1. History of Sec 39 Queensland Adoption of Children Act
2. Adoption Information Legislation to enable identifying information to be made available to persons separated by adoption
was passed by unanimous vote by all three parties in the Queensland parliament and received Royal assent on 25/5/90
it was due to become effective 1/3/91
3. A small group comprising mainly of adoptive parents mounted a highly effective campaign to bring in an objection to
contact/information amendment to the act
4. On Monday 4/2/91 Cabinet approved changes to the legislation.
5. These brought in Sec 39 Objection to Contact/Information which
carried a prison sentence of 2 years and a fine of $6000 to persons who tried to contact the person lodging the objection
6. Changes were instigated by a small group of adoptive parents who were influential enough to effect changes before the
legislation had time to prove itself
7. The question is, how did this group managed to convince the
then in 1991Minister Ann Warner to amend the legislation after she supported the original legislation so vigorously.
8. Jigsaw newsletter Oct/Nov 1990 states that they believe the group who pressured the Govt to amend the legislation was named the APPG (Adoption Privacy
Protection Group). This was made up of adoptive parents who appear not to have told their adult children that they were adopted,
as phone calls and other action was from the parents and not their adult children.
9. Jigsaw also reports that they had received a number of phone calls from adoptees who were pressured into signing an
Objection to Contact Form
10. Minutes from APPG meeting dated 5th December 1990. It is noted that some well known politicians were in fact associated with this group
11. It had
come to the notice of Origins that after the legislation had changed in Qld allowing persons to sign an Objection to Contact
and Information Form, that the APPG was instructing adoptive parents how to fraudulently
place contact objections without the adoptees knowledge.
informed the Minister of Families Kev Lingard of this in 1996
January 1998 –
28/10/98 Lily Arthur raised the matter with the Qld
Ombudsman Frank King who instigated an investigation he responded to me on 28 /10/98 Mr King stated that the complaint served to highlight the possibility
of fraudulent objections. He asked the Department to review the placing of witnessing verifications as a result they changed
the format of the objection form.
14. 17th Feb 1999 Origins also informed
the Minister Anna Bligh of the APPG’s activities and provided evidence of their activities, in the form of a hand written
note from an adoptive mother representing the APPG, explaining how to lodge a fraudulent objection.
15. The woman ( D.L .) Following the discussion on how to lodge a fraudulent objection sent down to a mother in NSW (who was pretending
to be an adopter) a contact/information objection form. Upon the form was stuck
a large note reminding the person not to use their own address but to use a solicitors address or a PO box in case the adoptee collects the mail
16. This information was passed on to Origins
17. 31st March 1999 Origins received a letter
from Anna Bligh stating our allegations of fraudulent objections were substantiated and that up to date there had been no
18. 12th April 1999 Lily Arthur received a letter from Minister Anna Bligh in relation to sec 39in which she
says there would be widespread consultation with the community if there was to be a review of the Act
19. 20th August 1999 Lily Arthur
received a letter from Mr Peter Beatties office in response to my complaints
of adoption legislation in respect of sec 39
20. 9th September 1999 The Department sent a letter acknowledging the input of Origins to the new contact/objection
21. January 2000 We received a letter from the Children’s Commissioner in response to a number of submission both from Lily Arthur
and many women from Queensland who were trying
to bring attention to the past abuses of Queendland adoption practices including
the issues of objections
2000 Origins received a letter from solicitor Carmel McCawley of Henzel
Terrace Greenslopes demanding knowledge of the evidence that Origins had in its possession in relation to her clients the
2000 By this time Lily Arthur
had become the secretary of Origins and was acting in this capacity when she
went along with a delegation of mothers
to the Qld Ombudsman office to once again complain of the lack of follow-up by the Department in respect of fraudulent
20th June 2000 as the secretary of Origins she also went to the Qld Police Station at Caboolture in regard
to fraudulent contact objections and gave copies of the evidence along with the letter from Minister Anna Bligh to a Sgt Dale
25. 27th June 2000 Origins solicitor Smith and Associates
instructed Ms McCawley that the evidence/documentation had been placed in the hands of the relevant authorities.
