something that troubles me about the film Lion (Garth Davis) which tracks the journey of a five-year-old boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar), from a village in Madhyar Pradesh to Tasmania and back. Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple, John and Sue Brierley. Sue (Nicole Kidman) reveals to the adult Saroo (Dev Patel) that, at … Continue reading Lion: a troubling account of transracial adoption
I’ve just finished my memoir Chasing Ghosts describing my adoption and search for my birth family, so it was with pleasure I picked up Jane Robinson’s In the Family Way. Subtitled Illegitimacy Between the Great War and the Swinging Sixties, it’s a history of society’s attitude to illegitimacy, its aim being to break the silence … Continue reading In the Family Way