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This page will be devoted to breaking news in adoption and also news of Origins events

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Federal push to review adoptions

CAROL NADER

THE AGE, April 22, 2010

 

FEDERAL Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin will raise past adoption practices with her state counterparts after calls for an apology or inquiry from some women coerced into giving up their babies.

 

The federal government commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies to review past adoption practices to help piece together what happened. The recently released review found that relinquishing a child for adoption had the potential for lifelong consequences for the women and their now grown children. But it says there is no reliable data on the number of women coerced into adopting out babies, or how many report continuing negative effects.

 

It says understanding of the full impact of past practices is needed to be able to help those affected.

 

It is believed to mainly affect single women who were pregnant between the 1940s and the 1970s. The report says research suggests that from the 1940s it was ''seen as desirable to relinquish children as early as possible - straight after birth''. Women's magazines became fierce advocates for adoption and in the 1940s and '50s waiting lists of prospective adoptive parents grew.

 

The report's author, Daryl Higgins, general manager of research at the institute, said: ''No one is disputing what has happened in the past. There are opportunities for doing further work to understand the current need - the emotional needs, the psychological health needs - of those who were affected by past practices. The breadth of the evidence shows that this was not a unique or isolated event and it's associated with significant long-term impacts for these women, including grief and loss and trauma.''

 

Some women have said they were heavily drugged, affecting their capacity to give consent. Other women were not permitted to see their baby after birth and not told of their right to change their mind about relinquishing a baby.

 

This was raised in parliamentary inquiries in Tasmania and New South Wales but, the report says, it would take significant research to determine the extent to which these practices were widespread.

 

Kate O'Dwyer, who is on the committee of the Association of Relinquishing Mothers, is one who has been pressing for an apology. She does not oppose an inquiry but says other inquiries have left women with no support after they told their stories.

 

''They are left feeling bereft,'' she said. ''The thing that women need is counselling.''

A spokeswoman for Ms Macklin said the report would be carefully considered, and the minister would raise the issue with her state colleagues at their next meeting in June.

 

''We have started a dialogue with women affected by past adoption practices,'' she said.

Denise Cuthbert, a professor in Monash University's school of political and social inquiry, is one year into a four-year project looking at past adoption practices. It is a historical investigation of adoption legislation and policy in Australia. There is also an interactive website, where people can share their stories.

 

''There were probably many occasions where, judged by today's standards, women weren't treated well,'' she said.

 

http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/historyofadoption/index.php

 

 

 

Head Qld Doctor Admits baby theft in Channel Seven Interview

June 2007

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  Well, my friends, on behalf of the hospital, in recognition of the suffering and the pain that you’ve gone through for so many years, I’d like to offer you this letter of apology and also to wish you the best for the future and, hopefully, you will gain a lot from the counselling that you’re about to receive.  Thank you very much.   

 

INTERVIEWER:  So, Professor Jones, can you tell me how today came about?

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  Well, first of all, I got a phone call from our colleagues here in the background saying that they really wanted to meet us and they said that, over a number of years, the hurt of having their babies taken away from them hadn’t gone away.  So that was one thing.  The next thing they came across with was, not only does it affect them but it also affects the child who’d been taken away.  The child has been sort of brought up with the idea that, “My mother didn’t want me.”  But that’s far from the truth.  So this is another thing – that we wanted to make sure that we gave the ladies something to give to their children to say “Look, we didn’t want to give you up; we really loved you.  But, unfortunately, things aren’t like they are now with so much support around where women who are in this circumstance would be looked after exactly the same as anybody else – they would be informed about their choices; they can make choices – whereas these poor women didn’t have that choice at all.  Things were just done to them.  The system, as it was, thought they were doing the right thing.  But that’s not true.  It was miles out.  So, anyway, the mothers were upset, the children are still upset, and then we’re also concerned about the adoptive parents.  Some of them also found it difficult to take a child who’s been given up because nobody wanted it which, again, is far from the truth.  So the ladies came to meet us.  They’ve met the senior social workers in the hospital; they’ve met the senior nursing person for the hospital, Miss Narelle Pridhams(?), and we’ve come to an agreement as to what we should do.  And the first thing that we did was to write a letter to answer their questions and provide something tangible so they could give it to their children to say, “Well, this is really what did happen” and this hospital – the Royal Women’s Hospital – has acknowledged, “Hey, we didn’t do things right and we want to put things right.”  So, after that, they’re now at the step where, this afternoon, some of them are actually going to receive some counselling and I think this is all very important.  So we’ve got -- we need to do things better for these women.  And these are the brave ones who’ve come forward.  There’s a large number of them behind this group who will also come forward, we hope, and will also be able to get some help.  So that’s that group; we’re looking after them.  We hope we’re going to be looking after the children and then if any of the adoptive parents have got any issues, we’re happy to talk to them as well.  So this is what we’re doing. 

