“When she renounces her child … this alone … is punishment enough.”

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I wanted to share this with readers, regarding the infamous 1956 quote by Dr. Marion Hilliard of Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.   This quote speaks volumes about many issues:   babies being ripped away from single  mothers as “punishment,” unwed pregnancy being a “misdemeanor,” “discipline in the home” being seen as the “solution” … and even why unwed fathers were forceably exiled from their children’s lives, even if they wanted to marry the mother.  I have typed out the quote and included a scan of the original as well.

” ‘The father plays absolutely no part in this. That is part of her rehabilitation.

” When she renounces her child for its own good, the unwed mother has learned a lot. She has learned an important human value. She has learned to pay the price of her misdemeanor, and this alone, if punishment is needed, is punishment enough.’

” Dr Hillard echoes the beliefs of the social workers and the agencies dealing with unwed mothers, though hers have come to her privately. And she, like the other authorities, though refusing to blame the girl’s home, lays the remedy right on its doorstep… ‘We must go back to a primary set of values and the discipline that starts with the very small child,’ says Dr. Hilliard.”

This from the article “Mothers not all unhappy” by Dorothy Howarth, Toronto Telegram, November 22, 1956.

Here is the original, scanned in.

You can order a complete copy of this article from The Toronto Sun (Sun Media Corporation).   They copied it off of micro-form and sent me a copy by mail for a minimal fee.

Shortlink to this post:  http://wp.me/p9tLn-iT


27 thoughts on ““When she renounces her child … this alone … is punishment enough.”

    unicorn said:
    July 7, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    ”The father plays absolutely no part in this. That is part of her rehabilitation.”

    They made sure that happened.

    My son’s father tried really hard but he was thwarted at every turn.

    The CCAS didn’t like the fact he wanted to be there for our son, so they told him a pack of lies to drive him away.

    He went to make a legal paternity statement so that he could be on the original birth registration.

    Do you know what the CCAS did to stop him?

    They forced the Commissioner to make my son’s father state (on the actual paternity statement itself) that he had been told about another *un-named* father!

    This prevented him from being named.

    I also found out that the CCAS used male social workers as the other father to deprive the real father of his rights. One mother told me that she had never met the man!

    If we were guilty of “misdemeanors”, they were guilty of felony!

    What they did to us was much more harmful than anything we did.

    Lois Luckovich said:
    July 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    When you give up your baby because you’re too sick to look after her, you go through another kind of Hell, the Father the courts declared unfit hold a vengeful grudge against you forever and does evil things like starving your animals, or waking you when you’re sleeping for no reason, and the lies they tell.

    Mine tried to convince my Dr. to put me away in a psychiatric ward!


    The Improper Adoptee said:
    July 7, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    So why didn’t some of you just take off with the Father? Go to another province? Get married? Not all of you were minors. Many of you could of done that. I don’t understand this. That is what I would of done.

      Adoption Critic responded:
      July 8, 2010 at 12:25 am

      But where could we have gone? What other provinces were any different? (I have heard the exact same stories from mothers across Canada.) And if the father denied paternity or refused marriage (as the son of my child refused when confronted by my father who asked him to “do the right thing” and marry me), there was little recourse. Some of us were adults, yes, but without a job, daycare, with welfare being a mere pittance if we were told about it at all), and with landlords able to legally deny you even a place to live, there were no alternatives. Never-mind that the hospitals would take and withhold (i.e. abduct) babies from unwed mothers right at birth, with no warning to the mother and NO recourse to get your baby back … the odds were stacked against us.

      I cannot properly speak for those who were not minors, but i know i didn’t have a choice or any options.

    Mara said:
    July 8, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Now it’s time to “rehabilitate” the SYSTEM.

    Men have been denied their rights, as fathers, to raise their children.

    Too many states allow a woman to relinquish her child for adoption without the child’s father ever being found and notified that he has a child. Too many fathers have been kept completely in the dark, either intentionally or unintentionally, and are unaware that they even impregnated someone!

