- Origins Aims and Objectives.
- What We Are About.
Some Of Our Background
Well, we are a group of women who have lost children to adoption in Australia. There have been 300,000 adoptions
in Australia since 1923 through to the early nineties. Post war adoptions amounted to approximately 250,000, these adoptions
consisted mostly of newborns.
Most mothers lost children in the period of the late 60's through to the mid 70's. During this peak period
of adoption over 150,000 newborns were taken from their mothers. These children were taken to provide a community service
to infertile couples.
Our group was formed out of the need to focus on two issues.
1. Being the need to address past adoption practices.
2. To focus on the severe emotional consequences
inherent in adoption.
The second need has never been met, thus minimising it by government and post adoption counsellors. Counselling
was given mostly by adoption agencies who over-saw a huge number of adoptions in Australia. Needless to say this has not resulted
in the mothers being given a full account of the adoption experience, validation of her loss or an explanation of her legal
We are a non-funded group who rely on donations and membership contributions from our members. We are fully
independent from any government, religious or other charitable institutions.
Our group was started in 1995 by a small group of women who wanted to address issues of adoption
that conventional agencies did not cover adequately, such as emotional, psychological, and legal issues. We now have a large
membership in every state of Australia and also have connections with the U.K. and New Zealand.
Aims and Objectives:
Support: To provide confidential support and information through phone support and support meetings
where members have the freedom to speak and be heard in a safe place.
Healing: To promote the process of healing the emotional damage caused by adoption separation
Reunion: To assist in the reunion of family members separated by adoption.
Awareness: To promote community awareness and understanding of the lifelong consequences of
adoption, separation and secrecy.
Research: To encourage and promote research into the mental health consequences and social issues
associated with adoption.
Redress: To seek acknowledgement, validation, accountability and redress for negligent adoption
Reform: To encourage and promote legislative, social and administrative reforms that address
the needs of people already separated by adoption.
What we are about:
We are about informing the community on adoption practices in Australia. I will be dedicating my page to adoption
practices in Queensland. There have been approximately 50,000 adoptions in Queensland, most of which took place in the peak
years of adoption between the mid to late 50's to the early 70's.
The majority of these adoptions were the newborn babies of unwed and unsupported mothers.
In Queensland it was the "usual practice" (Term used by the Minister for Health) for the hospital to separate
the baby from the mother at birth if it was thought the baby was to be adopted.
Was It was the "usual practice" to forbid the married mother eye contact with her child and fill the mother
full of stupefying and carcinagenic drugs, all without asking her first would she like to have this kind of medical treatment?
I think not.
In my case the delivering doctor and nurse must have thought my baby was to be adopted. Of course they forgot
to ask me, his mother, first. This type of treatment constituted discriminatory hospital practice. Was this illegal. You betcha!
It gets Worse
The baby was then locked away in a nursery and the mother did not usually get to see her child. Some mothers
were lucky to see their baby but only after they had signed the adoption consent papers.
What they forgot in their rush to take our babies was the fact that the single mother had the same rights
as a married woman. She was to be treated the same way as a married woman, because the Adoption of Children Act never came
into play until the mother had signed the consent. The adoption consent was not allowed to be signed until at least five days
after the birth. In other words it was illegal to forbid a mother access to her child.
It was the procedure of the day for the hospital or any place where an illegitimate child was born to send
to the Department of Childrens Services a "Report of Investigation". This was to notify the department of the birth of an
illegitimate child and was done regardless of the mothers age.
A department officer would then go and investigate the circumstances under which she had given birth. If it
was found she had given birth while being under the age of majority she would be forced to sign her child over to adoption
under the threat of her being taken into care and control.
If she managed to escape the report of investigation, her situation would be reported to the department when
she registered the birth of her child to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The Registrar would then send a Birth/Death
of an Illegitimate Child certificate to the department notifying them of the birth.
The mother was caught up in a net from which there was little or no escape, with the eventual outcome being
the loss of her child.
You mean to say we had Rights?
What the Department of Childrens Services, Hospitals, Social Workers and every one else neglected to tell
the mother was that she had the same rights as any other mother, married or otherwise.
The mothers rights by law, were to be treated the same as any other mother when she went to the hospital to
deliver her child, in other words she could see her child, she could hold her child and she could name her child the same
as any other mother.
The mother was the legal guardian of her child until she signed the consent to her childs adoption and up
until the adoption order was made.
She was to be informed by the Social Worker of her entitlements such as financial assistance, alternatives
to adoption, such as foster care and she was to be informed of future dire regret if she surrendered her child for adoption
Only after she had been given all these options was an adoption to proceed.
The Truth will Finally come Out.
A Parliamentary Inquiry into Adoption Practices has begun in New South Wales. The outcomes of this inquiry
will finally reveal the truth about adoption practices in Australia. This affects all of us who have lost children, because
there were no borders or boundaries to the systematic adoption practices that occurred in this country.
This inquiry is the most historical event in world history in relation to adoption and the eyes of the world
are watching us.
If you have been affected by adoption, I would welcome contact on the following email address.
- We welcome new members and we also have monthly support meetings.
- We also offer an informative newsletter and welcome any donations to assist us in our cause.
My name is Linda and I am available for support and information on Queensland adoption issues.
Linda's email (email@example.com)