One comment I received privately about DLF’s comment to remove Baby Gammy from his mother and place him with a “good family” – I sought and received permission to post publicly:
What constitutes “good”. When I worked at the Dept of Community Services I came across a lot of teen adoptees who were very damaged because of the adopted parents that had been chosen for them. Honestly you would not have given them the worst kind of pet let alone a child. (name withheld).
Brother Alex MacDonald worked with street kids in Melbourne in the 1980s. He made the astounding comment published in a news article that out of 149 drug related suicides he attended – 147 were adoptees.
Psychiatrist Dr. Geoff Rickarby has spoken and written of the large number of adoptees he has seen in his clinical practice. He advised the government as early as the 1970s that potential adopters were not being adequately screened and were not prepared for rearing a child who was so different from them. He was not just talking about physical characteristics, but thinking patterns and behaviours that were alien to the adopters. He also complained that adoption was being used as a “cure for infertility” and many adopters had mental health problems that were believed to be cured if given an infant. Whilst many adoptees he saw suffered serious identity crises and stated they never felt as if they “fitted in”. These adoptive families, Dr. Rickarby stated, were the “healthier ones” because they were seeking help.
Kerry Saint, an adoptee stolen from her mother: a widow, has been extraordinarily vocal about the physical and sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of the parents the state placed her with.
20% of parents who adopt from overseas go overseas and adopt whilst abroad. They then apply to bring the infant back to Australia. The adopters are never screened. A fact I brought to your attention in a previous post. This revelation was made during the Inquiry into Overseas Adoption (2005). This is a dangerous precedent and once again shows that adoption is an institution to satisfy adult needs not the best interests of children.
The case of Baby Gammy highlights how easy it is for a paedophile to acquire a baby.
Infants forcibly taken from their unwed mothers became Wards of the State before being adopted. It was the Minister’s duty to select adequate parents. I do not understand when many adoptees have complained of being physically and sexually abused and former DOCs workers are aware of abuse in adoptive home why adoptees were not included to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse. Adoption is an institution. Children are reared by two biological strangers. Is there any real difference between a foster and an adoptive home? They are both creatures of the state. If one argues there is more permanence in the adoptive home – then the high number of divorces are not being taken into account – I am aware of cases where the divorce was initiated because the adoptive father was sexually abusing the adopted children. Neither is the fact that one adopter might die – as happened to many of our taken children – who were then ironically reared by a sole parent.
Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
Adoptees and abuse.
Not all babies taken from their Mother at birth, became wards of the state prior to adoption, not in Victoria under the 1964/65 act. Is it possible to publish which Act and state the reference is too.thankyou
State ward (or ‘ward of state’) was the term used to describe a child under the guardianship of a State child welfare authority (such as the New South Wales Child Welfare Department).
The NSW Act was based on the Commonwealth Model Act of Adoption (ACT) and was the outcome of the collaboration of Federal and State Attorney Generals to provide uniform adoption legislation around Australia
Extract from The Women’s Electoral Lobby Submission to the Senate Inquiry into past forced adoptions
“the Human Rights Commission undertook a study of the Adoption of
Children Ordinance 1965 of the Australian Capital Territory.1 It did this because the 1965
Ordinance was drafted as a Model Uniform Act for State legislation—a common practice in
the period before ACT self-government when the Commonwealth wished to influence
legislation outside its Constitutional jurisdiction.
1 (Human Rights Commission, ‘The Rights of Relinquishing Mothers to Access to Information concerning their
Adopted Children’, Discussion Paper No 5, July 1984).
“The Commission found that in the case of the ACT Adoption of Children Ordinance the
Commonwealth’s influence had been substantial, and that during the 1960s legislation based
on the ACT model had been passed in each State and Territory. The Commission also found
that despite some variation in adoption procedures, the assumptions governing the 1965 ACT
model legislation remained in place across all States and Territories”
ADOPTION OF CHILDREN ACT 1965 – SECT 34 Guardianship of child awaiting adoption
ADOPTION OF CHILDREN ACT 1965 – SECT 34
ADOPTION OF CHILDREN ACT 1965 – SECT 6 Definitions
“Director-General” means the person for the time being holding office or acting as the Director-General of the Department of Youth and Community Services.
Guardianship of child awaiting adoption
34 Guardianship of child awaiting adoption
(1) Subject to this section, where the consent of every person whose consent to the adoption of a child is required under section 26, either:
(a) has been given and is a general consent, or
(b) has been dispensed with by an order made by virtue of subsection (1) of section 32,
the Director-General is the guardian of the child (for purposes other than the purposes of section 26) to the exclusion of all other persons.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) do not apply to a child:
(a) who is under the parental responsibility of the Minister administering the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 , or
(b) unless and until the Director-General has received notice in writing that a general consent to the adoption of the child has been given.
(2A) Within twenty-one days after the receipt by the Director-General of a notice referred to in paragraph (b) of subsection (2), the Director-General may, by instrument in writing, decline to be the guardian of the child to whom that notice relates.
(2B) Where the Director-General executes an instrument referred to in subsection (2A), the Director-General shall forthwith cause a copy of the instrument to be given or sent by registered post to the person or each of the persons, as the case may be, by whom the consent to the adoption of the child was given.