26. June 2001 The Minister Judy Spence agreed to a review of the Adoption of Children Act and categorically stated that sec 39 AA,
39B, 39C and 39C would not be reviewed.
27. 22 February
2002 In a meeting attended by Linda Bryant, Jeanette (a mother)
and Lily Arthur with a departmental worker we once again raised the issues of sect 39 along with many
other matter of major concern regarding the adoption review.
April 2002 Origins received a response from the United Nations in reply to a submission regarding
the breaches of human rights in respect of past unlawful adoptions and the fraud
in sec 39 and the failure of the Government to review these practices and modify
legislation contaminated by fraud
April 2002 Secretary of Origins inc received a letter from the Premier Mr Peter Beattie’s
office in relation to a fax sent to him in response the adoption review and also
into past unlawful practices and the omission to review sec 39. Mr Beattie also acknowledged the fraud was known within the
Department of Families in relation to sec39. (see letter on letter pages)
30. 7th May 2002
We received a letter from the Qld Assistant Ombudsman Trevor Gear explaining why his office could not become involved
in the Adoption Review. Origins and I had passed on to him all the information we had collected in this matter. Mr Gear recommended that we take our complaint to the Crime and Misconduct Commission
31. July 2002 In a meeting
with a departmental worker of the Department of families attended by a mother,
Linda Byrant and Lily Arthur were informed by that the then Minister for Families was
former backbencher and advisor to the then Minister Ann Warner in 1990-1991.
32. At the meeting the worker also gave Lily Arthur a
departmental internal working document in the presence of and Ms Bryant and the
mother. The document not only acknowledges that the Department knew that
a. practices deemed unlawful in New South Wales were carried in Queensland, but the Department
is also well aware of the trauma that such practice have had on the persons affected by past adoption practices in Queensland. (attachment 16)
33. She was very reluctant to give Ms Arthur the document and asked me to destroy the document
when I had finished reading it. Due to the admissions made in the document by the Department of Families It had to keep
the document “in the interest of the public”
34. 12th December 2002 Origins received
a letter from the Adoption Review Team acknowledging our submission we presented to them in respect to past unlawful adoption
It was then discovered that The then Minister for Families was the ALP member
for Mt. Gravatt where the founding members of the APPG were also members of that branch of the Labour Party,
And the mother
who had attended the meeting with the Department son
David “B” was also a member of the ALP, along with his adoptive
father Leonard “B” who was
a long time Labour Party supporter, a union official and a long time friend of the Minister for Families
Origins have asked the Minister on a number of occasions if
she, the then Minister knew members
from the APPG on a personal level and political level.
37. We have asked if Minister also attended the funeral of Leonard “B” the adoptive
father of one of the founding members of the APPG in 2000 and give a eulogy for him. To date these questions have not been
38. In Minister’s inaugural speech to the Queensland Parliament in 1991 she gives particular thanks to Mr Leonard “B” (the adoptive father of David) for his extensive support in her election campaign.(information on Members
webpage Qld Government website)
39. When she became the Minister for Families she announced
the review of the Adoption of Children Act in June 2001 and has omitted sec 39
from the review of the Act
40. Origins had asked the Minister repeatedly why she is not reviewing this section of the Act
and to date she has not responded with a satisfactory answer.
41. The then Minister refused to review
section 39 of the Adoption Information Act in relation to Contact/Information objections even given that the Department and
former Ministers Lingard and Bligh knew that the Objection to Contact/Information part of the Adoption Information Act was
contaminated with fraudulent objections and was in severe need of review..