    A father’s rights are often terminated without his consent. This is a shameful act perpetrated by the adoption industry and it’s appetite for womb-fresh babies to sell.

    Please urge your legislator to write and/or help enact what I’m calling: “A Father’s Right To Parent” bill.

    Before parental rights are terminated, the father or potential fathers should be located and DNA tested to confirm paternity. Once that is determined, he should be given up to 9 months to determine whether he wants to relinquish his parental rights or if he chooses to raise his child. (A woman is given 9 months to figure this out, so a man should be given the same opportunity.)

    Any costs for DNA testing and for tracking down the child’s father should be absorbed by the agency seeking the child’s relinquishment for adoption. If the agency choses to pass that expense onto it’s customers (prospective adoptive parents) then they should have every right to do so.

    Every child deserves to be raised by his/her parents. If one cannot or will not raise the child, it’s only fair that the other parent have an opportunity to do so.

    If you agree with me, please sign my online petition on change.org. It automatically sends an email to your legislators:


    Lois Luckovich said:
    July 8, 2010 at 2:25 am

    If the Father of my child had been the man I wanted, I would have done anything,, but he wasn’t and I blame my own lack of self control, in the prescence of a man I had begun to detest.

    He puts me through hell daily, but we don’t dare separate, because then neither one of us would ever get our child back–but once she’s back, I’ll force him to sign away his parental rights to someone else and get rid of him and his torture!

    Because what he has put me through has made me hate him!


    Dale Edmonds said:
    July 8, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Wow, I just threw up a little reading that. To have someone like that in charge of women at their most vulnerable is terrifying.

    unicorn said:
    July 8, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Improper Adoptee – they said if I left the hospital before being properly discharged, they would charge me with abandonment. There were no mobile phones or computers in those days. The nurses were able to lock down the phones on the ward to stop us phoning out.
    I was not allowed to leave. I was not able to find anyone to go out to do anything for me. I was on my own in that terrible place.

    My son’s father was on the other side of the country working to get some money for us – he couldn’t leave early or he would not have been paid.

    My son was too ill to take with me, so I was visiting him everyday in hospital, waiting for my son’s father to return.

    One day I went and my son had disappeared without warning. The social workers had marched straight into the hospital and took my son without letting me know.
    They put him into foster care.

    My son’s father came back – we tried to get our son back. My son’s father had bought a farm and had asked me to marry him.

    That wasn’t good enough for the social worker.
    They refused to return our son to us.

    You seem to think that I could have done things differently – like what exactly?

    unicorn said:
    July 8, 2010 at 10:17 am

    ” ‘The father plays absolutely no part in this. That is part of her rehabilitation.”

    Is that also a direct quote from Dr. Hilliard?

    I noticed that the father is not an “unwed” father – only the mother is.

    It seems that they knew about further isolating the mothers and that they encouraged the fathers to walk or chase away those that cared.

    The more I read about Dr. Hilliard, the more angry I get about her actions. What a heartless woman.

    unicorn said:
    July 8, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I was also forced to sign a temporary non-ward foster care agreement before leaving the hospital.

    The word “adoption” does not appear in it anywhere.

    The social worker said that if I didn’t sign, she would take my son anyway and that I would never see him again. I was not allowed a lawyer despite my request for one, I was alone, they had drugged me up, and I couldn’t phone out or leave for the reasons mentioned in the previous message.

    I also didn’t think they would stoop so low as to take my son without warning while he was receiving hospital treatment but they did.

      Lois Luckovich said:
      July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm

      Me too

    Lori said:
    July 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Improper Adoptee – interesting thought…sometimes it is that belief that keeps the mother/child thing from ever happening.

    I know that many women gave up their children willingly. No one denies that.

    But the fact is, until you have been there, known what kind of power is towering over you and threatening your life, your child’s life, the father’s life, and on and on – maybe not physically, but can you imagine being told that you are unfit, stupid, a whore, useless and many other things to the point that you begin to believe? Obviously not.

