Australian Human Rights Commission Letter

Australian Human Rights Commission

Level 3, 175 Pitt Street,

Sydney

10 December 2013

         

 

WARNING – A STOLEN GENERATION IN THE MAKING

You are witnessing the birth of a new stolen generation.[1]   One that covers the gamut: Indigenous and white parents who are poor; disadvantaged; young; suffer domestic violence; have intellectual disabilities and/or struggle with mental health problems which includes drug dependence.[2]  They are all targets for the NSW government’s latest forced adoption policy.[3]  This time however we are aware of our rights and will not be silenced.

I would like to bring to your attention the NSW Child Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 introduced on motion for its Second Reading on November 21, 2013, by the NSW Minister for Community and Family Affairs, Pru Goward.[4] I am very concerned, as are many others, that the proposed child protection amendments along with already implemented legislative changes will further violate the rights of certain disadvantaged groups. We are already witnessing the birth of another stolen generation and if this Bill gets passed into law it will further entrench and extend these violations.  As a Survivor of past Forced Adoption, and the Convenor of the Apology Alliance of Australia, I am making a formal complaint against the NSW and Australian Governments and their agencies, in particular Barnardos, about the discriminatory and inhumane legislation and policies that underpin this new stolen generation. I request that the Commission acts, on my behalf, to intervene and not only to stop this Bill from becoming law, but to bring to the attention to the Federal and relevant state governments and their agencies the violations of human rights inherent in previous legislation and policy enacted. In NSW it is amendments to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) sec. 23 and a new section inserted: 106A 1. (i), (ii), (b); (2),(3) (a) (b). Additionally cl. (d) inserted into sec 67 of the  NSW Adoption Amendment Act 2006. In July 2008 the NSW Premier and the Minister for Community Services announced that they had listened to foster carers who wanted to adopt, best interests of the child was not a stated concern.[5] The Premier responding to the demands made by Deborra Lee Furness, adoptive mother and celebrity, in the press and assorted media, confirmed that he would make the adoption system “fairer and streamlined” and made “simpler”. In essence, to make it easier for potential adopters to access infants. Confirming that this policy direction was about babies for childless couples the Premier stated that women could now apply for adoption whilst trying to have their own children through fertility programs.[6]

The Promise: It Will Never Happen Again 

We were promised by both the Federal[7]  and New South Wales State Governments[8] when they issued their apologies that the abuse and human rights violations perpetrated on us to obtain our newborns would never be repeated and never again would families be brutally torn apart. By introducing laws and policies that underpin forced removal of newborns and children of new categories of parents designated “unfit” they are violating their promises and the original state violence for which they apologised continues.  This I contend makes the Federal and the NSW Governments’ accountable for violating our rights under several treaties including the Convention Against Torture and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).

I understand that International[9] and domestic law[10] was implemented to protect the civil and human rights of minority and/or disadvantaged groups.  Unfortunately there are a number of such groups, as well as the one I represent, whose human and civil rights are being violated. These groups are comprised of individuals who are poor, young, experience mental health problems such as substance dependence; suffer domestic violence and those who have an intellectual disability. They include Aboriginal and White Australians.  The NSW and Australian governments are introducing policy and legislation around Australia that breaches both International[11] and Domestic treaties by opportunistically targeting these groups for forced removal of their newborns and children for the purpose of adoption.[12] To forcibly remove a newborn from its mother is an act of torture.[13]  To monitor a woman during her pregnancy with the intent to remove her infant at the birth constitutes inhumane and degrading treatment.[14]  To remove a newborn from its mother constitutes inhumane treatment of, and causes, the infant irreparable mental and physical damage, not the least being Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.[15] Not to allow an infant to grow up within its own family and further to disallow contact between family members violates the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Art. 7 and Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): Art 7.   A woman suffering mental health problems and or substance dependence is part of a group identified as vulnerable and in need of specialised support services for which the Australia government is obligated to provide. Adequate rehabilitation services are required,[16] NOT punishment by threatening to remove or actual removal of their newborn. The Australian government is aware, if it is not it should be, that substance dependence is a mental health issue and should be treated through a public health approach not a judicial one.

Drug dependency is a chronic relapsing mental health condition recognised as such by the International Classification of diseases (ICD-10) of the World Health Organisation and the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM-IV) of Metal Disorders of the American Psychiatric association.[17]

Under the UDHR, Art 7, individuals who suffer from a mental health condition should have the right to freedom from discrimination. Policies implemented by State parties must promote individual health, well-being and social integration.  Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) marginalised groups should be protected from discrimination[18] and from arbitrary interference with their family.[19] As well as their right to be entitled to special protection as mothers.[20]  The World Health Organisation provides that investing in evidence based treatment decreases both the negative health consequences and the social effects of drug dependence (crime, economic burden etc). Treatment has proven to be a cost effective strategy and it is certainly less expensive both economically and socially than damaging the lives of entire families generationally by unnecessarily and forcibly removing their children. According to the Disability Discrimination Legal Service:

Australia’s reputation as a leader in the management of drug dependence has been diminished by introducing punitive measures instigated at a federal level.[21]

Strictly punitive measures for combating drug dependency are unsuccessful. “To discriminate against a person entirely on the basis of their substance dependency serves to further marginalise drug dependent people, undermine their health and social status, and potentially increase their dependence on drugs” [22]

Nothing could be more punitive and discriminatory than forcibly removing one’s child on the basis of drug dependency. Rehabilitation for mothers with substance dependence has proven successful both here[23] and the US[24] and safer for the child than being placed with strangers in the foster care system.[25] Research also indicates that chances of successful treatment increase dramatically when parents are allowed to keep their young children with them.[26] Research also provided evidence that the babies of drug addicted mothers being given supportive treatment did better than those taken and given to strangers.  Leaving researchers with the opinion that separation from their mothers was more toxic than cocaine.[27]  Therefore keeping children with parents and offering supportive preservation services and drug treatment is safer, more stable and less traumatic for children, than being in the care of strangers.[28]

Removing children creates generational abuse. Many adoptees committed suicide and ended up homeless living on the streets when their adoptions broke down.[29] It was estimated that around 19%  failed.[30] Unfortunately there has been no research on the level of abuse or fatalities[31] in adoptive homes and very little on long term outcomes.[32]  There is however a vast amount of data on the damaging mental health effects caused by adoption on both mothers and their stolen children.[33]  I conducted a research project that compared a group of mothers who with social support managed to get out of maternity hospitals with their babies and mothers who lacked support so did not.  100% of the mothers who had their babies taken had mental health problems, whilst none who kept did.  Additionally 30% of the participants thought about suicide and nearly 17% had attempted it.  Whilst 75% reported they had engaged in risk taking behavior because of their emotional pain and distress.[34]  Dr. Geoff Rickarby worked with hundreds of troubled adoptees and their families during the 1970s and 1980s.[35]  I was informed by a social worker who had worked at The Women’s Hospital Crown Street that her belief that adoption was in the child’s best interests changed when in the late 1970s many distressed adoptees came back to the hospital to try and find information out about their mothers.  Many had grown up in very troubled families.[36]

Failure of the Australian Government to Protect

The first duty of the Federal Government is to protect its people.[37] It is failing to protect the citizens of NSW from discrimination, exploitation and the continuance of abuse that begun with the forced removal of our newborns and children for the adoption market during the 20th century.  When a State commits acts of torture and/or degrading and inhumane treatment on its citizens it must make a fulsome apology.  That includes making redress and ensuring that the abuses for which it apologises never happens again.  The NSW government in introducing laws and policy that will forcibly remove newborns at the birth for the purposes of adoption has violated the spirit of both the State and Federal Apologies.  It is further violating the rights of parents who suffer poor mental health and substance dependence. It is failing to fulfil its obligations, under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), under Art 16 (4)[38] and Art 16 (5)[39] by not implementing strategies and resources to rehabilitate its most vulnerable citizens and enable them to parent their own children. In breaking its promise to us the victims that it would desist from ever again forcibly removing children for the purpose of adoption I argue that specific articles in the CAT are enlivened retrospectively from the time the crimes were committed.  In the case of Forced Adoptions that goes back to the early 20th century.[40]

Continuing cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT))

Since the AustralianState has failed in its duty under the CAT to alleviate the effects of its policy of forced removals this of itself amounts to the continuation of degrading and inhuman treatment in contravention of Article 16.  The State has a duty to prevent ongoing inhuman treatment by giving assistance to fully rehabilitate victims and to investigate and provide redress under Articles 13[41] and 14 of the CAT.[42]  A part of the rehabilitation process includes keeping the promise that never again would newborns be forcibly removed for the purpose of adoption:

Today, this Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, takes responsibility and apologises for the policies and practices that forced the separation of mothers from their babies, which created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering.

To each of you who were adopted or removed … who were denied the opportunity to grow up with your family and community of origin and to connect with your culture, we say sorry

We recognise that the consequences of forced adoption practices continue to resonate through many, many lives. To you, the siblings, grandparents, partners and other family members who have shared in the pain and suffering of your loved ones or who were unable to share their lives, we say sorry.

We resolve, as a nation, to do all in our power to make sure these practices are never repeated. In facing future challenges, we will remember the lessons of family separation. Our focus will be on protecting the fundamental rights of children and on the importance of the child’s right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

With profound sadness and remorse, we offer you all our unreserved apology.

The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Prime Minister

Additionally the AustralianState in its failure to educate the community and mental health experts of the serious mental health problems caused by their previous policy of forced adoption stands in violation of Articles 1, 14 and 16 of the CAT. If medical staff and child protection officers understood the trauma inflicted by separating a mother from her newborn they would not be currently engaged in the practice.

The AustralianState has failed to comply with Article 10 of the CAT to train law enforcement, medical personnel, social workers and child protection workers to know that forcibly removing a newborn from its mother constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment.

For economic reasons the NSW government has by stealth introduced legislation and policy to conduct the forced removal of newborns and children of minority groups for the purpose of assimilation amongst white, middle class, usually childless couples.[43] Even though it has apologised for these very same practices and promised they would never be repeated it seems the NSW and Australian Governments are intent on repeating their past mistakes.  We have lived through the obscene marketing of our children as “unwanted”.  Now we are forced to watch the Murdoch media manipulate public sentiment against the most disadvantaged in our society.  We have to listen to hate mongering as anyone disadvantaged or on welfare is stigmatised as negligent child abusers.[44]  The social controllers are at it again.  Once again they want other people’s babies.[45]

Is this 21st Century Genocide?

The theft of Aboriginal children, 17% of whom were taken at birth for adoption,[46] and the dislocation of their families has been acknowledged as a major cause of their contemporary social problems. Some of which include alcohol, poverty, drug addiction and family violence; the very same social issues that will now put their children at risk for removal.[47]    To make matters worse the government is closing down many of the services it formerly provided to assist vulnerable Aboriginal families stay intact. So the break up of Aboriginal families and resultant social consequences continues.  The rate of removal is highest in NSW where in 2011, 9.6 per cent of Aboriginal Children were in out-of-home care. It is not just NSW though, that is forcibly taking babies at birth.[48]  The forced removal of babies is happening in other States. The stated agenda of the Deborra Lee Furness and Louise Voigt, Barnardos CEO, is to have these states follow NSW’s lead and implement further draconian and eugenic based social legislation and policy.[49]

The Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry found that up to “197 babies were taken from their parent’s hours after birth in north Queensland hospitals between July 2009 and June 2012”.  At a recent conference The Secretariat of Aboriginal and Islander Child Care advocates reported  “a shocking rate of surveillance” and  from every State accounts of “armed police accompanying child protection workers to raid houses and rip children away”.  Aboriginal Legal Service workers say that child protection agencies often refuse to engage with families before babies are removed and favour non-Indigenous carers.  Chief Minister Giles (NT) who prefers to blame the victims rather than past government policies advocates for forced adoptions claiming that the current situation is because people were scared to remove children in case they were accused of creating another stolen generation. Parts of the media are supporting Giles’ stance and are contriving to manipulate public sentiment to support expansion of the forced removal program.  For instance Paddy Gibson writes:

Rupert Murdoch praised Giles’ leadership and courage. The Daily Telegraph carried a double page spread and an editorial celebrating Giles’ who ‘Saved  Generation’. A.O. Neville, the Commissioner for Native Affairs during early years of the Stolen Generation, put it similarly in 1934: ‘They have to be protected against themselves whether they like it or not’. [50]

Canadian Aboriginal activist Simon Raven explains that the United Nations Convention on Genocide (1948) Article II (e) states that “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” constitutes the deliberate destruction of a culture and defines an element of genocide that is punishable.[51] Paul Bartrop and Samuel Totten who co-authored The Dictionary of Genocide stated the use of the term can be “sustained relatively easily” when describing the Stolen Generations.[52]  Past removal policies were based on the Commonwealth[53] of Australia’s stated intent to ‘breed out’ Aboriginality.   According to Bartrop among the ‘disciplinary’ measures imposed was the transfer of non-white children to white families and “is the most controversial, and clear case of genocide under Article II (e)”.[54]  Historian Christine Cheater states: “The adoption of Aboriginal children by white families became the ultimate form of assimilation, and by 1955  the number of children fostered and adopted was more than double the number institutionalised.[55] Adopted children lost all contact with their families and their Aboriginal culture.[56]  State governments following recommendations from the Federal Government[57] are once again engaged in a policy of Forced Adoption. Succeeding governments are well aware of the destruction their removal policies had on Aboriginal communities.  This present policy could be construed, as a violation of the promise by Prime Minister Rudd (2008) that the tearing apart of Aboriginal families would never happen again and as well, the continuation of  a genocidal policy enacted for most of the 20th century.  Irrespective of intent, to implement the same policy today and expect a different outcome is either extremely stupid or yet another attempt at assimilation. I would urge the Human Rights Commission to make the Australian and relevant State Governments aware of the human rights violations now being committed against Aboriginal Australians and to ensure that their families remain intact and that they are provided with appropriate and adequate support services to enable them to achieve this outcome. 

It is quite apparent that a propaganda campaign to promote the forcible removal of children for the purpose of adoption is in full flight in NSW. There are two reasons for this – 1. The government is committed to bring back forced removals to save the state money and 2. Because the powerful pro-adoption lobby headed by Deborra-Lee Furness is demanding it.  Minister Pru Goward is working with the CEO of Barnardos, Louise Voigt, to promote adoption because many couples “want babies”.[58] Barnardos has apparently conducted extensive research to provide evidence that their open adoption program saved the government money.  Voigt explains how government can save money through the adoption of babies.

We knew we could save governments a lot of money in both the short and long term.   We commissioned a reputable actuary to analyse the cost saving we had already achieved for government through our open adoption of children in foster care over the previous 10 years.  This has provided evidence that millions of dollars were saved and demonstrated an increasing number and rate of open adoptions being carried out by Barnardos … following an adoption order when, at the point that the adoptive parents becomes fully responsible for the child, there is a cost saving to government of $100 per day or $37,000 per year over an average of 10 years.  We understood our costs very well. Barnardos had, unusually for the Non Government sector, a clearly researched ‘unit cost’ for undertaking the work necessary to achieve open adoption. We were addressing huge government costs during childhood and we had a proven method and easily measurable data on success – a Supreme Court Adoption Order.[59]

Ms Voigt states that Barnardos undertook  “a very expensive longitudinal 12 year program” to develop an evidence base to support their bid to gain further  “social financing”. The Open Adoption Program is being funded by the NSW Government on a “Results Achieved basis”.  Treasury is committed to direct funding and “currently pays a pro rata bonus for each adoption secured”.[60]

Barnardos, Deborra-Lee Furness’s pro-adoption lobby and Minister Pru Goward are committed to de-stigmatise adoption and make it again acceptable to forcibly remove the babies of whoever they deem to be unfit. This is already underway.[61] The media campaigns to normalise Forced Adoption are easy to identify.  In the 1960s adoption was sold as an institution that saved “unwanted babies”.[62]  When intercountry adoption took off it was promoted as “saving orphans”;[63] the latest is “saving abused children”.[64] Who can argue against such altruistic objectives?  In fact that is the whole point, anyone questioning adoption now is accused of protecting child abusers and if they suggest implementing strategies to support fragile families intact, of child abuse.[65] Jeremy Sammut succinctly states the neo-liberal perspective of the right wing think tank for which he writes:

The politically incorrect reality is the introduction of the single mother’s pension by the Whitlam Government in 1973 has led to the very social problems that forced adoption was intended to prevent: the rise of a dependent class of single mothers reliant on public assistance and unable to properly care for children outside of a traditional, financially self-supporting family.[66]

Jeremy Sammut’s promotion of forced adoption to save the state money is supported by Louise Voigt, CEO of Barnardos.[67]  It seems that we have learnt nothing from the past. 