42. The then Minister had disregarded previous Ministers who held that any future review of
the Adoption Act would encompass the whole act and not selective parts of the act and further, would review the act with widespread
43. The then
Minister and the Department of Families know that the past adoption practices
of Queensland were comparable to practices deemed unlawful in the “Releasing the Past Report” released
in December 2000 from the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Past Adoption Practices, (this was validated by Minister for Health
Ms Wendy Edmonds in a letter to Lily Arthur)
44. To date
the Queensland Premier and Ministers have been ignoring Recommendation 14 of
the “Releasing the Past” report urging that all adoption information legislation and procedures be uniform throughout
now all Ministers have ignored the distress of persons who receive contact/information
objections. This distress has been many times acknowledged by the staff of the Department of Families.
46. The Department
has only had one adoption support counsellor until recently in the Department
to service over 250,000 persons directly affected by adoption
47. To date
the State of Queensland has not given any coherent reasons why it
has ignored the facts of unlawful adoption practices in Queensland.
48. The Qld
Government has had full knowledge from 1965 at the very least that it’s adoption practices were unlawful, unethical
49. The Government
has also known for decades of the long term mental health damage of persons affected by its past unlawful practices.
50. And since
1996 at the very least has known that sec 39 of the Adoption of Children Act has been corrupted by fraud and to this date
has done nothing to expose this breach of law to the wider community, nor to
prosecute the persons who have deliberately broken the law in this area.
51. The Department
had discovered a significant number of fraudulent objection in a cursory investigation
of objections but has failed to investigate the over 3,000 contact objects to discover the extent of the breaches of sec 39
52. The former
Minister and a certain privacy group had been using the pretext of protecting
the privacy of natural mothers as their argument for not reviewing sec 39. And
by their blatant dismissal of the many years of trying to bring this matter to
the attention of the Department and others, thier actions along with their predecessors
have caused those separated by adoption a lot of anxiety and misery.
53. The utter dismissal of Origins concerns in relation to the effects of sec 39 by the State is contemptuous, given that the state and it’s employees
know full well that the Department has routinely provided adoptive parents with identify information since the 1964
Act was introduced. (see attachment of 2 letters from the Department to potential adopters on this website )
54. The evidence
of the breach of the privacy of mothers such as myself was presented and displayed to the Minister in a round
table meeting with various adoption groups on 26th June 2003.
55. Ms Linda Bryant showed the Minister and the attending groups
2 documents one from 1968 and the other from 1978 on an overhead projector (attachment 18)
56. The documents
were sent from the Department to the prospective adoptive parents to take to the hospital where the child for the prospective
adopters was being held. The letter not only gives the name of the natural mother but also the name of the baby.
57. At this
meeting at least 6 of the participants representing adoption groups asked the
Minister to review sec 39 to date she had ignored this direction.
58. Dr Trevor
Jordan an adopted person and also an ethics lecturer at Queensland University
attended the meeting and discussed the legal and ethical consideration
of sec 39, and still to date the Minister has refused to review this part of the Act
And to add insult to injury the Queensland
Government and it’s adoption departments has over all this time lied to mothers by pretending that it’s adoption
legislation was in fact protected by privacy laws, when they were giving out the details of mothers including adoptees to
adopters and yet hiding stolen children their mothers for over 30years.
This government has hidden it’s crimes
against under the 1965 Act and then under further adoption legislation from 1990.
This government not only introduced section
39 of the Act which has been open to fraud but has also been used intimidate and threaten mothers and adoptees with the prospect
of fines and jail if they dare to look for their stolen families.
And by their actions they continue to steal further years of people lives from them
Origins, other organisations including the NSW Standing Committee on Adoption been trying
to bring the abuses of Queensland adoption legislation to the attention of the Ministers of Department of Families and subsequent
department for the past several years and they in their arrogance have dismissed us and many others.
The attitude of the State and it’s representatives have caused untold distress to person affected by adoption, by knowing that
those in power could ignore, thus
condone the major human rights crimes of the State’s past unlawful adoption
practices and now it is time that piece of corrupt legislation Sec 39 be finally
be reviewed and thrown out of the Adoption of Children Act