 

INTERVIEWER:  It’s almost like another “Stolen Generation” that Australians don’t know about. 

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  It is.  You’re absolutely right.  And that’s what I felt the first time I heard their stories. You know, I’ve been an obstetrician now since 1975 and, in 1975, things like that were happening.  But now, it’s just so -- so different, which is very very good.  Obviously, you’ve got the Government recognising these people are Australians and they need help and they give them some help.  There’s all the social work backup they can have and you don’t have to give your babies up anymore.  There are some women, of course, who did choose to do that.  Well, okay, that’s their business and that’s the way they want to run it but there are obviously many more who don’t want to give up their babies and we’ve got to be alert to this and help them achieve what they want to do. 

 

INTERVIEWER:  This was a fairly common practice telling -- telling unwed single mums that adoption was the only option?

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  Yes, I’m afraid it was.  And so these young women, coming into a big centre - who often moved away from their home - coming into some form of hostel, by themselves, being asked to do work to sort of pay for their board and then coming into the big hospital - which obviously wasn’t like it is today - frightened and then just told what they were going to do.  Often didn’t see the baby; the baby was taken away from them.  They often didn’t even know whether it’s a boy or girl.  So this is incredibly sad. 

 

INTERVIEWER:  So this is a very brave step of this hospital, actually acknowledging it - and in writing. 

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  Well, it’s a step in the right direction but I think we’ve got to have the courage to do these sorts of things.  But I think the bravery is with our ladies behind us.  These are the ladies who brought this forward.  They’ve got their society and they’re helping other women - the ones you just don’t see. 

 

INTERVIEWER:  So you’re saying you’d like to offer support to some other ladies who might have gone through the same...

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  If they need it.  But these are our flagship people.  They’re the ones who are going to tell us what we need to do; is there anybody else we can identify and how we can help them.  

 

INTERVIEWER:  Would you like other hospitals around Australia to follow suit?

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  I think that would go without saying.  Yes. 

 

INTERVIEWER:  This is just almost inconceivable, in this day and age, to think that this could have happened. 

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  Which is not that long ago.  I mean, you may think it is, but...

 

INTERVIEWER:  Well, not that -- yes.

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  ...the ladies and myself don’t think that way - that long ago - yes, so, certainly in my business as a 'working man' in my lifetime. 

 

INTERVIEWER:  So do they say -- I mean, were the babies virtually stolen?  Is that what’s being acknowledged now? 

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  Yes.  And sometimes the women were asked to sign on the dotted line when they’d been given morphine and all those sorts of things.  We’re not allowed to get a consent for an operation if anybody’s under some form of influence.  So these ladies were under an influence, if you want to put it that way, of the medication that they were given to “zonk them out” so that they wouldn’t suffer.  But, in fact, of course, they’ve obviously suffered a lot. 

 

INTERVIEWER:  Professor Jones, is there anything else you wanted to say?

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  No, I think that’s it, thank you. 

 

INTERVIEWER:  (To video operator)  Let’s stop there.

 

PROFESSOR JONES:  (To women standing at back of room)  Is that good enough?

 

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON 1:  That’s okay.

