Jo Fraser was one of an estimated 150,000 women who had their babies forcibly adopted over three decades from the 1950s.
It was a practice sanctioned by governments, churches, hospitals and charities, and a year on from a national apology to her and others, the pain still lingers.
Giving birth in Melbourne in 1971, Ms Fraser, then 17, was too scared to sneak a look at her son.
Later she signed the adoption papers.
“I just did what I was told,” she told AAP.
But unlike many other pregnant teenagers, she wasn’t sent away to an unmarried mothers home, where girls were treated as slave labour.
“I was fortunate my parents kept me at home, but if anyone came to visit I had to stay in my bedroom.”
Ms Fraser went back to school, finished year 12 and studied at university. But she didn’t forget.
“I cried every day and every night for a very long time.”
Eventually, she made contact with her son, when he was 19.
She gave him a letter her father wrote to him.
He told Tim not to blame his mother because she had no say in the matter.
Ms Fraser can’t hate her parents for the decision they made because they lost a grandson as well.
“Nobody won,” she said.
Now her extended family and Tim’s adopted family meet regularly, but nothing will make up for the lost years.
The national apology, delivered by then prime minister Julia Gillard in Parliament House and supported by opposition leader Tony Abbott, was overshadowed by a Labor leadership row initiated by Simon Crean.
“I was so angry about that,” Ms Fraser said.
So angry, she wrote a letter to Mr Crean to tell him how she felt.
Despite the apology, many mothers and their adopted children aren’t getting the help and support needed to heal, she said.
To mark the first anniversary of the apology, the National Archives has launched a website – forcedadoptions.naa.gov广西桑拿网, – that shares the personal stories of women and children affected by forced adoptions.
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
* For more information, visit the Association of Relinquishing Mothers, armsvic南宁夜生活,广西桑拿网,.