Forced Adoption Policy and Legislation In Practice

Medical staff and other mandated reporters can make a complaint to the NSW Department of Family & Community Services if he or she identifies a parent who they believe is unable to parent their child/children because of poverty; homelessness; youth; domestic violence; intellectual disability and  mental health problems which includes drug dependence.[68]  This is also the case in other states.[69] A pregnant woman, who someone regards may be at risk of causing emotional damage to her unborn infant sometime in the future will have a secret code placed on her medical files which informs medical staff that she is to be ‘monitored’ throughout her pregnancy. If she misses antenatal visits and/or appears depressed, or does not conform to medical staff’s expectations of her as a potential mother, the Department is alerted and a social worker/child protection officer will appear at the birth and forcibly remove her newborn.[70] The mother is not informed that her infant is being targeted for removal. If the mother manages to leave the hospital with her newborn the monitoring is continued. Hence some young women, who become aware that they are at risk, avoid seeking help for prenatal, postnatal, and parent-child problems if they are drug dependent – that includes tobacco and alcohol (or any other of the nominated risks) for fear they will lose their child.[71]  Even if a mother does not present earlier enough for her antenatal checks her unborn baby can be deemed ‘at risk’ and later removed.[72]  This then becomes a deterrent for mothers to present at all. This surveillance of women’s bodies and interference in their family life is transformed in policy speak by the NSW Liberal government as giving: “The state’s most vulnerable children the best chance of a better future, by increasing early intervention services, streamlining adoption and providing more support to new mothers”.[73]  This however violates the state’s obligation  “to ensure that only children who need to be removed from parental care, or who can otherwise benefit from placement, are in out-of-home care”.[74] The NSW government makes some sweeping and prejudicial assumptions.  It equates parents who smoke cannabis recreationally,[75] tobacco smokers, the homeless, victims of domestic violence and the poor as all child abusers. It is intolerant and discriminatory to remove a child based on  disadvantage or on a behaviour, particularly when that person is not guilty of child abuse or neglect.[76]

Mandatory reporting by police of domestic violence means that many mothers no longer report violence as to do so places them at risk of having their children removed and therefore being doubly abused. Consequently some have networked amongst other victims and set up their own safe houses in order to keep their children.[77]  In the US research indicated that battered women stayed in abusive relationships for fear if they reported they would have their children taken. Richard Wexler, a children rights campaigner, stated that authorities in their zeal to protect children further victimise them.  “Whatever trauma the child already has endured by witnessing domestic violence it is compounded by his or her removal from the mother”.[78] Advocates for women’s rights stated that the state in its prosecutorial zeal: “is punishing victims rather than batterers, and traumatizing kids rather than rescuing them”.[79]

Homeless or women with substandard accommodation will have their baby removed at birth.  One such mother, after having her toddler taken, turned her life around, found accommodation, but when she gave birth to a second child it was immediately removed on the grounds that her first had been taken. Removal of the first child is prima facie evidence empowering protection workers to remove a second irrespective of the change in a woman’s circumstances –  as was done in the above instance.  This woman had garnered a number of support service advocates, but child protection workers intent on taking her baby refused to engage with them.[80] The onus was on the woman to prove herself ‘fit’ in order to reclaim her children, not on the protection workers to prove their case.[81] The normal rules of evidence do not apply with respect to Care Orders.  The system is therefore weighted against disadvantaged families, which of itself further disadvantages them.  Unsubstantiated claims of neglect or claims of intended harm are routinely made by social and child protection workers to ensure that infants are removed, and it is up to the mothers/families to rebut their allegations to get their babies returned.  Such are the unintended and dangerous consequences of very poor social policy not fully thought through.[82]  This is particularly concerning when it has been acknowledged that workers in the Care and Protection industries have fabricated evidence, lied to cover up their mistakes, falsified case notes, kept children in care when they should have been reunited with their parents. That they made false allegations to ensure the infant or child was removed and placed with strangers and this was the case even when kin put themselves forward to keep the child within the family. Both the NSW[83] and SA Governments acknowledged that Care workers were immature, untrained, biased in their assessments and grossly misused their powers. With the SA Select Committee stating workers were:

Vindictive and abused their powers with impunity.[84]

These are the people that make life and death decisions about other people’s children.[85] These are the people that are taking babies and permanently extinguishing the rights of their mothers to parent. This is particularly disturbing when the Queensland government has just announced that children under 3 will be fast tracked into adoption after Commissioner Carmody stated that the State’s Child Protection System had failed to protect both parents and children.[86]  These babies should be reunited with their mothers and families as has been suggested for children over 3.[87]  Not to do so is discriminatory and adds further abuse to that already sustained.  The influence of the right wing pro adoption think tank: Centre of Independent Studies, with its ‘No Welfare’ ideology is  apparent in this recommendation.  Jeremy Sammut, eugenicist and CIS staffer, is cited stating:

It’s time for us to acknowledge that many children in underclass families, including children in too many underclass single-mother families, would be better off being removed and adopted.[88]

Forced adoption was also supported by the NSW foster care contractor: Life Without Barriers (LWB). LWB is responsible for more than 1000 children and receives $140 million yearly for administration of its foster care system.[89] It follows a lucrative business plan and like other State service contractors receives financial incentive payments of up to $37,000 for every child it moves from foster care into adoption. “There is no money for family reunification and the priority and the reward lay with servicing adopters. It is unsurprising that family preservation services would be given short shrift”.[90] Commissioner Carmody took note of NSW’s move towards prioritising forced adoption for infants as an inference that maybe forced adoption may have a chance of being accepted by professionals who up to now have been against it because of its known damage. For instance Helen Ferguson stated:

Children whose families reported members being forcibly removed show two to three times the social and emotional problems of those who were not removed.  The fact that such actions by the state were rationalised as being in ‘the best interests of the child’ and that a destructive policy was vaporised through the mainstream mores of the times does little to assuage current concerns. In fact, it may well contribute to the continued wariness of adoption in the Australian

context.[91]

Carmody however contextualised his recommendation that children under 3 be adopted by stating it was only one of a number of options and only after all other attempts at family reunification and kinship care had been attempted.[92]

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell reframes this litany of human rights abuses as: “Our changes will put vulnerable children first, while also giving troubled mothers the help they need to turn their lives around”.[93]  The Premier was alerted to the life time of suffering and mental health problems caused to women who had their babies forcibly removed when he issued his apology for forced adoption in 2012. Now he is inflicting this same pain on another generation of mother and babies. The Premier has learnt nothing from the mistakes of his predecessors. They may have been able to plead ignorance, Mr. O’Farrell cannot.

A more nuanced public policy response may be one that invests in more housing for those on low incomes and/or improved rent assistance. Another more pro family measure may be to put back funding into refuges for battered women, since it is they who are expected to find new accommodation, not their abusers.  In 2011-2012 in Queensland 15% of families seeking homelessness services did so because of domestic violence and 19%  because of financial difficulties[94] it would be shocking if these families had their children removed for seeking assistance as has been the case in NSW[95] and SA.[96]    Since it is acknowledged that there is a correlation between social disadvantage and neglect then ensuring unemployment benefits and sole parent benefits allow families to live above the poverty line may do far more to protect children than removing them and placing them with strangers.

Unmarried Aboriginal and white mothers who experienced past forced adoptions have spoken out about their lifelong mental and physical health problems caused by the state’s violence as did their stolen children. The intense suffering of Aboriginal parents and their stolen children was brought to prominent public attention in 1997 with the release of the Bringing Them Home Report [97] –  as was that of the white and Indigenous mothers who had their babies stolen for the adoption market:  Releasing the Past:  Inquiry into Past Forced Adoptions (2000).  Most recently the enormous pain and damage inflicted on white families torn apart by having their newborns stolen for adoption was exposed by the Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry that released the historical:  The Commonwealth’s Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices (2012). All of which added to evidence gathered in other Inquiries.[98]  In Barnardos submission to the Queensland Inquiry Ms Voigt never mentions the trauma to the mother or of families that have their baby snatched.  She does however state that the release of children for adoption will save the government millions of dollars and that there are more than 2,000 toddlers (children under 4) in care that were taken as babies that could be adopted.[99] Voigt does not support a public health model to deal with child abuse and neglect, but rather a “grab the baby and run” approach popular in the UK and the US which she cites as models to follow.[100] Voigt uses the concept of openness in adoption to distinguish it from the era of ‘closed secret adoptions’.[101]  Open adoption is not benign it causes huge distress and pain to the taken child and its entire biological family.  Seeing one’s child 3 times a year as Voigt states his part of the Open Adoption Scheme promoted by Barnardos,[102] will hardly assuage the identity confusion suffered by adoptees as Ms Voigt asserts it will,[103] nor the pain of parents having to watch their child grow up in another’s family. When a marriage breaks down no-one expects that one side of the family will be entirely excluded from the child’s life or that one parent’s name will be removed from the child’s birth certificate. It is considered ‘in its best interests’ to continue having a connection with its entire family.

No longer can the government plead ignorance. It is patently aware of the severe mental health damage caused to children and their parent’s when they are needlessly and opportunistically separated.[104]  The damage done to families torn apart by past forced removal policies has been well researched.[105] I therefore accuse the NSW and Australian Governments of being in breach of their promise that Forced Adoption would never ever occur again. I further accuse them of being in breach of International treaties the Australia Government signed on behalf of the nation proclaiming it would protect the rights of children; victims of domestic violence and individuals who suffer mental health problems which includes drug dependency.  The NSW and the Australian Governments have failed to ensure that these rights are protected as well as violating the right of the most vulnerable to be free of unnecessary interference in their family life and the right of their children to grow up in their own families knowing their kin, culture and customs. Loss of identity is acknowledged as a major trauma for both white and Indigenous stolen children irrespective of the quality of the parenting.[106]  It is a travesty of justice that families will only be allowed contact 3 times a year.[107] It will never make up for the loss of family and culture.

 

The rhetoric used to promote forced removals is to claim that child protection has NOW become “a more child-focused system”; inferring that previously it wasn’t.  Apparently being child centred means adoption must be the default option and is therefore promoted as the safe alternative to remaining with one’s own dangerous family.  So in an attempt to silence victims of past Forced Adoption it is being spun as a means to ‘save children’. Low levels of adoptions are blamed for the rise in child abuse.[108]  The propaganda campaign is starting to take hold.  Forced adoption having been conflated with ‘good child welfare practice’ is now seen as the way to protect children from their dysfunctional and abusive families.  These fallacious statements and distortions of reality need to be challenged otherwise we are complicit in a race to create another generation of lost children.

When wasn’t child protection supposed to be child centred or done in a child’s best interests?  Yet it has and does remain full of abuse and failures.[109] The catchcry that there are not enough adoptions has been heard for most of the 20th century. Up until recently though, it was only expressed by childless couples waiting for babies or their supporters.[110] Not being able to source enough babies from unwed mothers to suit the needs of the infertile was labelled a “crisis” in the mid 1970s.[111] Adoptions have dropped because there isn’t the supply of newborns. No longer are unwed mothers drugged, tied to beds, have pillows and sheets placed over their faces at the birth and drugged into submission, to make their babies available for the adoption market.[112]  Unfortunately we are coming close to repeating these scenarios.    The atrocities that were employed to keep up the number of adoptions are never mentioned when pundits are lamenting the low levels of adoptions.  This is why the purposeful stigmatisation of certain sections of the Australian community to ensure a ready supply of babies for adoption is so contemptible.[113]

Contemporaneously it has become fashionable for the media to compare Australia’s adoption rate to the US and found lacking. In fact as in the past the lack of babies for adopters is labelled a “crisis”.[114]  This superficial assessment of such a complex issue is an indictment on our journalism.  That the media would repeat over and over the nonsense that there are all these children waiting for a home and adoptive parents cannot adopt because of “red tape” and “bureaucracy”.   Maybe, because the film star led propaganda campaigns have misled people to believe that adoption was only ever about removing children from unsafe environments. The apologies to the Stolen Generations, Forgotten Australians and the survivors of Forced Adoption seem to be sinking into some sort of amnesiac void.[115]  Possibly because there were never any specific person or organisation made accountable for the brutal crimes committed against mothers/parents and children. The question then needs to be asked since Australia has apologised for inhumane and degrading treatment perpetuated on its citizens then why has no one been made accountable for the atrocities as is required under the Convention Against Torture and Inhuman Treatment?  Additionally the media should be made accountable for the misinformation about and the stigmatisation of vulnerable groups and for uncritically accepting the nonsense that talking heads espouse.

It needs to be understood that people don’t want to adopt older, damaged children.  They want perfect little babies, preferably newborns.  Historically adoption has never been about the best interests of the child, it has always been about finding babies for childless couples.[116]  Removing thousands of children to be made available for adoption is going to lead to thousands languishing in foster care.  Older children are not so easily adopted.  In the late 1960s until 1971 so many babies were taken that for the first time there was an over supply and significant numbers of infants were doomed to spend their youth in institutions’. The over supply of newborns allowed adoptive parents to be very selective and some refused to take children because they “did not like the shape of their nose” or if their “colouring was not right”.[117]

Why Pru Goward would want to follow the US model of “grab the baby and run” is unfathomable.[118]  A superficial investigation into the US’s unregulated billion dollar adoption industry or the UK’s  which are both riddled with unquestionable practices, exploitation of women and a vehement disregard for maternal rights.[119]  The US industry is criticised by child welfare experts both here and in the US for being enormously wasteful, totally inefficient and completely failing to protect the children within the system.[120]

When one unpacks the spin Minister Goward is using to promote Forced Adoption what she is really proposing is reduced parental rights, separating out a child from its kin, community and culture and making its transfer to strangers more socially accepted.  It once again gives those in more powerful positions the right to decide, who is and who is not, ‘fit’ to rear children. The contempt for those less fortunate is obvious.[121] A hidden agenda is also apparent when the Queensland government announces that it will implement a family preservation model for children, but for those under three it is implementing a policy to fast track adoptions without considering the alternatives which was the context in which Carmody’s recommendation was framed.[122]  This smacks of discrimination and a not so hidden agenda. Particularly when Barnardos has publicly announced that adopters want babies.

