Barbara Maison: WA Mother fighting for justice

Adoption Redress: This needs to be a decision made and action taken Australia wide by all states, not just Victoria. Babies were taken from vulnerable “unmarried” mothers, also some extremely vulnerable married mothers, in every state through the same eras when women and girls were controlled by a very patriarchal and religious society. Not only mothers, also many fathers, have suffered the grief and pain of the removal of their child; the not knowing of their whereabouts, or if indeed they were alive or dead, or worse living a loveless or cruel life, in lieu of the one that they were forbidden to give them.

All these crimes against defenseless – mostly young – women and men who wanted to parent their own child, were often denied the chance by dishonestly forced adoption methods: forged signatures, available options of support deliberately denied, told their child had died at birth, not told of the 30 day revocation period and other insidious lies by those who were supposedly there to help them – the social workers and religious organisations – and the state and federal governments of Australia condoned and assisted these actions.

It is was a dark part of Australian history that has been acknowledged back in 2013 when Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised in behalf of the Australian Government for these atrocities, some $11.5 million was allocated to assist those affected by forced adoption practices, plus another $5.7 million in 2016-17, so why is this still being fought for now nearly a decade on???

Not only have the mothers, and some fathers, fought for this recognition, but there is a growing surge of those taken children, the adoptees, who are rising up in protest at the effect of the removal from their families, their voices also have to be heard now, and taken seriously into account, as they are the other side of this fractured equation anomaly.

All I have heard, apart from the recent Victorian Government’s offer of redress, is that counselling is available. Most counselling offered is by government or religious organisations. The governments and religions aided the original unlawful crimes against a part of society, therefore some find it too confronting or useless to avail themselves of those services.

Redress is the only responsible response, so why is it such a difficult decision for current state governments to make?