Fiction vs Family Law: Suffragette and the history of adoption

    That said, there were a number of provisions written into the law for cases where the child had been abandoned or neglected, and it wouldn’t have been impossible to argue that Maud’s actions, which at one point in the film see her let go from her job, counted as both of those.

    Adoption laws have changed a lot over the years. In 1976 adoptees gained the right to see their original birth certificate and other information relating to their biological parents, while the Children and Adoption Act 2006 focused on ensuring that when children are adopted from overseas the process is both safe and legal.

    Though it seems like we’re playing catch-up in terms of legislation when it comes to adoption it’s clear that in the past 81 years things have improved greatly for all parties involved. These days not only Maud but her son and the rich couple looking to adopt him would have rights, and the entire process would much more be fair and transparent.

    Image ‘Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst’, photographer unknown, public domain.