    I read your blog, at times, and often wonder if you hate adoption so much, why you can’t see the other side at all.

    Good luck with that…

    Denise said:
    July 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Yikes! This IS terrifying. The adoption machine did and continues to use any tactics to get babies. My son’s father was not a my side, had long since dumped me, walked off scott-free. I wish I’d had someone to run off with. There was no one willing to help me.

    Mei-Ling said:
    July 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Did any of you know what the “drugs” were? Were you tied down and told to “drink” something…?

      Adoption Critic responded:
      July 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      For me it was shots, constant, every day. And the nurses had me take what they called “pain pills” on top of that. Who knows what was in them, but i could not walk at all for 2 days. and when you’ve been sliced up, you want anything you can get to deal with the pain. I was so fogged up that i have no idea how many meds, or how much, were given. and the hospital claims they destroyed my records long go and have nothing on file (i did an FOI request back in 2001), so i do not have any ‘proof’ or names.

    unicorn said:
    July 9, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Mei-Ling – When I was giving birth to my son, they forced me to have an epidural that I didn’t want. There was a whole load of nurses that held me down so that they could give it to me.

    They are supposed to warm up the epidural before giving it to the mother. In the case of unwed mothers like myself, they actually made sure it was cold.

    They kept giving me the epidural even after my son was born.

    They then put me into a side room. I was completely naked and unable to move anything from the waist downwards. I started shivering uncontrollably – it was the effect of the cold epidural that was given to me.

    They left me like that for several hours – cold, shivering and completely naked except for a towel shoved between my legs.

    And lets not forget that before I gave birth, while I was in labour, a psycho nurse used an old fashioned barbers razor to slash me over 30 times – that has been proven. I have NO FLESH LEFT down below after what she had done to me. I still have nightmares about it, and her shouting all sorts of abuse at me whiled she did so – slut, whore, etc.

    I was not able to move and was at their mercy.
    The UN says that they rank the nurse’s abuse of me as bad as that of Iraqi prisoners. In fact, I am on the same UN victim registry for Torture (it has to be very bad to be on there).

    During the time I was shivering and naked, a nurse marched in and shoved a huge needle into my leg. She wouldn’t tell me what it was for until she had finished. She then told me that they had decided that I didn’t need to feed my baby. She did not tell me what it was they had used. I had no power to stop her as the other nurses held my arms and I was unable to move my legs. They did not record any of the injections they gave me including this one.

    I have since found out that it is likely that the nurse gave me a drug called DES – diethylstilbestrol – it can cause cancer – and it would have been illegal at that point in time in Canada to give that to stop lactation. However, I have asked the US government Department of Human Resources Toxicology lab what they thought it was – I described it to them and they tell me that they believe it was DES. It was used on unwed mothers because it poisoned the mother’s milk so that she couldn’t feed her baby, it had an immediate effect on stopping lactation and it caused severe depression.
    The fact that it can cause cancer was an added bonus for them as many social workers were telling adoptees that their mothers had died of cancer when this was not true. Many mothers ended up with cancer but many of them survived. For the longest time, my body kept producing abnormal, pre-cancerous cells. I have now only been clear for about 10 years.

    I have found proof that it was given to other unwed mothers after birth as some hospitals did record this. It was also given in a fairly large dose (although I can’t remember amounts, I do remember that huge needle that they used).

    Back at the hospital,I had lost a lot of blood and was put on a drip.
    They told me that they put loads of painkillers in it as well. I had this drip in my arm the entire time I was at the hospital.

    They kept injecting me with stuff and they would not tell me what it was for. They held me down every time.

    What was I supposed to do, Mei-Ling – you tell me.

    Mei-Ling said:
    July 11, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Actually, I was asking in honest. Not doubting you.

    unicorn said:
    July 12, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Mei-Ling – Sorry. It is just that people like Improper Adoptee seem to think that some of us had a say in the matter. I didn’t. I was defrauded and abused.

    It took years to get anyone to listen.