There are many couples desperate to adopt children – especially babies. [123]

Professor Ainsworth describes the rush to take children for adoption as supplying “babies for the deserving”.[124]

Pru Goward’s Broken Promises

Prue Goward misled the people of New South Wales.  Before being elected to government she stated that she was going to “adopt a family preservation model” and stop overloading the foster care system making it unsafe for children.[125] After the election, rather than focusing on supporting families so they could reunite the policy suddenly changed to permanent removal of their children through adoption.  Giving family’s rigid timeframes to get their lives in order otherwise loose their kids forever, without supportive services. These time frames are 12 months for children over 2 and 6 months for those under – again discriminating against the rehabilitation of the mothers of babies.[126]   Before elected she complained that the number of children removed from their families was “out of control” and that NSW  “removes more children than any other state”. [127]  She promised if the Coalition won government it would work to reduce removals “By working more with families” and that “there would be far fewer removals with children being safer”. Goward blamed the expansion of mandatory reporting burdening the system, the taxpayer and making the system inefficient.[128]

Once elected however, Goward did a complete turn around.  No longer was the foster care system ‘so overloaded it was failing’. She now claimed it was because the annual budget for out-of-home care had doubled from $304 million in 2004-2005 to $694 million because of “the increasing number of abused and neglected children” (2010-2011).[129]  No more discussion about family preservation nor any attempt to investigate implementing a more successful care model with an increase focused on giving vulnerable families additional support such as services for housing, disability, alcohol, drug treatment, mental health and family violence.[130]  Goward began slashing money from her troubled Department. Barbara Perry, Shadow Minster for Family and Community Services, stated:

For the first time in over a decade, the budget for Family and Community Services has gone backwards.  This year’s budget expenditure is $1.4. billion, down from $1.6 billion last year … There are two gaping holes in the budget – no extra funding for both early intervention and family restoration programs and inadequate support for the transfer of foster care to Non Government Agencies. This was after Goward promised on the ABC program Lateline, that she was going to use ‘enormous resources to get these families straight’.[131]

Goward has divulged the real reasons she had a change of heart: saving money and a willingness to promote the interests of childless couples.[132] Interestingly these two objectives are not mutually exclusive. Goward is implementing a short fix to remedy the welfare budget blow out[133] by remedying the lack of babies/infants for “childless couples”.[134]  Many of who are now finding it difficult to become parents as  “overseas adoption is almost impossible”. This is not the outcome of “red tape” or bureaucratic bungling”,[135] but because one after the other countries are closing down because of the levels of corruption in the intercountry adoption system.  Full of child trafficking, black markets and corrupt middle men countries have either stopped or considerably reduced the number of infants they are sending abroad to meet the needs of comparatively wealthy westerners. Interestingly, when the money goes out of the adoption market the number of “orphans” needing saving drops accordingly – and the number of adoptable BABIES drops to zero.[136]   This should stand as a warning – turn the out-of-home care into an industry and ruthless market principles prevail.[137]

Creating legal orphans

The NSW government is intent on imposing a regime of punishment on disadvantaged families.  The end result will be to make legal orphans of thousands of children who would have been far better off left with their parents.  The media has focussed on a small number of extreme abuse cases to define the problem and any proposed solutions.  The real ties that exist between parents and children, even after removal are ignored.  The impact on the most disadvantaged such as Aboriginal communities and/or single mothers with or who had, mental health problems are ignored.

Since Goward wants to impose the US model of out-of home-care on Australian families then it may be worthwhile to look at the outcomes of their system. The American child welfare policy swings from keeping troubled families together to tearing them apart both supposedly for the child’s protection.  The problem is that family preservation and child safety are treated as two opposing ends of a spectrum.  These shifts are not based on any real changes in rates of child maltreatment,[138] but have more to do with political expediencies and the power of lobby groups to influence those expediencies.[139]  In the US there has been the push to move children out of foster care and into adoptive homes since President Clinton introduced the Adoption and Safe Families Act  (ASFA) in 1997.  The focus thereby shifted from supporting vulnerable families to forcibly removing their children.  It was also in direct conflict with previous legislation implemented to protect native peoples from having their children unnecessarily removed and placed with non-native families. Therefore rather than increase stability for families it destabilised communities. The increase in termination of parental rights did not keep pace with finding adoptive homes consequently there has emerged a cohort of ‘legal orphans’ – children legally severed from their parents without any home to go.  The expansion of the foster care and adoption industries in the late 1990s is now reaping what it has sown with a concurrent increase of failed adoptions. The increase in subsidies provided to adoptive families under ASFA was the financial carrot to lure more families into taking children from the foster care system.  These subsidies though, only last until the youth is 18.  Financially rewarding individuals or organisations for adopting children has proven to be a recipe for disaster.  The government believed it would save money by alleviating ‘foster care’ drift.  Instead the increased economic and social costs are now being felt.  The number of homeless youths has increased exponentially since adoptive families no longer receive the adoption subsidies and youth removed under ASFA and who did not get adopted are aging out of the foster care system.  Consequently there are a growing number of homeless youths entering the local shelter system.[140]

The other reform that has had catastrophic results for families incurred by the US program to get “tough on child abuse” was the focus on unborn children.  According to Ian Vandewalker, of the Centre for Reproductive Rights, this is creating “yet another category of legal orphans”.   He explains that babies are being permanently separated for something the mother did before the child is born.  Usually it is the use of illegal drugs while pregnant.  The policy is to punish the mother for being ‘bad’.  He states: “This presumption in favour of termination is fundamentally ill conceived.  Termination of parental rights is a drastic and unwise response to the public health problems caused by illegal drug use: drug use or addiction does not, ipso facto, make someone unfit to care for a child[141] –   making drug use itself a ground for breaking up a family is unnecessary. Given that it also has various negative effects, including trammelling the constitutional rights of mothers and creates legal orphans, the policy should be abandoned.[142]

Removing the babies of disadvantaged women not only dehumanises them, but reduces their status to one of a womb breeder for others more deserving.  It is a discriminatory policy that obliterate a woman’s human and civil rights.[143] It in effect is rolling back women’s reproductive rights to some where mid last century.  Professor Ainsworth poses some pertinent questions: “How can it be ethical to knowingly allow a mother to carry a baby to full term when the child care and protection authority know all along they will remove the child at birth? … Is it ethical for the State to knowingly create circumstances under which parents will be subject to the pain of loss and grief for the child they together created and bore”?[144]

 

 

Legislation to facilitate Forced Adoption

From 2006 amendments to various pieces of child welfare legislation have empowered the NSW government to begin forcibly removing the babies and children from our most vulnerable citizens by stealth, under the guise of a child protection policy – starting from birth. They can be targeted for removal even if it is only suspected that the unborn infant may later suffer emotional abuse.[145] No heed is being taken of  the evidence provided by neurobiological science that the most abusive trauma inflicted on a newborn is to be separated from its mother.[146] That trauma is lifelong and effects cognitive, emotional and immune functions.[147]   Instead, as was the case with Bowlby’s attachment theory, science is being misapplied to further a political agenda. Because attachment theory acknowledged the importance of the mother to the infant’s psychobiological development, but unwed mothers were presumed neglectful and devoid of maternal feelings, the baby was forcibly taken, sight unseen,  and given to strangers. An act then justified by Bowlby’s attachment theory with adoption agents stating that the infant needed to be placed with the married mother as soon as possible after birth so it could ‘attach’.  The bond, already formed during the 9 month gestation period was dismissed if the mother was single.  This was routinely done even though it has been known since 1954 that separating a baby from its mother caused it physical damage and its mother, mental health problems.[148]

The maternal bond was violated on the grounds that it was more important that the infant had “permanency and stability” supposedly provided by a married, white couple.  How permanent and stable the home adoptive parents gave is disputed. Many of our taken children reported being brought up by a single parent because of divorce. [149]  Many adoptions failed when as teenagers our stolen children ran away and became homeless.  Many victims of failed adoptions were found dying from drug overdoses on the streets.[150] A substantial number of children run away from foster care and adoption and end up homeless.[151] Researchers have argued that they need  better means of data collection to be able to identify the number of children who have died in foster or adoptive homes.[152]  The economical and social costs caused by failed adoptions, has never been calculated in Australia. It was acknowledged however, that around 19% of adoptions were known to have failed by the 1980s.[153] Amongst Canadian Aboriginal peoples the number of failed adoptions is particularly high estimated to be about 95% when he or she reaches the teen years.[154] Following the US model of child protection will only make matter worse.

Professor Ainsworth has already raised concerns about the use of certain sections of the NSW Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 that target specific vulnerable groups for removal of their children and is reflective of policy and legislation  that created the stolen generations, which includes the survivors of Forced Adoption.[155]  Section 23 of the Act sets out the circumstances that must be present if a child is to be considered ‘at risk of harm’.  By adding an extra clause, cl.  (f) to Sec 23, the definition of when a child is considered to be at risk of harm and what constitutes child abuse or neglect is expanded.

Section 23 states that a child or young person is at risk of harm if

(f) The child was subject of a pre-natal report under sec 25 and the birth mother did not engage successfully with support services to eliminate or minimise to the lowest level reasonably practical the risk facts that gave rise to the report.

This is highly problematic on the face of it because it is open to the subjective opinion and bias of the person making the evaluation.  Whether or not a person is perceived to have conformed to a particular standard is influenced by a number of factors.  Not the least is that it would be very hard for a person already presumed to be ‘unfit’ to measure up to a  preconceived ideal of permanency and stability, symbolised by a married, middle class infertile couple that currently had possession of the baby. Amongst other considerations is the conflict of interest of the Child Welfare Department, or its contractors, who on the one hand removed the child and on the other selected the substitute parents.  Then one of the Department’s representatives is expected to write an unbiased report further complicated by the competing interests of the two sets of parents.  I would suggest the ‘best interests of the child’ principle is lost in the process.[156]

Professor Roberts states there is a huge difference between placing foster children in pre-adoptive homes while parents are still struggling to reunify the family because it preordains the outcome.  Child protection and social workers that see foster parents as adoptive parents have a vested interest in the breakdown of preservation efforts.  Foster parents have a great deal of influence over the children in their care and their visitation schedules.  They are instructed to report negative incidents between biological parents and children. When both caseworkers and foster parents teams up to pursue adoption, it is easy to sabotage biological parents’ efforts to maintain ties with their children.[157]

The other concerning section is 106A.  It states that a person who has had the care and protection of  a child that was previously removed by a court (in 70% of cases the removal was not occasioned by abuse) under the Act and if it has not been restored  the removal will be used as prima facie evidence of the potential for abuse of subsequent children. This has led to circumstances where care orders have been triggered by the birth of a subsequent child.  This section of the Act means that the Department does not have to argue for the establishment of its case to get a care order that then empowers it to remove the infant from the mother immediately after delivery.  Purely by submission of the evidence of a previous child removal, which is not constrained by normal rules of evidence, it is automatically established that any subsequent child is at risk.  In other words the child protection worker can get a care order and remove the child without ever having to make its case.  It is up to the parent to rebut the assumption of ‘unfitness’. In short a parent is presumed guilty until he or she can prove their innocence.

Additionally in 2006 there was an amendment to the NSW Adoption Act 2000 which expanded the reasons for dispensing with parental consent.  In particular NSW Adoption Amendment Act 2006, section 67 (1)

(c)  If an application has been made to the Court for the adoption of the child by one or more persons who are authorised carers for the child and:

(i)                 the child has established a stable relationship with those carers,

(ii)               the adoption of the child by those carers will promote the child’s welfare

(iii)             in the case of an Aboriginal child alternatives to placement for adoption have been considered in accordance with s36.

When the amendment was introduced what constituted a stable relationship was open to subjective interpretation.[158]

According to Ainsworth in practice the 106A amendment is being used with increased regularity to remove children from their mothers soon after birth.  In particular when another child has previously been removed and/or the mother has or did have in the past, a problem with substance abuse.[159]  The newborn is removed to prevent the mother from becoming attached.[160] This was exactly the same reason proffered in the 1950s and 1960s for denying mothers the right to see their baby at the birth.  In fact it was used to justify the cruel and barbaric practice of holding a sheet or pillow across the mother’s face so she could not make eye contact with her newborn and so finish the birthing process.  In the 1960s a British paediatrician denounced the practice as extraordinarily punitive and of serving no medical purpose.[161]  Yet it continued in Australia because it was known by adoption agents that the mother was so traumatised that it made the forcible removal of the child easier.[162]  The practice was only completely stopped in 1982.[163] However it has been acknowledged that it violated her right to be free from inhumane and degrading treatment[164] and it denied her infant the right to be brought up within its family of origin.[165]

Additionally there are in use contracts that women who used drugs or alcohol are made to sign: Parental Responsibility Contracts.  If women refuse to undergo treatment or do not conform to what protection officers expect they lose their infant.  At present these contracts apply after a child has been born.  Pru Goward is introducing new legislation that will extend the Contracts prior to birth along with more powers to dispense with consent to adoption.[166]  This is a just a grab for other peoples’ babies plain and simple.  The chief executive of the Association for Child Welfare Agencies, Andrew McCallum, said the fairness of the proposed policies depended on increased support being given to birth parents to give them real opportunities to have their children restored before adoption was considered.[167]

Goward contends that earlier intervention will mean that the mother has a “better chance of keeping her baby”. Why should the mother be placed in a position where she has to fight for her baby?  If we have learnt anything from past Forced Adoption is that removing a child does not break the cycle of suffering. Traumatised parents often go on to pass their trauma onto their subsequent children.  Adoptees who never attached to their adopters cannot attach to their children.  Many find relationships difficult because with their first and most important, was broken.[168]

Often substance abusing parents were themselves abused as children, many being victims of past poor welfare practices. [169]  Rather than being discriminated against by having their children removed families or mothers in crisis should be given the same support and access to care as would be made available to any other person suffering a disability.[170]  To put this into context a depressed mother can cause more damage to her baby than one who is drug addicted, but not suffering depression.  Yet we do not routinely remove the children of depressed or anxious mothers. It is therefore more about punishment of the parent than supporting the child.[171] Being depressed is considered something we have no control over whereas the general consensus is a drug addict chooses that lifestyle.  Simplistic reasoning that is just not true.

Further the intense scrutiny of the mother and the expectation that she will be fully rehabilitated by the birth puts unbelievable pressure on a mother who is already obviously in distress.  Extensive research indicates that whatever happens to the mother is felt by the foetus, particularly stress.  To place a mother under such an inordinate amount of pressure knowing that this will negatively impact the baby mentally and physically constitutes inhumane treatment. The system of detecting and reporting drug use during pregnancy, which leads to the removal of the newborn from the care of its mother, is plagued by class bias.[172]  The desire to remove these children from the care of their mothers can be attributed to pervasive stereotypical images of pregnant substance abusers.  It focuses on punishing what is deemed as “disgraceful parenting” instead of deciding what is actually best for the child. The attempt to penalize “bad mothers” and bad parenting ultimately hurts the child.   Separating a child from its familial bond is extremely destructive

Ante-natal maternal psychological problems are linked with complications of the pregnancy …  ante-natal stress or anxiety are linked with prematurity, or low birth weight …  smaller head circumference … Stress has a similar magnitude of effect to smoking …  Prenatal stress significantly worsened the scores on the neonatal neurological examination.  It is possible that raised maternal stress hormones constrict the uterine artery causing impaired blood flow to the baby which in turn generates a fetal stress response.  Maternal stress also predisposes the infant to be less resilient to stress.  Several groups have suggested that a hyper-responsive HPA axis is the primary defect with changes in monoamine systems being secondary … maternal stress in pregnancy has long-term neurodevelopmental effects on the infant, and these may include an increased predisposition to later depression.[173]

The simplistic proposition that one can break the attachment between a mother and child by quick removal at the birth is so profoundly stupid that one wonders what level of education one needs to become a child protection officer?  How can the maternity staff possibly countenance such cruelty and stupidity?  This practice completely contradicts all the research done in the many decades since Bowlby (1951) first espoused his theory of attachment. The connection between a mother and infant is a bond, not attachment, and is known to be a highly complex relationship.  In the 1950s it was presumed that an infant attached to any carer as long as its needs were being met. It is now understood that no substitute carer, however well intentioned can duplicate the relationship/bond between mother and her infant.[174]  It is a mother/baby dyad, not two separate individuals who interact. It is a symbiotic relationship.  It develops during the 9 month gestation period.[175]  There are multiple component processes at play connecting the infant to the mother which have a powerful regulatory effect on the developing infant prior to, during and immediately after the birth.[176] Through her interactions with her infant the mother directly shapes the developing physiology and behaviour of her infant.[177] During the birth process the secretion of specific hormones, in particular oxytocins, further hormonally cement the mother/child connection.[178]  According to Schore and Schore[179] Bowlby’s attachment theory has now shifted to a regulation theory.  The mother not only acts as a regulator of the infant’s emotions, but of his or her metabolic, nutrient and behavioural mechanisms. These systems regulate the infant’s activity level, sucking behaviour, oxygen consumption, sleep-wake cycles, circadian rhythms, hormonal, cardiovascular, enzyme production, temperature, immune and neuroendocrine responses.[180]

The trauma incurred on the newborn by being removed at birth is severe[181] and has lifelong consequences.[182] It is known from copious research data done on the thousands of adoptees taken at birth from their unwed mothers and placed with adoptive parents that they are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than their non-adopted peers irrespective of the quality of the parenting.[183]  Suffer high levels of depression, anxiety[184], identity disorders,[185] attention deficit disorders[186] and addictions which according to psychotherapist and addiction specialist Paul Sunderland, directly results from the underlying trauma caused by being separated from their mother at the birth.[187]  He suggests this trauma is a complex form of developmental PTSD as the newborn has no previous experience to buffer the trauma of being separated from the only environment it has ever known and that trauma subsequently interferes with the cognitive and emotional developmental stages of the child. It also causes the adoptee to feel like a “bad person” because the  separation is experienced as rejection of his or her personhood.  Odent states that impaired capacity to love either oneself or others caused by perceived maternal rejection causes guilt and shame which may lead of itself to suicide, drug abuse and eating disorders.[188]   Adoptees therefore are over represented in mental health clinics.[189] According to Marshall Schechter (1960),  a hundred times more than their non-adopted peers; again irrespective of the quality of parenting.[190]  Further if they have been abused by their adoptive parents they are more likely to become homeless and end up in the prison system. [191]

A US Report published in 1982 on the epidemic of violence and child abuse accorded primary blame to the violence done to infants and mothers at birth particularly their separation.[192]  The most traumatic event for mammals is separation from mother: It causes brain changes, alters physiological function and development of limbic system, (amygdala & hippocampus).  It interferes with regulation of emotional behaviours, learning and memory function and the expression of behavioural and endocrine response to stress through life.[193]  It can be so extreme that when separation is combined with birth complications adopted adolescents commit 4 times the violent crimes than their non-adopted peers.[194]  If the government is serious about reducing child abuse then it must stop forcibly taking newborns from their mothers and giving them to strangers. When all the social damage and financial expense to remedy it is added up it amounts to billions of dollars.  Surely putting in places services where young mothers and women exposed to domestic violence are supported and their families kept intact should be the primary aim of child protection and be the preferred option in stopping child abuse and short circuiting transgenerational trauma.

