Origins Response to Senate Recommendations

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Senate Inquiry Petition

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Origins SPSA Inc

Response to Recommendations of the

Final Report into Forced Adoption

Recommendation 1

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes the committee recommendation for a national framework to address consequences of former forced adoption practices. We hope that such will support service provisions including, specialized health treatment, uniform adoption legislation, free information, historical research, education to bring about public awareness of past forced adoption practices, redress and a number of other services to enhance the lives of those affected.

Recommendation 2

Origins SPSA Inc acknowledges there will be some for whom a sincere apology and acknowledgment of past forced adoption practices will be sufficient, though the majority of members of Origins have the mandate that an apology from the Federal and State governments will be meaningful and effective only if it consists in a sincere effort to provide tangible mechanisms and not mere words to those impacted by past forced adoption practices.

Recommendation 3

Origins SPSA Inc would expect nothing less than full disclosure of unlawful and harmful past forced adoption practice, as an integral component of any apology delivered by Federal and State governments.

Recommendation 4 – 7

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes these recommendations.

Recommendation 8

Origins SPSA Inc recommends that Medicare should subsidize the treatment of professional counseling and psychiatric treatment for those affected. Professional support should be not distributed through and by past adoption providers – or currently existing agencies that have effectively denied past practices – unless such publicly funded agencies and organisations acknowledge their failure to date to interpret the true nature of adoption, their past practices, and the harm they have inflicted on their clients.

Recommendation 9

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes this recommendation provided it excludes past forced adoption providers and past forced adoption denialists and apologists. We welcome funding of any agency that does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, sex or creed or against those clients affected by multiple issues as definitively identifying as members of one or a combination of such groups as the Stolen Generations, Forgotten Australians, Child Migrants etc.

Recommendation 10

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes this recommendation, as state and territory governments played an integral role in past forced adoption practices and should therefore take responsibility for the latter.

Recommendation 11

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes this recommendation as state and territory governments played an integral role in past forced adoption practices and should therefore take responsibility by establishing redress schemes to demonstrate contrition for such past negligent and unlawful practices.

Along with state and territory governments who played an integral role in past forced adoption practices, religious and non-religious organisations should also take responsibility and establish redress schemes to show contrition for such past negligent and unlawful practices. We would also recommend that there are others for whom redress would not suffice but who would wish to take action through the Supreme Courts. We therefore recommend that the states should put in a moratorium bypassing the Statute of Limitations to provide those who wish to proceed with legal action the opportunity to test their cases.

Recommendation 12 – 15

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes this recommendation

Recommendation 16

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes this recommendation providing it is delivered without discriminatory or financial conditions.

Recommendation 17

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes this recommendation provided it is delivered without discriminatory or financial conditions and that past providers of adoption services are not included.

Recommendation 19 – 20

Origins SPSA Inc welcomes this recommendation

In Conclusion

The committees and branches of Origins SPSA Inc would like to thank the Community Affairs References Committee for the care and compassion they have shown towards submitters to the Inquiry. We would also like to thank the committee for the months of hard work around the testing time it has endured in attempting to deliver a balanced and unbiased report given that forced adoption is such an emotionally charged issue. We thank the committee for its patience in dealing with those who have suffered due to forced adoption trauma.

We would also like to express our disappointment that the following comments published in the report by the committee, were not followed up by the committee to establish whether such allegations were well founded or scurrilous attempts to divert attention away from the seriously unlawful nature of the issues brought before the committee.

“The committee notes that there have been “deep division” with certain groups and that there were allegations of “bullying” re: people and groups.[Footnote]

The latter statement has been interpreted by some to mean that Origins SPSA Inc was the offending body of such allegations.

For the sake of setting the record straight, as Origins is a professional organisation it will respond vigorously to any unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations of such a nature.

During the length of the Inquiry, Origins provided public venues including a Facebook group, where people could connect to discuss the issues and support one another to submit to the Inquiry. There were a number of individuals who – due to their emotional problems and ignorance of the trauma associated with forced adoption – made comments that inflamed others. This resulted in conflict between mothers and adoptees, no doubt due to the pressure of the Inquiry, and some responded in a way that provoked or hurt others who were unaware of the extent of the trauma of some group members. For example, the adoption language being used by newcomers inflamed mothers who believe that their children were in fact kidnapped from them. And that also did not help the situation.

The committee of Origins would like to emphasize that we are an unfunded organization, run by volunteers, with very limited resources. We provided what we thought would be a service to submitters to help with information pertaining to past forced adoption practices and the Inquiry but found it difficult to contain some of the emotions being expressed in forums which our members facilitated. For the first time many were finding a public voice to express a lifetime of abuse which they typically suffered in silence.

Origins found it necessary to close down the forums on a number of occasions due to certain individuals who continually entered them seemingly deliberately to inflame certain other members of the same. The committee trusted posters to use the Origins resources with integrity; however this has occasionally not been the case. Nevertheless, where there have been problems resulting in conflict, moderators have always endeavored to contain them as speedily as possible.

The committee of Origins would also like to convey that we have been the subject of a number of unfounded and unwarranted attacks – not only on the integrity of our organization – including slanderous and libelous allegations that have witnessed certain individuals attempt to sully the reputation of particular committee members to their employers, politicians and other organisations.

We understand that some people have been disturbed by the dredging up of difficult issues due to the concerted “hate campaign” to which they have been subjected.

We have sought legal advice on the matter and will pursue this issue privately if it continues beyond the scope of the Inquiry.

Regarding our commitment to our members and future clients, Origins SPSA Inc will continue to provide services to the public, as it has done for nearly two decades, whether it is funded or not.

 

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Origins Inc Supporting People Separated by Adoption
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Origins SPSA Inc is an unfunded organisation that relies on the memberships and donations of those that support adoption advocacy. It has not been funded by Federal, State or Church to promote adoption awareness and to the support the aims and objectives of Origins. We rely on those that believe in truth and justice for those affected by past practices, we have a large resource library that is considered to be a national asset that has enabled us to make Federal and State governments accountable for past unlawful practices .  To support us make a donation or join us, a link is available at the bottom of this page to make a contribution