Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Waxing Lyrical about Ava

Digital Spy is a-twitter today with one commentator regaling everyone how she, like Tanya, used the internet, researching her long-lost father, to connect with three sisters she never knew she had.

You can read her story here.

However, ayeshire lass puts everything into perspective with one simple question/observation:-

Has it been explained how Cora knows her name? I thought when a child is given up for adoption, the birth mother is not allowed to know their new name or where they have been placed. How does she know her name is Hartman, which is probably her married name , if she doesn't know where she is?
Thank you.

The answer to all of that would have been simply that Cora would not have known Ava's name. She wouldn't have been allowed to do so. Adoptions in those days were sealed, and even now, people tracing siblings/parents, can't be given information unless the other party agrees.

My husband was adopted, and we're roughly the same generation as Ava. Back then, women having children out of wedlock was a taboo. Having a mixed-race child was even worse. Such were the attitudes of the time. 

In reality, Cora would have signed papers giving her daughter over into the authority of the local Social Services. Depending on where she was living at the time, the child would have been taken from her within a period of between six to twelve weeks, but there would definitely have been a time when Cora had Ava with her. Newborns weren't prised away from their mothers immediately.

Afterwards, Ava would have been taken to a children's home - euphemism for an orphanage - maybe even Barnardos, who operated in that capacity then. And, thus, a search for new parents would have begun. That didn't happen overnight either. Adoption is a long drawn-out process now, it was even then and that was without benefit of computer technology. 

And even though prospective parents were, regrettably, not vetted as thoroughly as they are today, it took six months to a year to complete the adoption procedure. So a child could live with and bond with prospective parents for up to a year before the adoption were finalised.

In signing away her rights to Ava, Cora would have been told that she wouldn't be allowed to know where the child was being taken, there would be no contact and she would not have been allowed to know either Ava's adoptive parents' surname or anything about the child afterwards. When Cora signed those papers, she signed away all rights to Ava. The same thing was explained to Sonia when she put Chloe-Rebecca up for adoption, although the follow-up to that storyline was just as unreal and implausible.

Ava, being mixed race, would have been more difficult in those days to place for adoption. At any rate, her adoption would not have been finalised for about a year, so the story Cora told about a "nurse" breaking the rules and telling Cora that her baby's new name was Ava Hartman didn't hold water. Firstly, unless the child is of an age where he/she's walking and talking, adoptive parents mostly change the child's christian name if they're adopting an infant. And secondly, as I said, adoption records are sealed.

A nurse would have no more known Ava's adoptive name than Cora would. The hospital where the child was born, indeed any nursing home catering to single mothers, would have had nothing to do with the adoption procedure.

ayeshire lass is right. In those days and times, Cora would have had more chance getting an audience with the Queen than knowing anything about what happened to her daughter.

Another fallacy promoted by EastEnders, like Christian being able to emigrate to America with no job, no skills, no money, no visa and no Green Card.

Lazy, irresponsible writing.

1 comment:

  1. Just had a bit of a thought, when you mentioned Rebecca/Chloe.
    What about Daniella, Ronnies daughter. If Ronnie was under the assumption that her daughter had died, then she wouldnt have contacted the Sallies, or whoever sorts tracing missing family/adoptions in the UK, so how would Daniella even know where or how to start looking for Ronnie with no outside help?
    In NZ, one party can leave their details, and if the other party also leave their details, then the agency will link the two, but if one party (or relative) never gets in touch, then the reunion doesnt happen.

    Professor Plum