The ‘Alert’ Notice

It is very concerning that the Department of Community Services has learnt nothing from the past and is now placing an ‘alert’ notice on the medical files of pregnant mothers. This is done with the approval of the NSW Health Department.[195]  Even if the mother has completely turned around her life and the substance abuse or the reason for the first removal no longer exists.[196]  It also must be said that just like being an unwed mother did not mean that the mother ever abused a child or would ever abuse one in the future, neither does having an addiction automatically mean the mother is a child abuser.  This is crystal ball gazing for political expediency. Social science does not provide reliable tools to predict outcomes, particularly over the long tern.  Longitudinal studies have shown that predictions made about the development of particular children were wrong two-thirds of the time.  Even the facts on which a decision is based can change, such as the decision to place a child with a middle class, two parent family.  Divorce, death, illness, or financial disaster can turn that once “preferable” family into one that is less desirable, such as single parent family.[197]

The ‘alert’ dictates to medical staff that they must alert DoCS as soon as the mother is admitted to hospital as a maternity patient.  DoCS forbids medical staff to inform the mother of the secret code on her file because they do not want her to know her baby will be taken after birth.  This parallels practices already condemned by legal and psychiatric expert witness testimony given at the NSW Inquiry into Past Practices in Forced Adoption (2000).  The Upper House Senators of that Inquiry were informed that mothers had a secret code placed on their medical files by the social work department under instruction form the Health department. It informed medical staff that the unwed mother’s  baby would be forcibly removed from her at the birth. Being unwed during most of the 20th century equated with being an ‘unfit’ mother who would be presumed some time in the future to abuse her child. There was no evidence to prove this except her marital status.  In the era of past Forced Adoption adoptions were conducted in secret.  Not for the benefit of the mother, but over the 20th century laws were implemented at the bequest of a succession of very powerful lobby groups of adoptive parents who wanted to ensure their ownership of the newborn and that the mother could not reclaim her infant.[198]  The original birth certificate was altered so that their names replaced the parents who actually gave birth to the child.  Hence the adoptee lost all ties and connection with his entire biological family.  This extinguishment of all biological and historical genealogy has been a source of great pain to many adoptees.  It is only human nature to want to know from where you originate; to know the history of your forebears.  Adoptees fought hard to get access to their original birth certificates so they could fill in the missing blanks of their lives.

Many professionals working in agencies are aware of the mental health problems of adoptees and the high number of suicides amongst mothers who had their infants stolen for adoption and their severe mental health problems including PTSD.  Hence to persuade state governments and professionals working with disadvantaged families and youthful parents Barnardos and Pru Goward have stated that ‘modern adoptions’ are  different – they are open.  Kallen et al stated “the mere availability of open procedures will not be sufficient.  Family professionals must take advantage of the opportunity to provide information, guidance, and counselling in support of open adoption”.[199]  Hence Louise Voigt and Pru Goward’s assurance that contact with a child 3 times a year is the solution. It is not. Overseas research indicates that such meagre contact is distressful and that the biological family often withdraw to the distress of the infant. [200] Whilst other research indicates that the adoptive parents see any contact as intrusion[201] and will actively work against it even to the detriment of the child and its original family.[202] Open adoption has caused mothers to suicide. [203]

Adoptive Parents want Babies – Not Children over 5[204]  [205]

Past adoptions in Australia operated according to the market principles of supply and demand for babies.[206] Unfortunately it is once again demand for babies by a powerful lobby of infertile couples that is the driving force behind the latest campaign to “save” children.[207]  Saving children however is only a smokescreen for what is the real agenda: owning a baby.[208]  Adopters do not want older children, they want brand new infants.[209]  Minister Goward has stated publicly that promoting adoption will “benefit infertile couples”[210]  However adoption is not supposed to be an adult based service it is supposed to be a last resort for children without parents or kin and conducted “in their best interests”.[211]  “A guiding principle in modern adoption is that it is a service for children not for adults wishing to make a family.

When abusive practices such as the use of secret codes and forcibly taking the baby at the moment of birth stopped, the number of babies available for adoption dropped accordingly. Adoptive parents began to source babies overseas.[212] They did not adopt older children from foster care. They wanted healthy babies or infants and they did not want “complications with birthparents”.[213] As mentioned before in the last few years because of the illegal trafficking in intercountry adoptions many sending countries have considerably reduced the number of babies or toddlers sent or have stopped altogether.[214]  The fall in the number of intercountry adoption has been in decline since 2006.   In 2011-2012 for the first time since 1998-1999 more Australian children (184) were adopted than children from overseas (149, excluding expatriate adoptions) (55% and 45% respectively).[215]  This trend continued in 2012-2013 with only 38% of children being adopted from overseas whilst 67% were local adoptions.[216]  A new source of babies was identified, and it seems it is from unmarried young women,[217] youthful parents, and in women who have a substance dependence. In fact, adoptive parents have made public statements that they view the children of these parents as a new “source” of adoptable infants.[218]

Unfortunately if we follow the trends of the UK and the US and expand the adoption industry the end result is that so many babies are taken that they cannot find enough people willing to adopt children over 3.[219]  Hence many are left languishing in institutions or in foster care and government authorities and adoption agencies scramble to find adopters.  This has led to advertising children for adoption in newspapers[220] and having adoption markets[221]  where a children are paraded and the most desirable selected.  Barnardos UK has been instrumental in promoting adoption[222]  and therefore must be accountable for the mess that has ensured. In the UK and in the US the financial incentives for agencies and local authorities has created a market based care system that totally fails protecting children as well as being involved with what is nothing short of a domestic market of trafficking children from one class to another.[223]

Conclusion

As an unmarried mother was stigmatised as being “unfit” to parent during most of the 20th century, removing her baby at the birth, by adoption agents, became normalised.  The barbaric practices went on unabated for over 50 years all justified by being done for the protection of children.  So with a powerful lobby group demanding babies once again in “their best interests” state welfare and social workers are targeting the young, unmarried, poor and those with mental health problems as the next category of “unfit”. Egregious acts perpetrated on these mothers are excused under the much misused term in the ‘best interests’ and ‘child centred’ policy.  Babies are forcibly taken, detoxed by a foster carer who specialises in same and then they are ready for the adoption market.[224] Hence they go through what a baby would experience as two or three abandonments before they reach their “stable” placement.  The damage is already well and truly done.  It is known that it is far safer for the baby to be kept with its mother and far less traumatic.  Research done on mothers indicated that crack addicted babies did far better on all measures when they remained with their mother and both together went through a rehabilitation program.  Research indicates the opposite happens when they are separated.  But there is no compassion for these mothers they are dehumanised and yet again another stolen generation.

When one digs under the hype and the easy slogans like: “save an orphan”[225] “adoptions stop child abuse” and “there are parents who want children and children who need a home” [226]  a very ugly prejudice is exposed.  There are those who deem themselves superior and feel entitled to other people’s children.  Just as they labelled unwed Aboriginal and white mothers as inferior and without any right to rear their own children and so they were targeted to secure newborns, so it is with the new categories of “unfit”,  for what is nothing more than an unholy trade.[227]  Another worrying aspect of a forced removal policy is that it is a blunt instrument utilised for social control and has been from the time of colonisation.[228]  This new stolen generation is about modifying behaviour by punishing parents and holding the fear of permanently removing the children over the heads of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.


[1] Patty, A. (2013, Nov 11).  ‘Adoption changes could create new stolen generation say community groups’, SMH Federal Politics, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/adoption-changes-could-create-new-stolen-generation-say-community-groups-20131110-2x9vc.htmlChadwick, V. (2013, June 15). ‘Nation risks a new stolen generation, leaders warn, SMH National http://www.smh.com.au/national/nation-risks-a-new-stolen-generation-leaders-warn-20130614-2o9ua.html

[2] Includes tobacco use

[3] News.com.au (2013, Nov 16). ‘New laws will see babies taken from addicted or abused mothers who refuse to seek help’, http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/new-laws-will-see-babies-taken-from-addicted-or-abused-mothers-who-refuse-to-seek-help/story-fnii5s3x-1226761627553 ;  Hagar Cohen,  (2010, Mar 14). ‘ Babies At Risk’, ABC RN, Background Briefinghttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/babies-at-risk/3117268#transcript Neonatal Handbook (Victoria Dept. of Health). (2011). Infants at Risk of Abuse or Neglect  http://www.netsvic.org.au/nets/handbook/index.cfm?doc_id=9584 ; Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009). ‘Babies for the Deserving: Developments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australia State – Others to Follow?’,  Just Policy, No. 50, April 20. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions

[5] Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009). ‘Babies for the Deserving: Developments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australian State – Others to Follow’, Just Policy, 50, April.

[6] Ibid

[9] Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (entered into force March 23, 1976); International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (entered into force in March 10, 1976); Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (entered August, 1983); Conventions on the Rights of the Child (entered into force Jan 16, 1991).

[10] Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW); Disability Services Act 1986 (Cth); Disability Services Act 1993 (NSW)

[11] Australia ratified The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (1948) and committed itself to provide special protection to mothers and infants, irrespective of birth status, and to desist from committing inhuman and degrading acts against its citizens, freedom against arbitrary detention,  security of person and right to legal redress for crimes that violate UDHR principles – the continuation of its policy of forcible removal of newborns violates its obligations and therefore Australia is in violation of the UDHR – Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 23, 24, 25(2); Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) (ratified 1989). CAT Violations of Articles: 1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16

Article 1 – torture: severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, intentionally inflicted on a person for purposes of punishment, intimidation, coercion based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain is inflicted by consent or acquiescence of a public official or person acting in an official capacity

Article 4 – Each State party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law and shall apply to any person who is complicit in or participates in acts of torture

Article 6 – The State must inquire into the facts alleged re torture and take into custody persons alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4

Article 10 – Each State Party shall ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials who are involved in the detention of individuals

Article 12 – Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to prompt and impartial investigation, where there is reasonable grounds to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction

Article 13 – Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he had been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by competent authorities.

Article 14 – Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.  In the event of the death of the victim as a result of an act of torture, his dependants shall be entitled to compensation.

Article 16 – Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article 1, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12, and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture of reference to other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

[12] Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW); Disability Services Act 1986 (Cth); Disability Services Act 1993 (NSW)

[13] UDHR Art 5; CAT Art 1;  Sherry, C. (1992). Violations of women’s human rights: birth mothers and adoption’, Law Reform Commission, unpublished paper.;

[14] Ibid; It infers she is acting as a surrogate for a more deserving family, hence dehumanised and constitutes a form of   reproductive slavery; Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009). ‘Babies for the Deserving: Developments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australian State – Others to Follow’, Just Policy, 50, April.

[15] Paul Sunderland, Lecture on the Neurological Effects of Adoption Trauma, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3pX4C-mtiI

[16] Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Art 1. Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term mental and intellectual impairments.  Art. 4 (b) to take all appropriate measures including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination against persons with disabilities; (c) to take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities in all policies and programmes; (d) to refrain from engaging in any act or practice that is inconsistent with the present Convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions act in conformity with the present Convention; (i) to promote the training of professionals working with persons with disabilities in the rights recognised in this Convention;  Art 22: (1) No person with disabilities, regardless of place of residence or living arrangements, shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home … or to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.  Persons with disabilities have the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Art. 26: Stats Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures, to enable persons with disability full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life.  To that end State Parties shall organise, strengthen and extend comprehensive habilitation and rehabilitation services and programmes, particularly in the areas of health, education and social services

[17] Submission of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform to the Inquiry into the Early Intervention and Care of Vulnerable Infants in the ACT Nobody’s Children Inquiry Standing Committee on Health and Disability of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory Submission No. 13 May 22, 2008, p. 15 http://www.ffdlr.org.au/submissions/docs/ACTChildProtectionRev.pdf

[18] UDHR Art 7; ICESCR Art 3; ICCPR Art 2.

[19] UDHR Art 12; ICCPR Art 17

[20] UDHR Art 25(2); ICSECR Art 10(2).

[21] Disability Discrimination Legal Service. (2003). Submission to the Inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee into the Disability Discrimination Amendment Bill 2003 http://www.communitylaw.org.au/clc_ddls/cb_pages/images/DDAAB_Submission.pdf

[22] ibid

[23] Australian Red Cross  Young Parents Program   http://www.redcross.org.au/young-parents-program.aspx

[24] National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Colum+-\=
ia University, (1999).  No Safe haven: Children of Substance-Abusing ParentsNew York: January

[25] Willwerth, J, “Should We Take Away Their Kids? Often the best Way to Save the Child is to Save the Mother as Well, Time, May 13, p. 62

[26] US Department of Health and Human Services, Centre for Substance Abuse Treatment, (2001). Benefits of Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for Pregnant and Parenting Women (WashingtonDC: September

[27] Wobie, K & Behnke et al To Have and To Hold: A Descriptive Study of Custody Status following Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine, paper presented at joint annual meeting of the American Pediatric Society and the Society for Pediatric Research, May 3, 1998, cited in Family Preservation and Substance Abuse  http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/NCCPRPregFactSheet.pdf ; Statement of Dr. Barry M. Lester. (2005).  Committee on the Judiciary, Hearing, “H.R. 3889, The Methamphetamine Epidemic Elimination Act”, Sept 27, http://www.fims.uwo.ca/newmedia2006/images/public/9%20Meth%20Assets/WordDocuments/Testimony%20Final%20Edits.pdf

[28] Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry Into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children From Their Families, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, April 1997

[29] Brother Alex McDonnell, Jesuit priest and youth worker with the homeless in St Kilda, said in an article published in the Melbourne Age on 30 June 1993 that out of 147 suicides involving drugs from 1983 to 1993, 142 came from adoption backgrounds.

[30] Personal email from Judy McHutchison (researcher)  to Dr. Christine Cole, Nov 2013.

[31] Tooley, G., Karakis, M., stokes, M. & Ozanne-Smith, J. (2006).  ‘Generalising the Cinderella Effect to intentional childhood fatalities’, Evolution and Human Behaviour 27, pp. 224-230. p. 228.

[32] Kenny, Higgins, Soloff & Sweid: 2012, Past adoption experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices: Final Report, Report No. 21, Australian Institute of Family Studies   http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/resreport21/

[33] The Broken Bond: Stolen Babies Stolen Motherhood Viewed through a Trauma Perspective.  Supplementary Submission No. 223 to Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions

[34] Cole, C. (2013). Stolen Babies Broken Hearts: Forced Adoption in Australia 1881-1987, Unpublished Doctorate, School of Social Sciences and Psychology,  UWS, http://arrow.uws.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/uws:17555

[35] Rickarby, G. (1997). ‘ Adoption Grief: Irresolvable Aspects’, Jan Kashin (Ed.) in Separation Reunion Reconciliation: Proceedings form the Sixth Australian Conference on Adoption, Brisbane, June. Brisbane: Janice Benson for the Committee of the Sixth Australian Conference on Adoption.