 

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON 2:  Yes!

 

   

 

Kidnapped children adoptions claim probed

August 22, 2008 07:09pm

Article from: AAP

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THE Queensland Government has pledged to assist authorities investigating claims poor Indian children have been kidnapped and adopted out to Australian families.

More than a dozen attractive children kidnapped from Indian slums have ended up being adopted in Australia, TIME Magazine has reported.

The magazine interviewed an Indian mother named Fatima whose two-year-old daughter Zabeen was allegedly kidnapped seven years ago.

According to the magazine, police in India now say she was processed by Malaysian Social Services (MSS) and adopted by a family in Queensland.

Queensland Child Safety Minister Margaret Keech today described the allegations as concerning.

"This is a terrible predicament for a family who loves their adoptive children,'' Ms Keech said.

"Adoption Services Queensland (ASQ) will offer any assistance it can to Indian, federal and state agencies investigating the claims.

"We were not aware of the child kidnap allegations until last year ... ASQ conducted an audit of Indian children who were adopted into Queensland between 1995 and 2007.''

She said they found only two of the 23 adoptions were through MSS and one was adopted two years before the period of 1998-99, when children were allegedly kidnapped in India.

Adoptions from India had to be authorised by a court, she said.

"The adoption of the Queensland child who was allegedly stolen was authorised by the Madras High Court in March 2000,'' she said.

TIME Magazine said Indian police believed at least 13 kidnapped children have been adopted by Australian families.

Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland said the government was treating the allegations seriously.

"I am aware of allegations regarding child trafficking and share concerns for the safety of children adopted from overseas,'' Mr McClelland said.

"I have asked my department to make direct contact with the Indian authorities and provide me with a brief on any potential legal issues arising in India and Australia.

"I will ensure that any matters arising are duly acted upon by my department and where relevant are passed on for states and territories to implement.''

MOTHERS NEEDED FOR MAJOR ACADEMIC STUDY REGARDING POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER!
The Baby Scoop Era Research Initiative (BSERI) is participating in the initial stages of a research project.  The project is the work of two psychological researchers in the UK and will explore adoption loss during the BSE with subsequent development of PTSD.  We are collecting personal accounts  regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in mothers who lost children to adoption during the Baby Scoop Era (approximately post WWII through Roe v. Wade).
 
If you are willing to participate in this first round of data collection, please write up your story (include dates, and all physical, mental, medical, and emotional consequences post-surrender) and email it to bseri@babyscoopera.com 
 
Origins, Inc. NSW (Australia) is collecting submissions for Oz.  Trackers International (Forgotten Mothers) is collecting submissions for the UK.  BSERI is collecting submissions from mothers in the United States.
 
(Please keep your submission to no more than 2 pages, single spaced.  Names and other identifying information will not be published.)

 
** VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE!!  Your submission MUST be accompanied by a note stating that it may be used anonymously for this research project.
 
If you have any questions, please contact BSERI at the email provided above.

 

 

Wonderful News Dian to be Hounored in National Gallery Canberra read below

I am delighted to inform you that Dian Wellfare has been selected as one of the Unsung Heroes for the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) and ABC TV’s My Favourite Australian project. As you know, through a national ABC campaign, the Australian public were asked to nominate their Unsung Heroes. A selection of 20 Unsung Heroes was then made by a curatorium comprising NPG and ABC professional personnel. We are unsure which family members of Dian’s we should officially correspond with to tell them of her selection and as such I am sending this group email to you all, her close friends, who nominated her.   

My Favourite Australian will be a multimedia exhibition planned as one of the inaugural exhibitions for the new NPG, which opens on 3 December 2008. The exhibition will be located in the Introductory Gallery – the first Gallery the public enters in the new building. It is a unique multi-platform collaboration between the NPG and ABC TV and is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the Nelson Meers Foundation.

