It felt strange talking about Anthony with my cousin as I didn’t say much about him when sending letters to my parents who rarely mentioned him. Of course my mum was extremely annoyed about Anthony wanted me and my family in his life but the extent of this came out over the next year or so. My sister and I hadn’t had any contact for six years by this time and it would another five years and our mum dying before we did.
Rick had joined the site that Anthony had set up and he had included Rick’s family tree on the site, we were administrators of that side. When I thought about the early days it was difficult as Rick had his issues to deal with and Anthony had problems accepting him. Rick wasn’t his father who wouldn’t accept Anthony but it got easier.
Anthony and I started chatting on msn messenger as we had fallen out over the adoption papers a few weeks previously although we have been sending the occasional email. We could both be stubborn at the best of times but I was relieved we talking again. The fall out with Anthony at that time was due to Anthony wanting to ask questions about the adoption papers but as I had never seen them I couldn’t answer him. When I tried to talk to him about the papers he kicked off so I sent him an email stating why certain things had been crossed out and replaced with other words. I also let him know what was true and what wasn’t.
*This was a period when life was good with the occasional hiccup. I was getting used to the occasional bad times from my son and was just letting it go over my head. At times I would be bewildered why he would suddenly be angry. I also knew I wouldn’t get a reasonable response back if I asked as I was expected to be psychic and just know. Eventually I found out he had been as bad with my family although by 2006 I saw it as understandable with my mum as she had lied to him. Me knowing my parents could have been honest to both of us since late 2001 contributed to this. My dad was forgiven much quicker as he knew exactly what my mum was like so it was easier than dealing with her wrath.
At this time I couldn’t stop thinking about why I couldn’t remember signing the Consent to Relinquish form. A friend from an online group, Empty Arms, seemed to think we possibly signed the form at a magistrate’s home rather than at court but I was sure I hadn’t done either. If I did go to a magistrate’s home or court then I certainly had a big whole in my memory – it was almost scary.
*As it turned out I didn’t get the Consent to Relinquish form and eventually I just gave up. I kept trying periodically but was constantly given the run around so in the end I got tired and fed up of the stress it was causing.
I first started a journal back in September 2004 and several weeks after finding my son. I had stated posting on an adoption forums and someone suggested doing so as a way to help myself cope. Up until I found my son I had been silent, not even talking to my husband about him. It had been a family member who had told my husband about my son about six months after we had married.
My adoption journey had started back in 1981 when my son was born on the 3rd August. I had split from his father soon after I fell pregnant and didn’t tell him when I found out. It was wrong not to. I was angry and didn’t want him to have anything to do with my baby nor did I think he would believe that the baby was his. However I wanted to raise my son so kept quiet long enough not to be pressured into aborting by my parents.
When my parents found out they were so angry and decided my baby was to be adopted. My mother arranged everything despite me not agreeing to it and refusing to talk about it. The first time I saw a social worker from the adoption agency was after my son was born. I told her how I felt and she told me she would put a halt to the adoption. This didn’t happen and between her and my mother they constantly lied to me. I believed the lies, didn’t know my rights, didn’t see any paperwork and it is questionable I signed anything so I was a complete walkover.
I was expected to get on with my life, never talk about my son and to forget about him. I got on with my life, didn’t talk about my son but I never forgot about him. Subsequently I suffer with depression to the point of being suicidal at times and self harmed.
It was a shock when I found my son in 2004 days after his 23rd birthday on Genes Reunited. It turned out he had been searching for me for five years and had found my family quite quickly. They never told me nor did they ever tell him where I was. I was so angry at the time although I didn’t let him know that. It was a few weeks before I let my parents know I had found my son. Their excuse for not telling me about contact was that they didn’t know if my husband knew about him. All I could assume was either they were telling the truth or they did know what a family member had done. I didn’t want this to get the better of me so left it at that.
However with reunion my emotions exploded to the surface and I found it hard to cope. So when the suggestion of keeping a journal was given I jumped at it. I had been silent for 23 years and now it was my time to talk even if it was by the written word. I started a journal on the forums I belonged to at that time as I wanted to share my feelings.
I had very good intentions of getting my story written here but life has a habit of getting in the way. Different projects/hobbies have started up again such as writing knitting and having pets who are life savers.
My first 18 years on this planet were very average and I was very good girl not getting into trouble apart from the usual of maybe getting home late, fighting with my sister and so on. This changed after getting into a relationship then splitting up around my 19th birthday. It devastated me at the time as the lad believed a lie told by his cousin and refused to listen to the truth.