[36] Cole, C. (2013). Stolen Babies Broken Hearts: Forced Adoption in Australia 1881-1987, Unpublished Doctorate, School of Social Sciences and Psychology,  UWS, http://arrow.uws.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/uws:17555 ; Waterss Production Documentary, Adoptees suicide: outcome of the forced adoption era http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d0250dd7935a6ec1b8c563ec6&id=5a51387c69&e=fd70eb7dcf

[37] Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. (2010). Securing our Government Protecting Our Community http://www.dpmc.gov.au/publications/counter_terrorism/docs/counter-terrorism_white_paper.pdf

[38] To take all appropriate measure to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence or abuse, including through the provision of protective services

[39] State Parties shall put in place effective legislation and policies, including women and child focused legislation and polices to ensure that instances of exploitation, violence  does not occur

[40]AustralianState in violation of CAT prior to ratification (1989)

In the case of A. A. v. Azerbaijan  it was established that events of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment that happened prior to the ratification of the treatment, but continue to have effects after the State party’s acceptance of the Convention and if the effects constitute themselves a violation of the Convention, are violations of the CAT Articles as if they occurred after ratification. See Communication No. 247/2004, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/247/2004 (2005) http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/cat/decisions/247-2004.html

[41] Art 13 CAT: Have case promptly, impartially examined and to assist in full rehabilitation

[42] Art 14 CAT: Right to redress, compensation, full rehabilitation and dependants entitled to compensation

[43] Silmalis, L. (2011, Nov 11). 46 Adoptions in NSW this Year: 18,000 kids in care searching for a home: 500 families desperately waiting to adopt a child’, Daily Telegraph, p. 31

[44] Sammut, J. (2013). ‘The politics of apologies: Easy moralism for past sins, but ignorance about the present’, (Mar 26). The Centre for Independent Studies, http://www.cis.org.au/media-information/opinion-pieces/article/4751-the-politics-of-apologies-easy-moralism-for-past-sins-but-ignorance-about-the-present ;Sammut, J. (2013). ‘The enemy within NSW child protection’, (Aug 28). The Centre for Independent Studies, ; http://www.cis.org.au/media-information/opinion-pieces/article/4896-the-enemy-within-nsw-child-protection

[46] Cheater, C. (2009). ‘My brown skin baby they take him away’. In Ceridwen Spark & Denise Cuthbert. (Eds.).  Other People’s Children,  Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, p. 178.

[47] Victorian Dept. of Human Services. (2006). ‘Vulnerable babies, children and young people at risk of harm: Best practice framework for acute health services’.  http://docs.health.vic.gov.au/docs/doc/A9B88A7B541AE7FCCA2579820012364D/$FILE/vulnerable_children.pdf

[48] Gibson, P. (2013, June). ‘Aboriginal child removal rates skyrocket: a new Stolen Generation’, Solidarity.net.au  http://www.solidarity.net.au/57/aboriginal-child-removal-rates-skyrocket-a-new-stolen-generation

[49] Barnardos Australia Submission to Queensland Child Protection Inquiry September 2012, http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/162384/Barnardos_Australia_Voigt_Louise.pdf

[50] Gibson, P. (2013, June). ‘Aboriginal child removal rates skyrocket: a new Stolen Generation’, Solidarity.net.au  http://www.solidarity.net.au/57/aboriginal-child-removal-rates-skyrocket-a-new-stolen-generation/

[51] Sinclair, Raven. 2007. .Identity lost and found: Lessons from the sixties scoop.. First Peoples Child and Family Review. 3.1 (2007): 65-82.

http://www.fncfcs.com/pubs/vol3num1/Sinclair_pp65.pdf

[52] Sorenson, R.  and Wilson. A. (2008, Mar 24). ‘Stolen Generations listed as genocide’,  The Australianhttp://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/stolen-generations-listed-as-genocide/story-e6frg6nf-1111115870201 ; Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry Into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children From Their Families, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, April 1997, p 275.

[53] Through policy formulated by the Department of the Interior

[54] Bartrop, P. (2001). The Holocaust, the Aborigines and the bureaucracy of destruction: An Australian Dimension of  genocide, Journal of Genocide, 3(1), pp. 75-87 at 79.

[55] Cheater, C. (2009). ‘My brown skin baby they take him away’, In Ceridwen Spark & Denise Cuthbert (Eds.) Other people’s children: Adoption in Australia. Melbourne: Australian scholarly Publishing, at p. 184

[56] Ibid p. 187.

[57] See Bronwyn Bishop’s recommendation to re-establish forced adoption as a default welfare option by the States – Murphy, K. Quartly, M. & Cuthbert, D. (2010). “In the Best Interests of the Child”: Mapping the (Re) Emergence of Pro-Adoption Politics in Contemporary Australia’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 55(2), pp. 201-218. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services. (2007). The Winnable War on Drugs: The Impact of illicit drug us on families.  Sept 13. Accessed March 5, 2009. http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/fhs/illicitdrugs/report.htm

House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services. (2005). Overseas adoption in Australia: report on the inquiry into adoption of children from overseas.  Nov 21. Access April 4, 2008. http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/fhs/adoption/report.htm

[58] Voigt, L. (2013). ‘Social Impact Bond Schemes & Service Providers’,  Social Finance Forum – 7-8 August, A presentation by Louise Voigt, CEO and Director of Welfare, Barnardos Australia on 8 August,  http://www.barnardos.org.au/media/39157/louise-voigts-speech-to-social-finance-forum-8-aug-2013.pdf

[59] ibid

[60] ibid

[61] Ibid; Meet the Press. (2013, Nov 10). ‘National Adoption Awareness Week’, Channel 10, Features Pru Goward promoting Forced Adoption, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88aSEnID-Fg ; ABC (2013, Dec 14). ‘Federal Govt to speed up and simplify adoptions’, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-14/federal-govt-to-speed-up-and-simplify-adoptions/5156826?section=act

Connolly, E  Furness attacks adoption culture  The Daily Telegraph Aug 5th, 2007; Horton, S. Furness’s date with Attorney-General The Sun Herald, the Diary S2 Feb 24, 2008; Connolly, E,  A present for all the children The Sunday Telegraph Dec 23, 2007, p. 3; Connolly, E ‘Big Day for adoption campaign The Sunday Telegraph April, 27, 2008, p. 36; Connolly, E.  Jolie’s doctor crusades Courier Mail April 6, 2008 http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23492936-5012980,00.html;

Connolly E, Actress’s mission to overhaul the rules : ‘Adoption fight goes to Rudd’, The Sunday Telegraph, Nov 11, 2007, p. 30; O’Neill, M. ‘ Actress helps win adoption issue’, The Sunday Telegraph Mar 30, 2008 p. 34

ABC Radio National Life Matters Richard Aedy 9.a.m., July 30, 2008: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters/stories/2008/2317716.htm ; The 7.30 Report ABC Reporter: Kirstin Murray March 13, 2008 http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s2188906.htm; Connolly, E. ‘Our adoption laws an embarrassment’, The Sunday Telegraph Aug 5, 2008, p. 9, “The Federal Opposition said it would be proposing reforms to streamline and harmonise the process, to cut waiting lists.”

[62] Gilbert, C.  (1968).  ‘These children need parents (But adoption’s a slow business)’ in Background The Sydney Morning Herald Feb 18, 1968: “500 unwanted babies all need homes”

[63] Deborra-lee Furness. (2013, Sept 13). Deborra-lee Furness: Fight the global orphan crisis’, CNN Global NewsView http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/16/opinion/international-adoption-deborra-lee-furness/

[64] Media Release. (2013, Nov 21). Landmark Child Protection Reforms to Improve the Lives of Vulnerable Children”.  http://prugoward.com.au/Media/MediaReleases/tabid/93/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/172/LANDMARK-CHILD-PROTECTION-REFORMS-TO-IMPROVE-THE-LIVES-OF-VULNERABLE-CHILDREN.aspx

[65] Sammut, J. (2013). ‘The politics of apologies: Easy moralism for past sins, but ignorance about the present’, (Mar 26). The Centre for Independent Studies, http://www.cis.org.au/media-information/opinion-pieces/article/4751-the-politics-of-apologies-easy-moralism-for-past-sins-but-ignorance-about-the-present ;Sammut, J. (2013). ‘The enemy within NSW child protection’, (Aug 28). The Centre for Independent Studies,  http://www.cis.org.au/media-information/opinion-pieces/article/4896-the-enemy-within-nsw-child-protection ;Sammut, J. (2013). ‘The fraught politics of saying sorry for forced adoption implications for child protection policy in Australia’, Centre for Independent Studies, video cast, Mar 18, ; http://www.cis.org.au/publications/issue-analysis/article/4744-the-fraught-politics-of-saying-sorry-for-forced-adoption-implications-for-child-protection-policy-in-australia ; Sammut, J. (2013). ‘Apologise but allow Adoption: Don’t let mistakes of the past entrench today’s flawed family preservation policies’, The Australian, Mar 19.

[66] Sammut, J. (2013). ‘The politics of apologies: Easy moralism for past sins, but ignorance about the present’, (Mar 26).  http://www.cis.org.au/media-information/opinion-pieces/article/4751-the-politics-of-apologies-easy-moralism-for-past-sins-but-ignorance-about-the-present

[67] Barnardos Australia Submission to Queensland Child Protection Inquiry September 2012, http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/162384/Barnardos_Australia_Voigt_Louise.pdf

[68] Including depression, and if a person is distressed in any way and it is presumed their behaviour will impact on their parenting;  Woods, J. (2008). Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW Vol 1, State of NSW, p. 177  http://www.dpc.nsw.gov.au/publications/news/stories/?a=33796 ;  See NSW Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2000 cl. 10; NSW Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 s. 122; s. 121; s27(2); s 23 For the purposes of this part a child is “at risk of significant harm” if current concerns exist for the safety, welfare or well-being of the child because of the presence of any one or more of the following circumstances: (a) the child’s basic physical or psychological needs are not being met or are at risk of not being met; (d) the child or young person  is living in a household where there have been incidents of domestic violence; (e) a parent or other caregiver has behaved in such a way towards the child that the child suffered or IS AT RISK OF SUFFERING  serious psychological harm; (e) a parent or other caregiver has behaved in such a way towards the child that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering serious psychological harm (f) the child was the subject of a pre-natal report under sec 25 and the birth mother of the child did not engage successfully with support services to eliminate, or  minimise to the lowest level reasonably practical, the risk factors that gave rise to the report (2) Any such circumstances may relate to a single act or omission or to a series of acts or omissions. Sect 25: Pre-natal reports; Sect 26: The report can be made anonymously.  http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/caypapa1998442/s38.html

[69] Vulnerable babies, children and young people at risk of harm: Best practice framework for acute health services, Melb: Victorian Government Dept of Human Services,  pp. 50-51 http://docs.health.vic.gov.au/docs/doc/A9B88A7B541AE7FCCA2579820012364D/$FILE/vulnerable_children.pdf ; Carmody, T. (2013). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Queensland: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, pp. 37-38 http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/175248/QCPCI_Discussion_paper.pdf

[70] Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009). Babies for the Deserving: Developments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australia State – Others to Follow?, Just Policy, No. 50 April 20. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions

[71] Dept. of Health, Victoria. (2013). ‘Children at risk’, http://health.vic.gov.au/childrenatrisk/parents.htm ; New South Wales Department of Health. (2006). National Clinical Guidelines for Management of Drug Use During Pregnancy, birth and the early development years of the newborn, endorsed by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy: NSW and SA Dept of Health’s Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs, pp. 10, 17. ; Victorian Gov. (2006). Vulnerable babies, children and young people at risk of harm: Best practice framework for acute health services, Melb: Victorian Government Dept of Human Services,  p. 15  http://docs.health.vic.gov.au/docs/doc/A9B88A7B541AE7FCCA2579820012364D/$FILE/vulnerable_children.pdf

[72] Hagar Cohen, ‘ Babies At Risk’, ABC RN, Background Briefinghttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/babies-at-risk/3117268#transcript

[73] NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell Media Release. Landmark Child Protection Reforms to Improve the Lives of Vulnerable Children, Thursday 21 November 2013,  http://www.nsw.gov.au/news/landmark-child-protection-reforms-improve-lives-vulnerable-children

[74] Tilbury, D. (2009). ‘A ‘Stock and Flow’ analysis of Australian Child Protection Data, Communities, Children and Families Australia, 4(2), pp. 9-17, at p. 10

[75] Arlington, K. (2008).  DOCS took kids by force. Daily Telegraph. Dec 26.

[76] MacDermott, K. (1984).  ‘Rights of Relinquishing Mothers to Access to Information concerning their Adopted Children,’ Human Rights Commission Discussion Paper No. 5, July, Canberra: Human Rights Commission.  MacDermott stated that it was a violation of the Anti-Discrimination Act to remove a child on the basis of marital status.

[77] Hagar Cohen, ‘ Babies At Risk’, ABC RN, Background Briefinghttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/babies-at-risk/3117268#transcript

[78] Wexler, R. (2002). ‘Take the Child and Run: Tales From the Age of ASFA’, New England Law Review, 36 (1), p. 132,  http://www.nesl.edu/userfiles/file/lawreview/vol36/1/06%20Richard%20Wexler.doc

[79] Houppert, K. (1999). Victimizing the Victims, Village Voice, June 15, at p. 41.

[80] ibid

[81] The Rules of Evidence do not apply in these matters: See Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) s 93 (3) & (4) –  Therefore the woman is presumed guilty based on the allegations of the child protection workers.  By the time the case goes to court the infant has already been placed with its foster parents so there is little chance it will be given back as it is presumed in “the child best interests” to remain because its attached to them. When Bronwyn Bishop was asked if a person with a drug dependency turned her life around could she get her baby back after it was forcibly taken Bishop replied: “No, not after adoption” See Bunce, J. (2007). ‘Adopt out’ the children of drug addicts, The Australian, August 27, http://www.lyinx.com.au/page.aspx?docid=28

[82] Another unintended consequence in the US System was that increased reporting led to increases in the abuse within the foster care system ‘Making Matters Worse’http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume10/j10_10_6.htm

[83] Hagar Cohen, ‘ Babies At Risk’, ABC RN, Background Briefinghttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/babies-at-risk/3117268#transcript

[84] Legislative Council of South Australia, Select Committee on Families SA. (2009, Nov). Report of the Select Committee on Families SA, Presented to the Third Session, Fifty-First Parliament 2008-2009, at p. 5,  available on-line.

[85] Hagar Cohen, ‘ Babies At Risk’, ABC RN, Background Briefinghttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/babies-at-risk/3117268#transcript

[86] Carmody, T. (2013). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Queensland: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, p. 46 http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/175248/QCPCI_Discussion_paper.pdf

[87] Kristian Silva, (2013, Dec 16). ‘Govt adopts child safety measures’, Brisbane Times, http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/govt-adopts-child-safety-measures-20131216-2zfxl.html  Under 3

[88] Carmody, T. (2013). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Queensland: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, p. 227  http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/175248/QCPCI_Discussion_paper.pdf

[89] Ibid; Horin, A. (2010, Dec 14). ‘Child’s agency’s background checks under cloud’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/child-agencys-background-checks-under-cloud-20101213-18vi0.html

[90] Hanna, B. (2013).  Agents, Stewards and Co-Producers: Using theory to examine the outsourcing of out-of-home care in NSW, Unpublished Masters of Politics and Public Policy, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, MacquarieUniversity.