My Favourite Australian will include 30 short duration moving image portraits (one to three minutes each) created by leading Australian new media artists and film makers. As previously mentioned the Australian people actively developed and selected this exhibition by voting for their favourite Popular Australians and nominating their Unsung Heroes. In the popular category the public voted for Australians in the public sphere, from any walk of life, and inclusion was determined by the number of votes. While in the Unsung Hero category the public nominated inspirational figures and community leaders who are not so well known.

In addition to the NPG exhibition, the moving image portraits will be presented for broadcast as short videos on ABC1 and ABC2 and will also be able to be viewed via streaming and downloading on a dedicated ABC website. The ABC also plans to produce an hour documentary on the project which it intends to screen during prime time to coincide with the launch of the new Gallery building.

The Gallery is indeed excited Dian’s inclusion in this inaugural exhibition. We feel it is very important that the first exhibition entered in the new NPG includes a selection of Australians chosen by the public. The Gallery also believes it is vital that focus is given to the Unsung Hero in this exhibition; investigating the lives of everyday but inspirational Australians who make up our communities.

No adoption rights for same-sex couples: Bligh

Posted 5 hours 50 minutes ago

Ms Bligh says only about 20 babies are now put up for adoption each year in Queensland.

Ms Bligh says only about 20 babies are now put up for adoption each year in Queensland. (ABC News: Tom MacLean, file photo)

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says same-sex couples will not be allowed to adopt children under proposed new laws.

State Cabinet yesterday approved several changes, including allowing de facto couples in long-term relationships to adopt.

The Government has also released a discussion paper on whether to give children and 'birth parents' involved in pre-1991 adoptions more access to information about each other.

Ms Bligh says only about 20 babies are now put up for adoption each year in Queensland.

"In an environment when you have such a small number of babies and such a large number of couples seeking to adopt, the onus is on the state to make a judgement about the best possible placement for a child and the prospect of that being anything other than couples as I have described, we think is very low," she said.

 

18 years of abuse is finally coming to an end in Queensland Sec 39 is going, going, and soon to be gone!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
 

Minister’s Message

 

The Bligh Government is reviewing laws around the release of information about adoptions prior to

June 1991.

This consultation paper asks for your views on the best way to give adopted people and birth

parents equal access to information about their history.

It is our goal to give all people the same access to information about their family history, while

maintaining the right to privacy. There are almost 3,000 Queenslanders who currently do not have

access to information about their identity – information all other Queenslanders take for granted.

Not knowing facts as simple as your birth name or who your biological parents are can be extremely

traumatic. Equally there are those parents whose children were adopted all those years ago who

have been haunted by not knowing what happened to their child.

This is clearly a complex and sensitive issue and there are many considerations, especially around a

person’s right to privacy.

I know people will have strong opinions about the possibility of this information being made

available, and that’s why we’re asking the people of for their thoughts on how we can

best strike a balance.

Reform of the Adoption of Children Act 1964 is about bringing ’s adoption legislation

into the 21st Century. Society’s views on adoption have changed considerably since the 1960s and

our laws need to reflect that.

I invite you to express your views about the future of ’s adoption law by making a

submission as part of the consultation period.

Margaret Keech MP

Minister for Child Safety

Minister for Women

Introduction

has the most restrictive adoption laws in . This is the only state to allow

objections to contact and to the release of identifying information to operate in perpetuity ie even

beyond death.

The Queensland Government believes it is time to review the laws that allow people to obtain

identifying adoption information and to lodge objections to information being released. These laws

are set out in part 4A of the Adoption of Children Act 1964. The review will consider whether part 4A

of the Act continues to appropriately protect the rights and best balance the interests of all parties

to adoption orders made in .

The Government wants to find out how part 4A has operated since it was first introduced in 1991.

Having your say

Anyone affected by adoption in and other interested people are invited to provide

written comments on the proposals outlined in this paper.

This paper seeks to generate informed public comment on the most effective way to balance the

competing interests between people wanting to access identifying adoption information about their

birth parents, birth children or siblings and people wishing to remain anonymous from their birth

parents, birth children or siblings.

This paper does not reflect Queensland Government policy. It has been prepared to help the

Government consult with the community about whether part 4A of Adoption of Children Act 1964

should be reformed.