Eventually I knew I was pregnant but didn’t tell the father as I was angry and hurting. I kept quiet long enough not to be pressured into having an abortion although certain people who can’t defend themselves now would have disputed that. My mother was furious, my father didn’t say much, and she was determined my baby would be adopted. I refused to agree to that and wouldn’t discuss it. My baby needed me not strangers, I already loved my unborn baby.
I still have moments when memories creep up on me suddenly that I force myself not to cry over. My mother was so cruel yet I couldn’t talk to anybody as I didn’t think they would believe me. Fear of my mother finding out scared me too much to talk to anybody as she would make me suffer emotionally and verbally behind closed doors. I loved her but we just seemed to bring out the worst of each other yet in public it was the opposite. It’s sad as we did have so much in common such as reading the same types of book, knitting, music, films, television and so on. I lived for the happy times when we were all happy.
Mother Denied Justice Campaigns to Transform the Family Courts
Victoria Hudson has been campaigning for several years to increase the protection of domestic abuse survivors and children who become entangled in the family court system. Tragically, Victoria and her daughter have themselves experienced untold suffering, trauma, and harm at the hands of the family courts.
Victoria, who campaigns under the banner #JusticeforFCchildren, worked alongside other campaigners to successfully lobby the Government to review unsafe contact orders and the removal of children by the family courts. A report, published by the Ministry of Justice in June 2020 laid bare many hard truths about long-standing failings, including harming children by placing them in danger by “enabling the continued control of children and adult victims of domestic abuse by alleged abusers, as well as the continued abuse of victims and children.”
Victoria is now passionately driven to bring about the radical changes necessary to protect domestic abuse survivors and their children from harmful and unjust state systems and structures, by making the family courts and their proceedings more transparent.
Like too many other women experiencing domestic violence and abuse, instead of protecting them, the state colluded with Victoria’s abuser in the most punishing way possible by severing mother and child. In September 2018, Victoria’s daughter (then aged 2) was physically and forcibly removed from her family home and placed under a Care Order with her ex-partner, who is not biologically related to her. Many other children in domestic abuse cases are severed from their mothers by adoption; the mother being blamed for the abuse rather than protected, and their right to family life permanently erased.
For Victoria and other mothers in her position, it is ironic that the Joint Committee on Human Rights, is conducting an inquiry into hundreds of forced adoptions that severed babies from unmarried mothers during the 1950s to 1970s, when mothers experiencing domestic abuse are currently facing similar infringements of human rights in the family courts.
Victoria is requesting the Ministry of Justice immediately review of her case in the family courts and is requesting the Joint Committee on Human Rights conduct an inquiry into whether family court decisions are breaching rights to family life.
 “Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases” (Ministry of Justice, June 2020)
If you want to support Victoria’s campaign, you can do three things:
First and foremost, email a letter to Lord David Wolfson MP, Minister for Family Courts to request that he instigates an immediate review of Victoria’s own case in the family courts. If successful, this will provide a test case for the campaign and lead to further reviews. Use this letter to draft your own. His email is email@example.com
You can also email a letter to Ms Harriet Harman MP, Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, requesting that alongside the current review into historic forced adoptions, she also orchestrates a review of family court decisions in relation to their impact upon the rights of children and birth mothers to family life. Use this letter to draft your own. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Help Victoria to get more supporters and allies by following and sharing #JusticeforFCchildren on Twitter @Victoria_Hudson and Facebook facebook.com/getmhome
 “Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases” (Ministry of Justice, June 2020)
For many years I have suffered from depression – too many years – which became severe when my son was born and I emotionally broke down. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I suffered from depression until many years later and I was suicidal but knew I didn’t really want to die. I believed what I was told, that I was moody, there were people far worse off than me and I didn’t have anything to be depressed about.
Even in my teens, I was prone to suicidal thoughts which I couldn’t understand and I felt guilty for my thoughts. I didn’t have anybody I felt I could trust enough not to say anything about how I felt. Suffering in silence isn’t worth it.
When my son was adopted life really wasn’t worth living for but wanting to kill myself was scarier to deal with. I couldn’t trust anybody as my parents had betrayed my trust. Instead, I put on an act so even now very few people know me 100%. I find it hard to explain how I feel on a daily basis to anybody which is generally feeling extremely low mst of the time.