[91] Statement of Helen Ferguson, Director, Queensland Dept of Community Services cited in Carmody, T. (2013). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Queensland: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, at p. 227  http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/175248/QCPCI_Discussion_paper.pdf

[92] Carmody, T. (2013). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Queensland: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, p. 229

[93] NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell Media Release. Landmark Child Protection Reforms to Improve the Lives of Vulnerable Children, Thursday 21 November 2013,  http://www.nsw.gov.au/news/landmark-child-protection-reforms-improve-lives-vulnerable-children

[94]Carmody, T. (2013). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Queensland: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, p. 46 http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/175248/QCPCI_Discussion_paper.pdf

[95] Hagar Cohen, ‘ Babies At Risk’, ABC RN, Background Briefinghttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/babies-at-risk/3117268#transcript

[96] Legislative Council of South Australia, Select Committee on Families SA. (2009, Nov). Report of the Select Committee on Families SA, Presented to the Third Session, Fifty-First Parliament 2008-2009, http://www.bressington.net/Files/FamiliesSAReport.pdf  at p. 72

[98] Community Affairs Reference Committee. (2012). Senate Committee ReportCommonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.  Canberra: Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2010-13/comm_contrib_former_forced_adoption/report/index.htm Community Affairs References Committee. (2004). Forgotten Australians: A report on Australians who experiences institutional or out-of-home care as children, The Parliament of the Commonwealth, Canberra: Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat, http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/senate_committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/report/index.htm

Community Affairs References Committee. (2001). Lost Innocents: Righting the Record – Report on child migration, The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra: Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat. Retrieved 2013 Mar from http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/senate_committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/1999-02/child_migrat/report/index.htm

Joint Select Committee. (1999). Adoption and Related Services 1950-1998. Tasmania: Parliament of Tasmania.  Retrieved Aug 11, 2012 from http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/Ctee/reports/adopt.pdf

New South Wales Parliament Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues. (2000). Releasing the Past: adoption practices, 1950-1998: Final Report, Report 22, Parliamentary paper No. 600, Sydney, NSW: Standing Committee on Social Issues Retrieved Aug 11, 2012 http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/56E4E53DFA16A023CA256CFD002A63BC

[99] Voigt, L. (2012). Barnardos Australian Submission to Queensland Child Protection Inquiry-September 2012 http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/162384/Barnardos_Australia_Voigt_Louise.pdf

[100] Ibid; Barnardos, Submission to Queensland Child Protection Inquiry – response to parts of Discussion Paper from Barnardos Australia http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/176688/Barnados_Australia_additional_submission.pdf

[101] Voigt, L. (2012). Barnardos Australian Submission to Queensland Child Protection Inquiry-September 2012 http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/162384/Barnardos_Australia_Voigt_Louise.pdf

[102] Meet the Press. (2013, Nov 10). ‘National Adoption Awareness Week’, Channel 10, Features Pru Goward promoting Forced Adoption, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88aSEnID-Fg

[103] Voigt, L. (2013). ‘Social Impact Bond Schemes & Service Providers’,  Social Finance Forum – 7-8 August, A presentation by Louise Voigt, CEO and Director of Welfare, Barnardos Australia on 8 August,  http://www.barnardos.org.au/media/39157/louise-voigts-speech-to-social-finance-forum-8-aug-2013.pdf

[104] An overview of the now copious research of mental health damage to mothers, their taken children, the mother’s subsequent children and fathers and how it is lifelong and not only negatively affects them but their extended families and communities see: Cole, C. (2011). The Broken Bond: Stolen Babies Stolen Motherhood Viewed through a Trauma Perspective.  Supplementary Submission No. 223 to Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions ;

Cole, C. (2013). Stolen Babies Broken Hearts: Forced Adoption in Australia 1881-1987, Unpublished Doctorate, School of Social Sciences and Psychology,  UWS, http://arrow.uws.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/uws:17555

[105] Gair, S. (2008). ‘The psychic disequilibrium of adoption: Stories exploring links between adoption and suicidal thoughts and actions’, Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health, 7(3)., http://eprints.jcu.edu.au/5880/   http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/news/exploring-links-between-past-adoptions-and-suicide/13426 ; McHutchison, J. (1986). Relinquishing A Child the Circumstances and Effects of Loss, Unpublished Master Thesis, UNSW;  Higgins: 2010, Impact of past adoption practices: Summary of key issues from Australian research, Final Report, A report to the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Australian Institute of Family Studies; Australian Institute of  Family Studies, (2011). Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices, Prepared by Dr. Daryl Higgins, authorised by Professor Alan Hayes, Director. ; Kenny, Higgins, Soloff & Sweid: 2012, Past adoption experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices: Final Report, Report No. 21, Australian Institute of Family Studies   http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/resreport21/ ;  Community Affairs References Committee,. (2012). Former forced adoption policies and practices, Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices, Senate Committee Report.  http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2010-13/comm_contrib_former_forced_adoption/report/index.htm; Cole, C. (2008). Releasing the Past: Mothers’ Stories of their Stolen Babies, Sydney: Sasko Valjanov;

Cole, C. A. (2009a). The thin end of the wedge: Are past draconian adoptive practices re-emerging in the 21st century? Public submission to the National Human Rights Consultation (PDF 96 KB). <www.humanrightsconsultation.gov.au/www/nhrcc/submissions.nsf/list/298F895A0A1C6D37CA2576240003405F/$file/Christine%20Cole_AGWW-7T29E8.pdf>.  ‘The Hidden Tragedy of the White Stolen Generation’, (2009).  Ceridwen Spark & Denise Cuthbert (Eds.) in Other People’s Children: Adoption in Australia, Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, pp. 95-126; Condon, J. (1986). ‘Psychological disability in women who relinquish a baby for adoption’, The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 144.

[106] Wellisch, E. (1952).  ‘Children Without Genealogy: A problem of Adoption’, Mental Health, 13

Kenny, Higgins, Soloff & Sweid. (2012), Past adoption experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices: Final Report, Report No. 21, Australian Institute of Family Studies   http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/resreport21/   http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions ; [106] Sinclair, Raven. 2007. .Identity lost and found: Lessons from the sixties scoop.. First Peoples Child and Family Review. 3.1 (2007): 65-82.

http://www.fncfcs.com/pubs/vol3num1/Sinclair_pp65.pdf

[107] Meet the Press. (2013, Nov 10). ‘National Adoption Awareness Week’, Channel 10, Features Pru Goward promoting Forced Adoption, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88aSEnID-Fg

[108] NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell Media Release. Landmark Child Protection Reforms to Improve the Lives of Vulnerable Children, Thursday 21 November 2013,  http://www.nsw.gov.au/news/landmark-child-protection-reforms-improve-lives-vulnerable-children

[109] Legislative Council of South Australia, Select Committee on Families SA. (2009, Nov). Report of the Select Committee on Families SA, Presented to the Third Session, Fifty-First Parliament 2008-2009, http://www.bressington.net/Files/FamiliesSAReport.pdf  ; Carmody, T. (2013). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Queensland: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/175248/QCPCI_Discussion_paper.pdf

[110] Rickarby, G (1998). Interim Report on Inquiry into Adoption Practices: Transcript of Evidence, From 27 August 1998 to 19 October 1998, Report 17, p. 71; Cole, C. (2008). Releasing the Past: Mothers’ Stories of their Stolen Babies, Sydney: Sasko Valjanov; Cole, C. (2013). Stolen Babies Broken Hearts: Forced Adoption in Australia 1881-1987, Unpublished Doctorate, School of Social Sciences and Psychology,  UWS, http://arrow.uws.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/uws:17555.

[111] Kraus, J. (1976).  ‘Historical Context of the Adoption ‘Crisis’ in New South Wales, Australian Social Work, 29(4), pp. 19-25.

[112] Community Affairs Reference Committee. (2012). Senate Committee ReportCommonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.  Canberra: Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2010-13/comm_contrib_former_forced_adoption/report/index.htm

[113] Barnardos Australia Submission to Queensland Child Protection Inquiry September 2012, http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/162384/Barnardos_Australia_Voigt_Louise.pdf

[114] Clair Weaver, (2013, Nov 11). ‘Debora-Lee Furness launches fight for Australia’s ‘critical’ adoption situation’, Women’s Weekly, http://www.aww.com.au/news-features/news-stories/2013/11/deborra-lee-furness-launches-fight-for-australias-critical-adoption-situation/ ; National Press Club: Adoption Crisis Forum, (2013, Nov 13). Speakers Deborra-Lee Furness, Dr. Jane Aronson, Dr Karyn Purvis and Louise Voigt http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-13/national-press-club-adoption-crisis-forum/5089322

[115] Olsson, K. (2013). All the lost children, The Australian, March 30.  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/all-the-lost-children/story-e6frg8h6-1226607413904

[116] Child Welfare in New South Wales, A child welfare training manual of NSW adoption practice, NSW Government Printers, Sydney,1958, p. 34 – The 1958 Child Welfare booklet states ‘The Department provides an adoption service … for married couples who desire to adopt children…[the service] has 3 phases [which included] (1) the location of suitable children, mainly babies for adoption; R Pannor & A Baran, cited in MA Hale, ‘Past relinquishing mothers: a forgotten group. A study of the legislation, policy and social conditions for a group of women who relinquished new-born infants for adoption in the past’, unpublished MA thesis, School of Social Studies, SA Institute of Technology, 1988; McHutchison NSW Adoption: an historical perspective 1985 Unpublished paper: Cole, C. (2008). Releasing the Past: Mothers’ Stories of their Stolen Babies, Sydney: Sasko Veljanov

[117] Berryman, I. (1979).   ‘So you want to Adopt’, Sunday Herald, April 8.

[118] Wexler, R. (2002). ‘Take the Child and Run: Tales From the Age of ASFA’, New England Law Review, 36 (1), p. 132,  http://www.nesl.edu/userfiles/file/lawreview/vol36/1/06%20Richard%20Wexler.doc

[119] Riben, M. (2007). The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry, USA: Advocate Publications; Davies, B. (2007, Nov 2). ‘Billion-dollar baby trade: The darker side of adoption’, MailOnline,  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-491440/Billion-dollar-baby-trade-The-darker-adoption.html# ; Smolin, D. (2013). ‘The Corrupting Influence of the United States on Vulnerable Intercountry Adoption System: A Guide For Stakeholders, Hague and Non-Hague Nations, NGOs, and Concerned Parties, Journal of Law & Family Studies & Utah Law Review, 15(1). http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=david_smolin ; Smolin, D. (2012). ‘Of Orphans and Adoption, Parents and the Poor, Exploitation and Rescue: A Scriptural and Theological Critique of the Evangelical Christina Adoption and Orphan Care Movment, Regent Journal of International Law, 8, http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=david_smolin

[120] Scott, D. (2002).  ‘A promise unfulfilled on child abuse’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 26(5),  pp. 415-416

[121] Voigt, CEO and Director of Welfare, Barnardos Australia on 8 August 2013, ‘Social Finance Forum – 7-8 August’, http://www.barnardos.org.au/media/39157/louise-voigts-speech-to-social-finance-forum-8-aug-2013.pdf  at p. 6

[122] Kristian Silva, (2013, Dec 16). ‘Govt adopts child safety measures’, Brisbane Times, http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/govt-adopts-child-safety-measures-20131216-2zfxl.html

[123] Voigt, L. (2013). ‘Social Impact Bond Schemes & Service Providers’,  Social Finance Forum – 7-8 August, A presentation by Louise Voigt, CEO and Director of Welfare, Barnardos Australia on 8 August,  http://www.barnardos.org.au/media/39157/louise-voigts-speech-to-social-finance-forum-8-aug-2013.pdf at p. 3

[124] Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009). Babies for the Deserving: Developments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australia State – Others to Follow?, Just Policy, No. 50 April 20. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions

[125] Jones, G. (2011, Mar 3).  ‘NSW Coalition plan for kids in care to return to their families’, Daily Telegraph http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/coalition-plan-for-kids-in-care-to-return-to-their-families/story-fn7q4q9f-1226014979888

[126] Tovey, J. (2011, Nov 11). ‘Children to get families not foster care’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/children-to-get-families-not-foster-care-20121121-29qap.html#ixzz2mDrLQa4m ; Barnardos Australia Submission to Queensland Child Protection Inquiry September 2012, http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/162384/Barnardos_Australia_Voigt_Louise.pdf

[127] ABC News. (2011, Mar). ‘NSW Govt condemns Opposition’s foster care plan’, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-03-03/nsw-govt-condemns-oppositions-foster-care-plan/1964632

[128] Jones, G. (2011, Mar 3).  ‘NSW Coalition plan for kids in care to return to their families’, Daily Telegraph, http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/coalition-plan-for-kids-in-care-to-return-to-their-families/

[129] Smith, A. (2011, June 23). ‘Children at risk to miss out on $1.3b’, SMH,  http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/children-at-risk-to-miss-out-on-13b-20110622-1gfkz.html

[130] Scott, D. (2007, Dec 18). ‘Children need protection from the grassroots up’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/children-need-protection-from-the-grassroots-up/2007/12/17/1197740178867.html?page=2ildren need protection from the grassroots up

[131] Barbara Perry MP, Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services (2012). Media Release:  Goward Rhetoric at total odds with her Budge, 12 June

[132] Silmalis, L. (2011, Nov 11). 46 Adoptions in NSW this Year: 18,000 kids in care searching for a home: 500 families desperately waiting to adopt a child’, Daily Telegraph, p. 31.

[133] ibid

[134] Barnardos Australia Submission to Queensland Child Protection Inquiry September 2012, http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/162384/Barnardos_Australia_Voigt_Louise.pdf

[135] Horton, S. ‘Furness’s date with Attorney-General  The Sun-Herald Feb 24, 2008 the diary S2

[135] ABC Radio National Life Matters Richard Aedy 9.a.m., July 30, 2008: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters/stories/2008/2317716.htm

[136] Voigt, K.  (2013) Sep 16). ‘International adoption: Saving orphans or child trafficking’, http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/16/world/international-adoption-saving-orphans-child-trafficking

Graff, E. J. (2008), The Lie We Love’ Foreign Policy, Nov-Dec http://www.crin.org/docs/lie_we_love.pdf     Graff, E. (2008). ‘The problem with saving the world’s ‘orphans’, http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/12/11/the_problem_with_saving_the_worlds_orphans/  ;  Graff, E. (2013). ‘Call it Trafficking”, http://prospect.org/article/call-it-trafficking ;

[137] Keefer, E. D. (2012). Child protection/Abduction Services: The Modern mafia: Federal Financed Perjury, Fraud, Kidnapping, and Child Drugging for Profit, USA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Callahan, M. (2003). Memoirs of a Baby Stealer: Lessons I’ve learned as a foster mother, USA: Pinewoods; Frontiera, D. (2011). Fighting CPS : Guilty until proven Innocent of Child Protective Services Charges, Houston: The ABC’s Press

[138] Dorothy Roberts, Professor of Law, Excerpts from Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2002) New York: Basic Civitas Books cited  on Frontline, ‘An Assault on Family Preservation, 7 December 2013 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/fostercare/inside/roberts.html

[139] Baker, A. (2012, Nov 30). ‘Making people worse off’, Centre for Independent Studies , http://www.cis.org.au/publications/ideasthecentre/article/4628-making-people-worse-off ; Sammut, J. ‘Apologise but allow adoption’, (2013, Mar 19). The Australian, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/apologise-but-allow-adoption/story-e6frgd0x-1226600097562 ; Morton, R. (2013, Mar 19). ‘Apology for Forced Adoptions risky’, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/apology-for-forced-adoptions-risky/story-fn59niix-1226600147134  –  The Centre for Independent Studies based at St. Leonards is a right wing think tank that has an agenda of cutting or removing all welfare. It is aligned with neo-liberals in the US.  It has come out strongly against family preservation attacking individuals who want to keep families intact as child abusers.  Jeremy Sammut from the CIS states “Family preservation profoundly harms children”. He accuses single mothers who receive benefits has creating a “white underclass”  that are significantly over represented in child abuse cases. Elements of the Australian Government that belong to the secretive Lyons Forum, a right wing radical anti-abortion, Christian group,  have links with the CIS. See Kate Murphy, Marian Quartly, Denise Cuthbert, (2009). ‘In the Best Interets of the Child” Mapping the (Re) Emergence of Pro-Adoption Politics in Contemporary Australia, Australian Journal of  Politics & History, 55(2), pp. 201-218, June.