Queenslanders, and particularly people affected by adoption orders made in , are

encouraged to provide their views on any issues or comments they consider relevant to obtaining

adoption information or the operation of part 4A of the Act.

You can provide your views in one of three ways:

online on the ConsultQld website: www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au

by completing the enclosed feedback form and posting it to:

New Adoption Laws

Department of Child Safety

GPO

QLD 4001

by email to adoptionlegislation@childsafety.qld.gov.au

The closing date for responses is .

Public access to submissions and privacy statement

 
Changes flagged for Queensland adoption laws
 
Article from: The Courier-Mail

By Steven Wardill

July 14, 2008 02:21pm

MORE than 3000 adopted Queenslanders could be given access to information about their birth parents for the first time, with a discussion paper released.

Premier Anna Bligh today released a discussion paper which proposes lifting the veto on access to information for most adoptions before 1991.

 "Our adoption laws, which have not been comprehensively reformed in over four decades, are the most restrictive in the country and that is not good enough".

Other measures the government will push ahead with include extending the right to adopt to de facto couples and giving fathers additional rights before and after a child is adopted.

Proposed adoption law changes too little too late: Opposition

Posted 3 hours 35 minutes ago
Updated 3 hours 31 minutes ago

The State Opposition says talk of changes to Queensland's adoption laws is too little too late for many families.

The Government has released a discussion paper on whether to give children and birth parents involved in adoptions before 1991 more access to information about each other.

The Opposition's Jann Stuckey says the Government has been reviewing the arrangements for years without acting.

"I have been told countless stories of heartache and misery by people who simply want to know who they are and some personal history," Ms Stuckey said.

"The contact can still be refused, but it's a matter of having a right to know who you are."

Queensland Child Safety Minister Margaret Keech says possible changes to adoption laws would still protect the privacy of parents who do not want to be contacted.

Ms Keech says the Government is considering adopting the model used in Western Australia, to protect the privacy of birth mothers who do not want contact with their children.

"When a person was given information, identifying information, they had to sign a legally enforceable undertaking that they would not contact that person because that person may not want to have their lives be intruded on," she said.

Linda Bryant from adoption support group Origins says changing the law would help the healing process for adopted children and mothers who were forced to give their babies up.

"If they can just find out where their child is and how it's grown up and everything, that will be a way for them to move on and for the adoptees it's even a bigger issue because they can now find out who they are, get a birth certificate," she said.

The Popes Visit
I have written to the Popes man here asking if the Pope will apologise for the Churchs role in the illegal adoption trade here in Australia. He has referred my letter on to the Popes advisor, of course we wont hold our breath. In case some of you may have forgot here is the Catholics apology to us during the NSW Inquiry Into Adoption Practices, if anyone is interested in the contact details of the Pronunciate drop me a line  

catholicapology012.jpg

 
Overhaul of NSW's adoption system
Morris Iemma.

Morris Iemma.
Photo: Jon Reid

This is all about simplifying the processes for those that want to adopt
Advertisement
Peter Hawkins
July 11, 2008 - 12:08PM

The Premier Morris Iemma today announced an overhaul of the state's adoption system, making it easier for foster carers to adopt children.

Mr Iemma and the Minister for Community Services, Kevin Greene, announced the new laws during a morning visit to the home of parents who have adopted two children from overseas.

Under the state's new plan it will be cheaper, allow women to apply for adoption while trying to have their own children through fertility programs and will simplify the process by cutting the red tape which currently exists.

The plan is also aimed at making adoption more attractive for foster carers by allowing them to retain foster care allowances until the child is 18 years old.

The time step parents or other relatives need to have had a relationship with the child prior to adoption will also be reduced to two years.

The Premier also said adoption fees will be decreased in order to make the process more attractive.

"We are going to make it easier for carers to open their hearts and care for a child in need. We are also going to make it easier for the Supreme Court to grant overseas adoptions. This is all about simplifying the processes for those that want to adopt."

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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