Barbara, I was in Geneva from 1961-1962. I am sorry you had a difficult time in there. I didn’t. It was like heaven to me. My “home” was a dark, bottomless pit, full of ignorance, promiscuity, and poverty, neglect and ABUSE. I was 13, when I went. Prior to then, I was in the Audy Home, 3 times and Chicago Parental School once. All of the people in those places, were pretty nice to me and I was HUNGRY for love, thus, all was good. I kept running away because I did not like being cursed, beaten and dogged and who would, especially, if you are a child? During the times I was in my room, I read and did my homework, therefore, I made good use of my being locked in my room. During the time I was there, we were allowed to talk at the dining room tables, just couldn’t get to loud. Once again, I am so sorry that you had a bad experience in Geneva, but try (and I know it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, TO SAY THE LEAST) to forget about it, ONCE AGAIN, I understand, that it is hard BUT you can do it. I have had to deal with the same thing, in relationship to my birth mother. She NEVER like me, and not only did she TELL ME THAT, SHE SHOWED ME THAT. I grew to HATE HER ALSO. Prior to her death, she told my adopted aunt, that she was sorry but it was to late by then. MUCH TO LATE. I still try to forgive her but it is difficult. I give thanks, to my EXTENDED FAMILY, (which includes, some of the matrons in Geneva) everyday. I could not have made it without them.
I have had decent jobs and I have a Master’s Degree and a Realtors License.
Sharon, I am sorry for you bad experience in Geneva. Yes, I do remember the unit but I did not know where it was. I got into a fight there but I was put in my room for a couple of days, I never tried to escape but I had several friends that tried. They were caught and place in the unit. They said it was just a mattress on the floor, with a toilet and wash basin.
I can only speak for myself, but Geneva was much better then being at “home.” Three square meals, clean clothes, education, recreation, social workers, WORK, friends, it was great for me.
Marylyn ~ Geneva was different when i was there ~ and i definitely did not have the picnic that you seemed to have found there lol ~ Geneva changed administators at least twice in the 5 years i spent growing up there [both of whom ran the place completely differently] and even without reading all the stories i can tell you that some very bad things happened there during my time ~ i am sixty one and not about anyones drama deary ~ i had good and bad experiences in Geneva ~ and i WAS put into full restraints on several occasions for fighting and for trying to escape ~ just because you didnt see it happen does not mean it is not true ~ we fighters were put into restraints in a part of Geneva which we referred to as the UNiT [solitary confinment] ~ which were the cells beneath oak cottage ~ i remember it like it was yesterday ~ if oak cottage was there in the 50s then so was the unit and you would be familiar with it as well if you were a fighter ~ having said that ~ there were girl in Geneva who only had short stays and maybe there stay was not as bad as some ~ and managed to leave Geneva unscathed ~ good for you ~ happy you do not have the lifelong scars that place has given me ~ peace and love ~ Sharon]]>
Mary ~ there is a possibility that you can gain access to those records if they are still in existance ~i was in Geneva some years after your mothers time ~ however it was a well known fact that many of the babies were forcefully taken from their mothers ~ that in itself was a crime against humanity ~ i remember how the girls would cry a lot when it came closer to the birthing time ~ because the babies were taken right from birth and many mothers never even got to see their babes before that were stolen away ~ so any papers that may have been signed were under threat/ duress ~ even so you may still need to hire an attorney ~ in my time if you had a familiy member who the state deemed as fit who would be willing to take the baby then they got to keep- it in the family ~ otherwise they were taken away and placed up for adoption ~ also heard that there was profit being made by the institutions administrators at one time ~not sure if any of this information helps ~ however sealed document should only pertain to legal adoptions ~ some were legal and some were definitely not ~ Your Mother is probably gone by now and hope her spirit rests in peace]]>
Mary, I don’t know how you can find out. People are wanting to access their records but I don’t know if that’s possible except through a Freedom of Information process. I wish I could be more helpful. I live in Australia and don’t even know the laws around this information. If you do any research and are able to find out how people can gain information, would you please share with us? I wish you well, Mary. I hope you are able to find the answers you seek.
Was anyone that visits this site, in Geneva at that time – 1942? If so, please let us know. That might be a help to Mary.