[140] Ibid ; Foster Care, Child Welfare Reform in Review. (2012). ‘The Legal Orphans’, January 1, http://liftingtheveil.blog.com/2012/01/01/foster-care-child-welfare-reform-in-review/

[141] Ruth Lamperd, (2012, Oct 12). ‘Baby Faith has a drug habit to kick’, Sunday Herald Sun, http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/baby-faith-has-a-drug-habit-to-kick/story-e6frf7kx-1226499828831

[142] Vandewalker, I.  (2008).‘Taking the Baby Before it’s Born: Termination of the Parental Rights of Women Who Use Illegal Drugs while Pregnant’, N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change, 32, pp. 423-463, at p. 423

[143] Ehrlich, J. (2008). ‘Breaking the Law by Giving Birth: The War on Drugs, The War on Reproductive Rights, and the War on Women’, N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change, 32, pp. 381-   421

[144] Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009). ‘Babies for the Deserving: Developments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australian State – Others to Follow?’, Just Policy, 50, pp. 24-29 at p. 29

[145] Ibid;  Nader, C. (2008), ‘Child Services Intervene to Assist 200 Babies at Risk’, The Age, 20 Jan 2009 from Retrieved 9 December 2011 from http://www.theage.com.au/national/child-services-intervene-to-help-200-babies-at-risk-20090119-7ku0.html ; Robins, B. (2010). ‘Surge in infants taken from mothers after DOCS crackdown’, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 April, 2010 Retrieved 9 December 2011 from http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/surge-in-infants-taken-from-mothers-after-docs-crackdown-20100420-srtx.html

[146] Verny, T. & Kelly, J. (1981). The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, New York: Dell Publishing; Verny, T.  (2001).  Pre and Perinatal Perspectives of Adoption, Bonding Before Birth, Accessed Aug 23, 2011.  http://www.keepyourbaby.com/bonding_before_birth.html  Paul Sunderland, Lecture on the Neurological Effects of Adoption Trauma, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3pX4C-mtiI

[147] Becker , K., Abraham, A., Kindler, J., Helmeke, C., & Braun, K. (2006). ‘Exposure to Neonatal Separation Stress Alters Exploratory Behaviour and Corticotrophin Releasing factors in Neurons in the Amygdala and Hippocampus’,  Developmental Neurobiology, 67(5), pp.  617-629; Odent, M. (2001). ‘New reasons and new ways to study birth physiology, International Journal of Gynaecology & Obstetrics, 75, Suppl 1, pp. S39-45; Odent, M. (2011).  ‘Maternal emotional states and prenatal care’,  WombEcology.com ; Raber, J. (1998). ‘Detrimental effects of chronic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation. From obesity to memory deficits’, Molecular Neurobiology, 18(1), Aug, pp. 1-22; Raine, A., Brennan, P. & Medink S. (1994).  ‘Birth complications combined with early maternal rejection at age 1 year predispose to violent crime at 18 years’, Arch Gen Psychiatry, 51, pp. 984-988.

Retrieved from http://www.wombecology.com/maternalemotional.html ; Schore, A. (2001a). The Effects of Early Relational Trauma on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health,  Infant Mental Health Journal, 22(1-2), pp. 201-269; Schore, A. (2001b). Effects of a Secure Attachment Relationship on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health, Infant Mental Health Journal, 22(1-2), pp. 7-66.

Schore, A. (2009).  Relational Trauma and the Developing Right Brain: An Interface of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and Neuroscience,  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1159, pp. 189-203.

[148] Fyfe, D., & Stuart, J. (1954). Report of the Departmental Committee on the Adoption of Children 1953-1954, Publication from House of Commons Parliamentary Papers Online [Cmd. 9248] pp. 13-14.

[149] Pierce, J. (2010, Aug 11). ‘Adoptive Mother, Boyfriend Not Charged with Murder in OKC Child’s Death’, Oklahoma’s Own. http://www.newson6.com/global/story.asp?s=12955540

[150] Brother Alex McDonnell, Jesuit priest and youth worker with the homeless in St Kilda, said in an article published in the Melbourne Age on 30 June 1993 that out of 147 suicides involving drugs from 1983 to 1993, 142 came from adoption backgrounds.

[151] Bath, R. & Hodorowicz. (2009). ‘Foster and Adopted Children Who Die from Filicide: What can We Learn and What Can We Do?’, Adoption Quarterly, 14(2), pp. 85-106 at pp.. 101-102

[152] Ibid; Tooley, G., Karakis, M., stokes, M. & Ozanne-Smith, J. (2006).  ‘Generalising the Cinderella Effect to intentional childhood fatalities’, Evolution and Human Behaviour 27, pp. 224-230. p. 228.

[153] Personal email from researcher Judy McHutchison to Dr. Christine Cole (2013).

[154] Sinclair, Raven. 2007. .Identity lost and found: Lessons from the sixties scoop.. First Peoples Child and Family Review. 3.1 (2007): 65-82.

http://www.fncfcs.com/pubs/vol3num1/Sinclair_pp65.pdf

[155] Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009) ‘Babies for the Deserving: Develpments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australian State – Others to Follow?’, Just Policy, 50, April, pp. 24-29. Additional Information: No.  18 http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions

[156] Dorothy Roberts, Professor of Law, Excerpts from Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2002) New York: Basic Civitas Books cited  on Frontline, ‘An Assault on Family Preservation, 7 December 2013 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/fostercare/inside/roberts.html,

[157] Dorothy Roberts, Professor of Law, Excerpts from Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2002) New York: Basic Civitas Books cited  on Frontline, ‘An Assault on Family Preservation, 7 December 2013 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/fostercare/inside/roberts.html

[158] Ainsworth & Hansen, ibid,  p. 25

[159] Ibid, p. 26

[160] Ibid,

[161] Wessel, M. (1960). ‘The Pediatrician and Adoption’, New England Journal of Medicine, 262, pp. 441-450 at 446; Wessel, M. (1963).  The unmarried mother: A social work- medical responsibility’,  Social Work, 8(1), January.

[162] Roberts, P. (1977). Personal Papers, Sydney: Crown Street Archives; Woodward, L. (2004). ‘Midwives tell their stories’, James Cook University, 2004, accessed September  http://media.jcu.edu.au/story.cfm?id=290

[163] Health Commission of  NSW. (1982). Circular No: 82/297, File No: C. 1081, Issued 1st September, Dr. J. Friend.

[164] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 5; No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or PUNISHMENT. Art. 12; No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy or family; Art. 16 (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state Art. 25 (2). Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.  All children whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.  MacDermott, K. (1984).  ‘Rights of Relinquishing Mothers to Access to Information concerning their Adopted Children,’ Human Rights Commission Discussion Paper No. 5, July, Canberra: Human Rights Commission.

Sherry, C. (1992). ‘Violations of women’s human rights: births and adoption’, unpublished paper.

[165] Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 7: Children have the right to know their parents and, as far as possible, to be cared for by them;

[166] NSW Child Protection (Amendments) Bill 2013; Bill introduced on motion  by Minister Pru Goward http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Prod/parlment/nswbills.nsf/1d436d3c74a9e047ca256e690001d75b/210c44b32b552a8fca257c2a00130c18?OpenDocument

[167] Tovey, J. (2012, Nov 26). ‘Change in policy ‘must be backed up with support’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/change-in-policy-must-be-backed-up-with-support-20121125-2a1ha.html

[168] Kenny, Higgins, Soloff & Sweid: 2012, Past adoption experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices: Final Report, Report No. 21, Australian Institute of Family Studies   http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/resreport21/

[170]Australia is now a signatory to the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Australia could stand in breach of several of its Articles: 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, and particularly 23: Respect for home and the family & 25: Health.   http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

[171] Luthar, S & Sexton, C.  Maternal drug abuse versus maternal depression: Vulnerability and resilience among school-age and adolescent offspring Developmental and Psychopathology, 19, pp. 205-227

[172] Ruth Lamperd, (2012, Oct 12). ‘Baby Faith has a drug habit to kick’, Sunday Herald Sun, http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/baby-faith-has-a-drug-habit-to-kick/story-e6frf7kx-1226499828831 ; White, C. (2006).  ‘Federally Mandated Destruciton of the Black Family: The Adoption and Safe Families Act’, Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy, 1(1), Summer  http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=njlsp

[173] Glover, V. (1997).   Maternal Stress or Anxiety in pregnancy and emotional development of the child, The British Journal of Psychiatry, 171(8), pp. 105-106.

[174] Verrier, N., (2008, 1993).  The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child, USA: Gateway Press Inc; Verrier, N. (2011). ‘Position Statement’, Nancy Verrier, Retrieved 5th September, 2011 from http://nancyverrier.com/position-statement/

Verrier, N. (1997). ‘Separation Trauma’, in J Benson, (Ed.),  Separation Reunion Reconciliation: The Sixth Australian Conference on Adoption, Brisbane: Janice Benson; Verny, T.  (2001).  Pre and Perinatal Perspectives of Adoption, Bonding Before Birth, Accessed Aug 23, 2011.  http://www.keepyourbaby.com/bonding_before_birth.html ; Verny, T. (2002).  Pre-Parenting: Nurturing your Child from Conception, New York: Simon & Shuster.

[175]  Klaus, M. & Klaus, P. (1998). Your Amazing Newborn, Cambridge Massachusetts: Perseus Books; Pearce, J. C. (1992). Evolution’s End: Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence, San Francisco: Harper San Francisco ; Chamberlain, D. (1998). The Mind of Your Newborn Baby, Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books; Klaus, M.  & Kennel, J. (1976/1982). Parent-Infant Bonding, The London: CV Mosby Company;  Noble, E. (1993). Primal Connections, New York: Simon & Schuster; Verny, T. & Kelly, J. (1981). The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, New York: Bantam Publishing.

[176] Lickliter, R. (2000). Theories of Attachment: The Long and Winding Road to an Integrative Developmental Science, Integr Psych Behav, 42,  pp. 397-405; Schore, A. (2001a). The Effects of Early Relational Trauma on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health,  Infant Mental Health Journal, 22(1-2), pp. 201-269.

Schore, A. (2001b). Effects of a Secure Attachment Relationship on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health, Infant Mental Health Journal, 22(1-2), pp. 7-66.

Schore, A. (2009).  Relational Trauma and the Developing Right Brain: An Interface of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and Neuroscience,  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1159, pp. 189-203; Winberg, J. (2005). ‘Mother and newborn baby: mutual regulation of physiology and behaviour-a selective review’, Development Psychobiology, 47(3). Nov, p. 217-229.

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[178] Dahlen, H. (2011). ‘Oxytocin: The hormone of love and birth’, Retrieved 6th September, 2011 from

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[179] Schore, J. R. & Schore, A. N. (2008). ‘Modern attachment theory: the central role of affect regulation in development and treatment’. Clincial Social Work Journal. 36(1) pp. 9-12 at p. 10.

[180] Hofer cited in Anand, K. J. & Scalzo, F. (2000). ‘Can Adverse Neonatal Experiences Alter Brain Development and Subsequent Behaviour’,  Biology of the Neonate, 77(2), p. 71; Chamberlain, D. (1998). The Mind of Your Newborn Baby, Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, at p. 82.

[181]Verrier, N. (1991).  The Primal Wound: Legacy of the Adopted Child: The Effects of Separation from the Birthmother on Adopted Children, A paper originally presented at the American Adoption Congress International Convention April 11-14, Garden Grove, California. Accessed 17/08/2011 https://sites.google.com/site/unconventionaladoptionsite/the-primal-wound ; Winnicott, D. (1966). The Family and Individual Development, New York: Basic Books ; Pearce, J. C. (1992). Evolution’s End: Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence, San Francisco: Harper San Francisco.

[182] Pearce, J. C. (1992). Evolution’s End: Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence, San Francisco: Harper San Francisco;  Anand, K. J., Phil, D. & Hickey, P. (1987).  Pain and its Effects in the Human Neonate and Fetus, The New England Journal Of Medicine, 317(21), pp. 1321-1329, Nov 19. Retrieved April 2, 2009 from  http://www.cirp.org/library/pain/anand/ ;Anand, K. J. & Scalzo, F. (2000). ‘Can Adverse Neonatal Experiences Alter Brain Development and Subsequent Behaviour’,  Biology of the Neonate, 77(2). Barker, D. (1995). ‘The foetal origins of adult disease: Proceedings of the Royal Society London’, Proceedings:  Biological Sciences, 262, (1363), pp. 37-43. Becker, K., Abraham, A., Kindler, J., Helmeka, C.  & Braun, K. (2007). ‘Exposure to Neonatal Separation Stress Alters Exploratory Behaviour and Corticotrophin Releasing Factor Expression in Neurons in the Amygdale and Hippocampus’, Developmental Neurobiology, 67(5), pp. 617-629.Brazelton, T. B. (1982). Pre-birth memories appear to have lasting effect, Brain/Mind Bulletin, 7(2).  Chamberlain, D. (1989). ‘Babies Remember Pain’, Pre- and Peri-Natal Psychology, 3(4), Summer,  pp. 297-310; Christensson, K., Cabrera, T, Christensson, E., Uvnas-Moberg, K. & Winberg, J. (1995). ‘Separation distress call in the human neonate in the absence of maternal body contact’, Acta Paediatr, May, 84(5), pp. 468-473; Ziabreva et al: 2003, p. 436.

[183] Von Borczyskowski, A., Hjem, A., Lindblad, F. & Vinnerljung, B. (2006). Suicidal behaviour in national and international adult adoptees: A Swedish cohort study, Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol, 41, 95-102, Retrieved 12 August 2007 from http://www.springerlink.com/content/y73646n507593n76/fulltext.pdf

[184] Sullivan, et al. (2006). ‘The International Society for Developmental Psychobiology annual Meeting Symposium: Impact of Early Life Experiences on Brain and Behavioural Development’, Developmental Psychobiology,  48(7), pp. 583-602, Nov.

At p. 594; Edelston: 1943 cited in Van der Horst, F. & van der Veer. (2008). Loneliness in Infancy: Harry Harlow, John Bowlby and Issues of Separation,  Integr Psych Behav, 42, pp. 325-335.

Anand, K. J. & Scalzo, F. (2000). ‘Can Adverse Neonatal Experiences Alter Brain Development and Subsequent Behaviour’,  Biology of the Neonate, 77(2), p. 70; Schore, A. (2001). The Effects of Early Relational Trauma on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health’,  Infant Mental Health Journal, 22(1-2), pp. 201-269,  at p. 206; Dorn, L., Hitt, S. & Rotenstein, D. (1999). ‘Biopsychological and Cognitive Differences in Children With Premature vs On-Time Adrenarche’, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 153, http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/153/2/137.pdf

Maciag, C., Dent, G., Gilligan, P., He, L., Kowling, K., Ko, T., Levine, S & Smith, M. (2002). ‘Effects of a Non-peptide CRF Antagonist (DMP696) on the Behavioral and Endocrine Sequelae of Maternal Separation’, Neuropsychopharmacology, 26(5), At  p. 580 http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v26/n5/pdf/1395841a.pdf.

[185] Sorosky, A., Baran, A & Pannor, R. (1975). ‘Identity Conflicts in Adoptees’, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 45, pp. 18-27.

[186] Deutsch, C., Swanson, J., Bruell, J, Cantwell, D., Weinberg, F & Baren, M. (1982). ‘Overrepresentation of Adoptees in Children with the Attention Deficit Disorder’, Behavior Genetics, 12(2), pp. 231-238; Harper, J. & Williams, S. (1976). ‘Adopted Children Admitted to Residential Psychiatric Care’, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 11(1), Feb, p. 43.

