Adoption UK has provided expert advice in the end pages of Baby Love, the heart-breaking, compelling, and timely new novel from best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson, out on 17th March 2022.
Set in 1960, Baby Love is a story for older readers (aged 12+) about teen pregnancy, family trouble and unlikely friendships.
At the end of the novel, Adoption UK provides the reader with context around how both societal attitudes and adoption have changed since the 1960s. It also highlights some of the issues adopted people still experience today – including identity and the complexities of having two families – and signposts anyone affected by any of the topics raised in the novel, to Adoption UK’s helpline.
In Baby Love, Wilson – best known for her much-loved character, Tracy Beaker – recreates the world of suburban 1960, when so many issues were swept under the carpet, and most tragically, when many young mothers were pressured to give up their babies because they were unmarried.
The book follows Laura, whose life changes forever after a French exchange student insists on walking her home one afternoon. When her family discover Laura is pregnant, they send her away to a Mother and Baby Home to have her baby given up for adoption.
At the height of the 1960s, more than 16,000 British babies were adopted – many against the will of their birth mothers. The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights is currently holding an inquiry into the forced adoption of babies of unmarried mothers during the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Alison Woodhead, Adoption UK’s Director of Public Affairs and Communications said: “We are so proud to be included in this moving book about teenage pregnancy, motherhood, and adoption in the 1960s, which gives a voice to girls like Laura, who had little choice in how their lives turned out.
“Thankfully, adoption has changed radically since then. Today, a child is only placed for adoption when it is not safe for them to stay with their birth family because of abuse, violence, or neglect. But we owe it to these women and their children to face up to the wrong that was done to them in different times.
“What happened to them is heart-breaking and indefensible which is why we once again call on the Government to do the right thing and apologise to them.”