    It took 25 years to get enough evidence for the UN to listen – at least they did when no one else would.

    I guess after years of not being believed or listened to, I guess one gets defensive.

    I’m sorry that I misinterpreted your question that way.

    Thank you for taking the time to read it.

    unicorn said:
    July 12, 2010 at 12:29 am

    I did manage to get my medical records.

    They tried to scrub out the fact that the epidural was still being given to me after my son was born.

    They have also outright lied about my education.
    They have said that I was a high school drop-out (claiming that I had only finished grade 11) when in fact I had graduated with honours. It was a lie that was easily disproved.

    When I asked the hospital about it, they claimed that I had said that! I certainly did not!

    Why on earth would I lie to make myself look stupid?
    That does not make any sense.

    The hospital refused to accept responsibility for any of their “errors”.

    The hospital obviously lied about me to give themselves yet another excuse to take my son from me by claiming, wrongly, that I was stupid.

    Lois Luckovich said:
    July 12, 2010 at 12:57 am

    unicorn, after 5 years, I am tired of not being listened to.

    And I get defensive. I was hosting an adoptee who doesn’t want to find her birth family and I totally freaked out when I found out, needless to say, she’s leaving tomorrow.

    What address did you use to contact the U.N.?
    I’ve had no luck with them so far-no answer at all to emails or letters.

    Cedar has my email or you can post the address here. here.


    Lois Luckovich

    unicorn said:
    July 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    It is difficult to make a complaint to the UN, especially in regards to adoptions. My complaint was made sometime ago, back in 2002.

    I understand that the complaint procedures may have changed since then but here is the information about my own case – these are still on the UN Human Rights Commission web site but I have noticed that this part of the site has not been updated since 2007.

    I was able to make my complaint under the “sale of children” part, especially as the social worker that was involved in my case was still working and she admitted that she had taken bribes for babies and that she had ran a “dead” baby scam where she would pay bribes to doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. to tell mothers that their children had died and then she put the “dead” babies up for adoption without their knowledge. I’m not sure how far I would have been able to get if she had been retired or had not admitted to taking/paying bribes while the police stood back and did nothing.

    My complaint was sent to the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. I had to fill in a specific form and send it along with documents, evidence, witnesses, etc. I also had to prove that I had exhausted all available domestic options in pursuing my complaint.

    Here is a snippet and the web page for that.

    “The Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography would like to encourage… individuals, to submit to him any reliable information they may possess with regard to violations of children’s rights of this nature. For this purpose the Special Rapporteur has developed this information sheet to facilitate the submission of information. Subsequently, the Special Rapporteur may decide to raise with Governments to request their comments and observations on the matter.

    The questionnaire below should be sent to:

    Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
    c/o Office Of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
    United Nations at Geneva
    8-14 ave de la Paix
    1211 Geneva 10

    -Fax: 011 41 22 917 9006

    -E-mail: urgent-action@ohchr.org
    (please include in the subject box: Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography)

    General Information
    The Special Rapporteur undertakes action in the following cases:

    – sale of children: “any act or transaction whereby a child is transferred by any person or group of persons to another for remuneration or any other consideration”
    (Sale of children could be for purposes of i.e, commercial sexual exploitation, use in criminal activities, begging, use in armed conflict, for sports, forced labour, for adoption, for marriage, for the use of their organs, or for other purposes)


    The form is included on the above page.


    My complaint was also lodged with the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women (the above Special Rapporteur filed that one for me)
    It is the same contact details. Again, this is quite old (2002)and you may have to use the new complaints procedure.


    I was very lucky that I had witnesses and other victims who were willing to put forward their names.
    I also had medical evidence and documentation to support my claim.

    8-14 Avenue de la Paix
    1211 Geneva 10,

    Fax: 00 41 22 917 9006

    E-mail: urgent-action@ohchr.org

    ((please include in the subject box: Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women)

    Form for that –

    These are what I used back then, but I would check out the information below first.