[188] Odent, M. (2006). The Long-Term Consequences of How We are Born, Primal Health Research Centre, 14(1), Summer, Retrieved 6th September, 2011 from

http://www.birthlight.com/public/yoga/primalhealthvol14no1.pdf ; Odent, M. (2011).  ‘Maternal emotional states and prenatal care’,  WombEcology.com

Retrieved from http://www.wombecology.com/maternalemotional.html

[189] Bohman, M & von Knorring, A. (1979).  ‘Psychiatric illness among adults adopted as infants, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 60, pp. 106-112; Gunnar, M. et al. (1996).  ‘Stress reactivity and attachment security’,  Developmental Psychobiology, 29(3), Apr, pp. 191-204; Kirschner, D. (1990). The adopted child syndrome: Considerations of psychotherapy, Psychotherapy in Private Practice, 8, pp. 93-100; Schechter, M., Carlson, P., Simons, J. & Work, H. (1964). ‘Emotional problems in the adoptee’, Archives of General Psychiatry, 10, pp. 109-118.

[190] Schechter, M. (1960). ‘Observations on Adopted Children’, Archives of General Psychiatry, 3, July..

[191] Carangelo, L. (2003). Chosen Children: Billion Dollar Babies in America’s Foster Care, Adoption and Prison Systems, Electronic Edition http://www.parentsinaction.net/english/Adoption/chosen.pdf

[192] Pearce, J. C. (1992). Evolution’s End: Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence, San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, p. 126.

[193] Becker, K., Abraham, A., Kindler, J., Helmeka, C.  & Braun, K. (2007). ‘Exposure to Neonatal Separation Stress Alters Exploratory Behaviour and Corticotrophin Releasing Factor Expression in Neurons in the Amygdale and Hippocampus’, Developmental Neurobiology, 67(5), pp. 617-629,  pp. 617-629; Carrasco, G.  & Van de Kar, L. D.  (2003). ‘Neuroendocrine pharmacology of stress’, European Journal of Pharmacology, 463, pp. 235-272.

[194] deMause, L. (1995). Restaging Prenatal and Birth Traumas in War and Social Violence, Accessed April, 2, 2009.  http://www.primalspirit.com/deMause_EarlyTrauma_art.htm

[195] Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009). Babies for the Deserving: Developments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australia State – Others to Follow?, Just Policy, No. 50 April 20. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2010-13/commcontribformerforcedadoption/submissions

[196] Hagar Cohen, ‘ Babies At Risk’, ABC RN, Background Briefinghttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/babies-at-risk/3117268#transcript

[197]  Appell, A. & Boyer, B. (1995). ‘Parental Rights VS. Best Interests of the Child: A False Dichotomy in the Context of Adoption’, Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, 2(63),  p. 787

[198] McHutchison, J.  (1984-1985).  Adoption in NSW: An Historical Perspective  Unpublished paper

; Cole, C. (2013). Stolen Babies Broken Hearts: Forced Adoption in Australia 1881-1987, Unpublished Doctorate, School of Social Sciences and Psychology,  UWS, http://arrow.uws.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/uws:17555

[199] Kallen, D., Griffore, R. J, Popovich, S & Powell, V. (1990).. Adolescent others and their mothers view adoption. Family Relations, 30, pp. 313-316. p. 316

[200] Neil, Elsbeth. (2007). ‘Coming to Terms with the Loss of a Child’, Adoption Quarterly, 10(1),  pp. 1-23; Berry, M., Cavazos Dylla, D. J., Barth, R. P. & Needell, B. (1998). ‘The role of open adoption in the adjustment of adopted children and their families, Children and Youth Services Review, 1, pp. 151-171; Christian, C. L., McRoy, R.,  Grotevant, H. D. & Bryant, C. M. (1997). ‘The grief resolution of birth mothers in confidential, time-limited mediated, ongoing mediated and fully disclosed adoption, Adoption Quarterly, 1, pp. 35-58; Logan, J. (1996). Birth mothers and their mental health: Unchartered territory, British Journal of Social Work, 26, pp. 609-625; Etter, J. (1993). ‘Levels of cooperation and satisfaction in 56 open adoption, Child Welfare, 72, pp. 257-267.

[201] Carmody, T. (2013). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, Queensland: Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, p. 227 http://www.childprotectioninquiry.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/175248/QCPCI_Discussion_paper.pdf;

[202] Ainsworth, F. & Hansen, P. (2009).  ‘Babies for the Deserving: Developments in Foster Care and Adoption in one Australian State – Others to Follow?’, Just Policy, 50, pp. 24-29 at p. 26

Rita Caroll, APPG & ACFA, oral testimony to the Standing Committee on Family and Human Services, ‘Inquiry into adoption of children from overseas, July 21, 2000 at p. 19  http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=fhs/./adoption/hearings.htm

[203] Strarpulse.com. News,  (2006, Mar 14). Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, are in shock after learning tht the mother of their adopted son Oscar has killed herself.  Amber sanders, 28, had an ongoing battle with drugs and depression after giving her child away to the Australian actors. According to her father Tom Lanhem, “She was very distraught over never being able to see her son Oscar”  Contactmusic.com Men – Suicide rocks Jackman Mar 14, 2006, Retrieved Oct 22, 2008 from <http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/suicide%20rocks%20jackman_14_03_2006>; PRWebb  Fast Track Adoption Ends in Suicide: Natural mother commits suicide after “Fast Track Adoption” Reveals how she was used by the woman who adopted her daughter April 13, 2004  <http://www.fixcas.com/oppose/pr.pdf  ;  Teenager mother found hanged days after discovering her baby had been adopted Daily Mail Reporter  June 1 2011 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393059/Teenager-mother-hanged-just-days-discovering-baby-adopted.html

[204] Cole, C. (2008). Releasing the Past: Mothers’ stories of their stolen children Sydney: Sasko Valenjo; The following is a response that was posted on a newspaper website promoting the Furness campaign: “Couples who go through IVF often have repeated attempts costing thousands of dollars. So by the time they give up on IVF and seek adoption avenues, they have already spent a small fortune. So what I would like to ask is why the NSW Government charges $10,000? What do they spend this money on? I am very sure the paperwork would not amount to $10,000. Why isn’t this amount refundable should you be unsuccessful? They are offering a service and not delivering, so why should you still have to pay? Why does the adoption process take years? Do the people in authority realise the agonising process of not being able to conceive a child and then having to wait years for a much wanted child”? http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/comments/0,22058,22189580-5001021,00.html  Posted by: Daisy Williams of 4:42pm August 05, 2007

[205] Bishop is pro adoption and supports forced adoption, but even she understands adopters do not want children under 5. She  stated: “all children under five who have a parent who has used drugs, even if not using them now, should have their children immediately taken and adopted out” ; Bunce, J. (2007).  Adopt out the children of drug addicts The Australian Aug 27, http://www.lyinx.com.au/page.aspx?docid=28 ; Santow, S. (2007). Bishop wants rethink on addicts’ children July 23,  ABC http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s1985268.htm

[206] Marshall, A. & McDonald, M. (2001). The Many Sided Triangle: adoption in Australia,, Melbourne:  Melbourne University Publishing

[207] Horton, S. Furness’s date with Attorney-General The Sun Herald, the Diary S2 Feb 24, 2008; Connolly, E,  A present for all the children The Sunday Telegraph Dec 23, 2007, p. 3; Connolly, E ‘Big Day for adoption campaign The Sunday Telegraph April, 27, 2008, p. 36; Connolly, E  Our adoption laws an embarrassment The Sunday Telegraph August 5, 2007 p. 9; Connolly, E.  Jolie’s doctor crusades Courier Mail April 6, 2008 http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23492936-5012980,00.html; Connolly E, Actress’s mission to overhaul the rules :Adoption fight goes to Rudd The Sunday Telegraph, Nov 11, 2007, p. 30; O’Neill, M. (2008).  Actress helps win adoption issue The Sunday Telegraph Mar 30, 2008 p. 34.

[208]  Marshall, A. & McDonald, M. (2001). The Many Sided Triangle: adoption in Australia,, Melbourne:  Melbourne University Publishing, p. 42

[209] Voigt, L. (2013). ‘Social Impact Bond Schemes & Service Providers’,  Social Finance Forum – 7-8 August, A presentation by Louise Voigt, CEO and Director of Welfare, Barnardos Australia on 8 August,  http://www.barnardos.org.au/media/39157/louise-voigts-speech-to-social-finance-forum-8-aug-2013.pdfRoberts, H. (2011, April 18). ‘Orphans aged over five left to languish in care because they’re ‘too old’ for adoption’, MailOnline  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377982/Orphans-aged-left-languish-care-theyre-old-adoption.html

[210] Somalis, L. (2012, Nov 11). ’46 Adoptions in NSW this Year’, The Sunday Telegraph, p. 31.

[211] Marshall, A. & McDonald, M. (2001). The Many Sided Triangle: adoption in Australia,, Melbourne:  Melbourne University Publishing, p. 42.

[212] Roberts, P. (1972). Department of Social Work, The Women’s Hospital Crown Street, Sydney.

[213]AIHW 2013. Adoptions Australia 2012-2013. Child Welfare Series 57 Cat. No. CWS 47, Canberra: AIHW. Pp. . 10-11.  http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129545516&tab=2

[214] Smolin, D. (2012). Of Orphans and Adoption, Parents and the Poor, Exploitation and Rescue; A Scriptural and Theological Critique of the Evangelical Christian Adoption and Orphan Care Movement, Regent Journal of International law; Smolin D. (2010).  Child Laundering and the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption: The Future and Past of Intercountry Adoption, University of Louisville Law Review; Smolin, D. (2006). Child Laundering: How the Intercountry Adoption System Legitimizes and Incentives the Practice of Buying, Trafficking, Kidnapping, and Stealing Children, ExpressO; Wayne Law Review; Smolin, D. (2005). Intercountry Adoption as Child Trafficking, Valparaiso Law Review  http://works.bepress.com/david_smolin/doctype.html#article  ; The Problem with saving the World’s Orphans The Boston Globe Dec 11 http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/12/11/the_problem_with_saving_the_worlds_orphans/  Fraud and Corruption in international adoptions http://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/adoption/

[215] AIHW 2012. Adoption Australia 2011-2012. Child Welfare Series 54 Cat. No. CWS 42 p. vi.

[216] AIHW 2013. Adoptions Australia 2012-2013. Child Welfare Series 57 Cat. No. CWS 47, Canberra: AIHW. p. 37   http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129545516&tab=2

[217] ibid

[218] Kathryn Leckenby, adoptive mother, oral testimony to the Standing Committee on Family and Human Services, ‘Inquiry into adoption of children from overseas, July 21, 2000 at p. 73  http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=fhs/./adoption/hearings.htm

[219] Hilpern, K. (2013, Sept 24). ‘Adoption parties: the best way to find a child a family’, The Independent,   http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/adoption-parties-the-best-way-to-find-a-child-a-family-8835355.html

[220] Max Pemberton. (2013, Dec 15).  ‘Advertising children for adoption is necessary’,  The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/10517251/Advertising-children-for-adoption-is-necessary.html

[221] Hilpern, K. (2013, Sept 24). ‘Adoption parties: the best way to find a child a family’, The Independent,   http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/adoption-parties-the-best-way-to-find-a-child-a-family-8835355.html

[222] Narey, M. (2011). ‘Martin Narey: Adoption has to come back into fashion’, Independent Voices, July 31, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/martin-narey-adoption-has-to-come-back-into-fashion-2329165.html ; Narey, M. (2011). ‘The Narey Report on Adoption: Our blueprint for Britain’s lost children’, The Times, July 5, pp. 1-16, http://www.mnarey.co.uk/publications.php ; Narey, M. (2013). ‘Fostering for adoption’ will offer earlier stability for children’, The Guardian Social Care Network, Feb 15, Retrieved Feb 2013 from http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2013/feb/14/fostering-for-adoption-stability-children-families-bill ; Nrey, M. (2012, July 20). ‘Narey. Contact with birth parents harms children too often’, http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2012/07/20/narey-contact-with-birth-parents-harms-children-too-often/ Martin Narey was the UK CEO for Barnardos  (2005-2011) and then became the adoption czar advising government how to promote adoption

[223] Reid, S. (2008, Jan 31). ‘How Social services are paid bonuses to snatch babies for adoption’, MailOnline, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-511609/How-social-services-paid-bonuses-snatch-babies-adoption.html

[224] Staff Writer, (2013, Nov 16). ‘New Laws will see babies taken from addicted or abused mothers who refuse to seek help’, The Sunday Telegraph, http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/new-laws-will-see-babies-taken-from-addicted-or-abused-mothers-who-refuse-to-seek-help/story-fni0cx12-1226761627553

[225] Connolly, E  Furness attacks adoption culture  The Daily Telegraph Aug 5th, 2007; see various posts of Daisy Williams  http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22189580-; 5001021,00.html; Horton, S. Furness’s date with Attorney-General The Sun Herald, the Diary S2 Feb 24, 2008; Connolly, E,  A present for all the children The Sunday Telegraph Dec 23, 2007, p. 3; Connolly, E ‘Big Day for adoption campaign The Sunday Telegraph April, 27, 2008, p. 36; Connolly, E  Our adoption laws an embarrassment The Sunday Telegraph August 5, 2007 p. 9; Connolly, E.  Jolie’s doctor crusades Courier Mail April 6, 2008 http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23492936-5012980,00.html;

Connolly E, Actress’s mission to overhaul the rules :Adoption fight goes to Rudd The Sunday Telegraph, Nov 11, 2007, p. 30; O’Neill, M  Actress helps win adoption issue The Sunday Telegraph Mar 30, 2008 p. 34.

[226] News.com.au  (2013, Nov 13). ‘Deborra-Lee Furness wants federal government to make adoption easier’, http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/deborralee-furness-wants-federal-government-to-make-adoption-easier/story-fnet085v-1226756411775

[227] Smolin, D. (2013). The Corrupting Influence of the United States on a Vulnerable Intercountry Adoption System: A Guide for Stakeholders, Hague and Non-Hague Nations, NGOs, and Concerned Parties, Journal of Law & Family Studies & Utah Law Review; Smolin, D. (2012). Of Orphans and Adoption, Parents and the Poor, Exploitation and Rescue; A Scriptural and Theological Critique of the Evangelical Christian Adoption and Orphan Care Movement, Regent Journal of International Law; Smolin, D. (2006). Child Laundering: How the Intercountry Adoption System Legitimizes and Incentives the Practice of Buying, Trafficking, Kidnapping, and Stealing Children, ExpressO; Wayne Law Review; Smolin, D. (2005). Intercountry Adoption as Child Trafficking, Valparaiso Law Review  http://works.bepress.com/david_smolin/doctype.html#article  ; The Problem with saving the World’s Orphans The Boston Globe Dec 11 http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/12/11/the_problem_with_saving_the_worlds_orphans/

[228]Henley Report: 1870, pp. 34, 47 cited in Cole: 2013, Vol 1, p. 135; Mundella Report: 1896, p. 86 cited in Cole: 2013, Vol 1,p. 141))

 

3 Responses to Australian Human Rights Commission Letter

  1. kath says:

    I’m pretty damaged from it, my family’s gone, I grow old alone and separate from my children, my mother dies one day knowing they stole my girls away, most days I do not want to live, each day is another one gone making the hole wider. Yes I had some problems but the punishment has made them seem like I never had any and I should have complained or spoken out but I did and now my life is long gone.

    • Valerie says:

      Dear Kath,

      You should not feel that you life is long gone. Instead you should stand up and fight, educate the public. I live in the United States, and this very same thing is now happening to my family. My son and his wife did nothing wrong. My daughter-in-law had surgery during pregnancy which caused the baby to test positive. Now CPS wants to come in a and investigate. When we told them we had proof of the medication, then just started digging into the other two children that are in the house and now they are checking my background as well! We will be fighting to the end, for us and for you, and now for those families that will come after us! Please do no feel your life is now gone, tell your story, have faith that people will listen, become an advocate for all the children who are still out there. Blessed be and may you find some peace.

  2. Ingrid justice says:

    As a grandmother of two children that are under your care Pru Goward Minister
    For Families Comunities
    I’m appalled that you are promoting adoption when these children still have a family
    Yes a nanna and pop
    Aunties uncles nieces nephews
    Yet you refuse to work with us to bring them home
    You are clearly not who you say you are
    Families and communities working with families
    Why are you intent on ruining peoples lives is beyond ludicrous
    You are so pathetic you have people blocking families on your Facebook page
    You refuse to respond to emails
    You are not a peoples person
    Maybe you could rethink as to why you have this portfolio

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