(a) an officer of another State or of a Territory whose functions correspond to those of the Director-General under this Act has become the guardian of a child under a law of that State or Territory corresponding to this section,
(b) the consent to the adoption of the child held by that officer cannot be lawfully revoked by the person or persons by whom it was given,
(c) the Director-General is satisfied that the child is present in New South Wales,
(d) that officer has requested the Director-General to accept, and the Director-General has, by an instrument in writing forwarded to that officer, agreed to accept, guardianship of the child, and
(e) under that law, that officer ceases, upon the execution by the officer of an instrument renouncing his or her guardianship of the child, to be the guardian of the child,
the Director-General is, upon the execution of that instrument, the guardian of the child (for purposes other than the purposes of section 26) to the exclusion of all other persons.
(2D) The provisions of subsection (2C) do not apply to a child who is under the parental responsibility of the Minister administering the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 .
(3) Where the Director-General has become the guardian of a child under subsection (1), (2C) or (4) and has not, within a period of one year thereafter, ceased to be the guardian of the child, the Director-General shall make a report in writing to the Court concerning the child and the Court shall make such order for the care and control of the child as it thinks fit.
(4) Without limiting the generality of subsection (3), an order under that subsection may, where the child has not attained the age of 18 years, declare the child to be under the parental responsibility of the Minister administering the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 , or order that the child remain under the guardianship of the Director-General for a further period of one year.
(a) the Director-General has become the guardian of a child under subsection (1), (2C) or (4),
(b) the consent to the adoption of the child cannot be lawfully revoked by the person or persons by whom it was given,
(c) the Director-General is satisfied that the child is present in another State or in a Territory of the Commonwealth,
(d) the Director-General has requested an officer of that State or Territory whose functions correspond to those of the Director-General under this Act to accept, and that officer has, by an instrument in writing forwarded to the Director-General, agreed to accept, guardianship of the child, and
(e) under the law of that other State or Territory, that officer will, upon the execution by the Director-General of an instrument in writing renouncing the Director-General’s guardianship of the child, become the guardian of the child,
the Director-General may execute an instrument in writing renouncing guardianship of the child and, where the Director-General does so, shall forthwith forward the instrument to that officer.
(5) Where the Director-General is the guardian of a child under subsection (1), (2C) or (4), the Director-General shall remain the guardian of the child until:
(a) an adoption order is made in respect of the child,
(b) in the case of any consent so given, the instrument of consent is lawfully revoked,
(c) the Court, by order, makes other provision for the guardianship of the child either pursuant to section 24 or upon the application of the Director-General or otherwise, or
(c1) the Director-General, pursuant to subsection (6), places the child:
(i) in the care of the parents, or one of the parents, of the child, or
(ii) in the care of a guardian of the child,
(c2) the Director-General executes an instrument referred to in subsection (2A),
(c3) the Director-General, pursuant to subsection (4A), executes an instrument in writing renouncing guardianship of the child,
(d) the child comes under the parental responsibility of the Minister administering the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 .
(6) The Director-General may, upon such terms and conditions as the Director-General thinks fit, place any child of whom the Director-General is guardian under the provisions of subsection (1), (2C) or (4) in the care of any suitable person who has agreed to have the child in his or her care.
(7) The fact that the Director-General is the guardian of a child under this section does not affect the liability of any person to provide adequate means of support for the child.
For instance see overview of Tasmanian Adoption of Children Act 1968- http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/Ctee/reports/adopt.pdf at p. 22
“transferring guardianship of the child to the Director of Social Welfare once
consent to adoption was either given or dispensed with” …
Under the Victorian legislation once the consent was signed the Director General of the Child Welfare (or its equivalent department for that state) became guardian of the infant because it was authorised to make the adoption arrangements and if the mother refused to consent was authorised to dispense with her consent
17. (1) For the purposes of this Act arrangements or Adoptions may be
negotiations for or towards or with a view to the adoption of a arranged by
child by any person or persons may be made by or on behalf of Director-General
the Director-General or by or on behalf of a private adoption or by private adoption
agency approved for the time being under this Division by the agency.
(2) Arrangements or negotiations may be made as aforesaid
by any person authorized in writing for any specified purpose or
purposes either generally or in any particular case, by the
Director-General or the principal officer of the agency concerned.
The above read with
Sect. 24. For the purposes of this Act every consent to the adoption construed as general
of a child shall be construed as a consent to the adoption of the consents.
child by any person or persons on whose application an adoption
order may be made under this Act in respect of the child and shall
be a valid consent notwithstanding that an application in respect
of the child has not been made or contemplated
and read with Sect. 25. Where-
(a) a person whose consent to the adoption of a child is State or Territory
required by section twenty-three of this Act has, in
accordance with the law of another State or of a
Territory of the Commonwealth, duly signed an
instrument of consent to the adoption of the child ;
(b) that person has, by writing under his hand, authorized
the Director-General or a private adoption agency
to make arrangements for the adoption of the child ;
(c) the consent evidenced by the instrument of consent has
not been revoked in accordance with the law of that
other State or Territory that
instrument of consent shall, for the purposes of this Act, be
deemed to be an instrument executed in accordance with this
Division evidencing a subsisting consent, in accordance with
sub-section (1) of section twenty-three of this Act, to the adoption
of the child.
Like all law it is open to interpretation – but my interpretation is that once the adoption agents had got a consent then the Director General of the relevant state welfare department took over the guardianship and determined who were fit and proper parents. The Consent was “Consent to make Arrangements” and did not necessarily mean that the child would be adopted. The mother was never informed of this fact however and many taken children languished in institutions as state wards or were fostered but not adopted