    As mentioned earlier, it is my understanding that the complaints procedure may have changed, so you should check that first. It may explain why you have not received a reply.

    Here is the UN Human Rights Council page on that.
    It looks like they have taken over from the UN Human Rights Commission for individual complaints, so it may be the case that you have to complain to these people now. I must say that the new complaints procedure looks very complicated.

    Anyway, here is the link and a snippet about that.

    The home page of the UN Human Rights Council

    The UN Human Rights Council Complaints Procedure

    “Human Rights Council Complaint Procedure”

    “The new Complaint Procedure is established in compliance with the mandate entrusted to the Human Rights Council by General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, in which the Council was requested to review and, where necessary, improve and rationalize, within one year after the holding of its first session, all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the former Commission on Human Rights, including the 1503 procedure, in order to maintain a system of special procedures, expert advice and a complaint procedure.”

    I am guessing that you use this new procedure to make a complaint.

    A lot of the same things apply – you must have exhausted all resources locally. You must have made formal complaints against the CAS, the hospital, the government, the police, etc. and send in copies of all correspondence with them. It doesn’t matter what their replies are – it matters that you can prove that you were pro-active in making a complaint and that you have exhausted all local resources in pursuing your complaint.

    You also have to send in as much evidence as you can find. It is not good enough to say you have been abused – you have to prove it as best as you can with as much evidence and witnesses as you can get. That means trying to get a hold of documents, medical records, etc.

    Here are the contact details for the new
    Complaints Procedure – you could try this and see if this helps.

    “Communications intended for handling under the Council Complaint Procedure may be addressed to:

    Human Rights Council and Treaties Division
    Complaint Procedure
    1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

    Fax: 011 41 22 917 9011


    Good luck – let us know if you get anywhere.

    Lois Luckovich said:
    July 12, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks unicorn


    unicorn said:
    July 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Lois – just one other thing I should mention
    re: UN Human Rights Council Complaint Procedure.

    You have to tell them exactly which human rights you believe have been violated. You are not allowed to make a vague statement saying that your rights were denied – you have to specify which ones from which charters, declarations and conventions.

    For example, there are some that can be taken from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

    Here is the article I used from the above declaration for the violence against women complaint. It is one that can used if the person was treated badly by medical staff, social workers, etc.

    UN Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

    “Article 5.
    •No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

    Here is a link to the UN Declaration on Human Rights.
    You can go through this and see if there are any other articles that you feel have been violated and tell the UN how they were violated in your view.


    It is worth going through this declaration and seeing what articles apply to your situation.

    The other reason for using the UN Declaration of Human Rights is that it was in force in 1948. Assuming that these violations occurred after 1948, then they (anyone denying you your rights as listed in the articles) would have been violating the UN Declaration of Human Rights at the time these occurred. It is an important point to make.

    UN Declarations ratified by Canada are legally binding documents in Canada and they are supposed to be upheld by the Federal and Provincial governments.

    I hope that helps your case.

    Good luck

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Lois Luckovich said:
    July 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks Unicorn,

    I’ll think some more and if I have any questions I’ll post

    unicorn said:
    July 13, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Just an observation.

    I have noticed recently that Canada is now starting to refuse to ratify UN conventions so that they don’t have to uphold them as they can be used in Canadian law courts. The latest casualties are access to water and aboriginal rights (a subject close to Cedar’s heart).

    What sad time for human rights in Canada.

    I feel so ashamed of my home country.

    shelly robertson said:
    July 31, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Marion Hilliard was also a lesbian. She died in 1958. Goodbye and good riddance! She victimized unwed mothers because she knew puritanical families would not help them. Womens college Hospital did this up to 1985. Those evil nurses even mutilated their patients. Catherine henderson genitals was slashed 30 times while she was crowning in 1978. Toronto’s baby scoop era lasted longers than America’s. Marion Hilliard must have been jealous. She was also a hypocrite.

    Von said:
    March 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Such horrendous abuse done in the name of morality.Can’t get more hypocritical than that.

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