The Killing Season

In the third instalment of  ABC’s The Killing Season

http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/killing-season/

Paul Howes, former National Secretary of the Australian Worker’s Union,  acknowledged his anger at having our Federal Apology (21/3/2013) interrupted by Simon Crean’s attempt to oust Prime Minister Gillard – who was issuing our apology – the very same day.  Howes stated that he was very angry as he, like hundreds of thousands of non-Indigenous families, illegally torn apart by past government policies, had waited their entire lifetime to hear the representative of our Government and Nation say sorry for what was effectively another stolen generation: the white stolen generation.

I was very glad that our apology was acknowledged during the program as we had such little publicity at the time and as far as I am concerned very little media interest in our issues now.

I got to know Paul as a friend whilst we worked together on the Working Group set up to draft the formal apology to be given by our first female Prime Minister.

The PM with my granddaughter: Bella & Apology Draft Working Grorup

Paul is standing on the far left of the picture, my granddaughter is standing next to our PM and I have a pink cardigan on.  Professor Nahum Mushin is standing at the far right.

Paul and I did an interview together and he is indeed a very powerful speaker  – he certainly did not hold back during the interview

Without Consent: Australia's Post Adoption Practices Exhibition launch

Without Consent: Australia’s Post Adoption Practices Exhibition launch

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Adoption needs overhaul or abandoning say people adopted as children

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4249194.htm

The ABC’s 7.30 Report last night aired several adoptees speaking out against adoption.  They were supported by former Family Court Judge: Professor Nahum Mushin. The long term mental health damage that adoptees suffer from being separated from their mothers in particular, extended family and their  loss of identity was discussed .  And in the case of intercountry adoptees – loss of their cultural identity as well.

One adoptee mentioned that many orphanages sprung up to warehouse babies and toddlers for adults wishing to adopt.  She labelled these “dodgy orphanages” and “trafficking stations”.

The adoptees questioned Tony Abbott’s promise to fast-track adoptions from overseas

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-04/adult-adoptees-question-abbotts-adoption-promise/6523066

I have discussed what amounts to an orphan/orphanage industry  in more detail on this blog.

https://apologyalliance.com/2014/11/12/deborra-lee-furness-child-saver-or-child-trafficker/

Once westerners begin to move in to an area and demand babies, black markets develop.  The number of orphanages directly increase as a result of demand and entrepreneurs in baby trafficking will stock them with babies and toddlers that may have been kidnapped or coerced from parents. UNICEF is urging that poor parents are supported so that poverty does not force them to turn to these orphanages once set up. So ubiquitous is this problem that some have labelled the collection of children – mostly NOT orphans – as Orphan Shopping. And/or Orphan Tourism

(See) Orphan Tourism in Cambodia

http://nelbie.com/kevmarl/2014/8/5/the-cambodian-orphans-head-first-with-sabour-bradley-on-abctv

Many of these orphanages allow unsupervised visits by foreigners and some foreigners pay to “help out”.  Intercountry adoption as was local domestic adoption is racked with crime, mismanagement and the commodification of children for money.  It is about the wants of adults – as adoptees stated in their ABC interview – and so ‘eloquently’ underscored by Tony Abbott ‘ “Adoption should be made easier quicker and cheaper for those wishing to adopt”.

Deborra Lee Furness’s representative on the program provided the adopters side, briefly stated – their providing a service: ‘Orphan saving –  because there are millions of needy orphans worldwide’.  This is spin:

The truth is there are millions of poor families  who are separated from their children because of poverty:   https://apologyalliance.com/2014/05/01/modern-day-slavery-the-reason-australia-has-stringent-regs-re-intercountry-adoption/

If all the rhetoric is true and adoption is really ‘about the children’  then shouldn’t the so called ‘saved children’, now adults be the ones listened to? And why if it is really about ‘saving children’, is the national conversation around adoption always framed by adopters – or their representatives or organisations who financially benefit by the institution?

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New Documentary exposes UK child trafficking under guise of Forced Adoption: CASH FOR KIDS

The following URL exposes what is happening under the UK Forced Adoption Program – which has been promoted by Bernardos and the Rupert Murdoch Press

http://rt.com/shows/documentary/242245-adoption-biological-parents-kids/

There is an evil push in Australia to not only bring back forced adoption but expand it and

http://www.cis.org.au/publications/ideasthecentre/article/5614-unleashing-the-adoption-revolution

make it big business –  the way it operates in the UK.

Individuals like Dr. Jeremy Sammut of the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), a right wing conservative think tank, espouses the Tank’s foundational ideology:  any welfare recipient is a bludger and single parents create an underclass of criminals.  Its ideology is pure eugenics, not surprising since Sammut’s mentor is the American eugenicist Charles Murray – a co-author of the book The Bell Curve. In which was stated that if you take a newborn from its unwed mother and gave it to a two parent family its IQ increased by 10 points – that book was published – not in 1910  but – in 1995.

I have discussed the high number of children abused in the foster industry – where one foster care contractor stood out – ‘Life Without Barriers’ (LWB).

https://apologyalliance.com/2014/07/25/politicising-foster-care-abuse-to-promote-forced-adoption-call-for-adoption-targets/

It is making millions of dollars profit each year from placing children with poorly screened carers.  500 Carers were/are under investigation for abuses against children. Recently the ABC reported that a child in the care of LWB drowned in a filthy backyard pool – that had no safety fence. The house was filthy and littered with pills and alcohol. The father had asked for respite care for his son whilst he withdrew off methadone. He had asked if a family member could be a carer.  The Dept. denied him and pressured him into consenting to a stranger taking his son under its foster care program – if not they were going to take his son permanently.  The child’s parents and extended family are heart broken.  This story was in the media for five minutes then disappeared.   However if one biological parent has abused his or her child it plays on and on in the media, not for days but months – without any context.  Journalists don’t ask if the parent was  a victim of past abusive welfare practices?   Do they have mental health problems?  I mean we have literally hundreds of thousands of mothers and fathers damaged by being forcibly removed from their family of origin under the Stolen Generations; Forced Adoption; British Migrant; Forgotten Australians programs – Australia seems to have learnt little from its past catastrophic welfare ‘solutions’. Then ironically rather than assisting parents the State has made vulnerable it permanently destroys them by stealing their children – for  PROFIT

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-21/parents-of-child-who-died-in-temporary-foster-care-want-answers/6487326

Do not let the Murdoch/CIS agenda be implemented in Australia. If Forced Adoption is allowed to expand like it has done in the UK it could be your child they come for next!

Child&Vulture

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Commercial Surrogacy: Womb exploitation and baby commodification

A member of the Alliance wrote a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald which was not published – because of the important issues it raises I have published it on the Blog … Dr. Christine A. Cole

“I sent the letter below to the SMH in response to an article in the SMH titled “Should surrogacy be legalised in Australia published 15th May.  The case for commercial  surrogacy was expounded by Sam Everingham.  The case against was presented by Bernadette Tobin, Plunkett Centre for Ethics at St Vincents Hospital and the Australian Catholic University – she presented the case well but no mention of the psychological damage to women lured in to this exploitation.

Disappointed there were no letters published in relation to the surrogacy article”.

Many of us mothers who lost our babies to the adoption epidemic in the 1950’s & 1960’s are still stricken by it in old age.  It is therefore unbelievable that practices such as commercial surrogacy are now being publicly advocated (Should commercial surrogacy be legalised in Australia 15th May).
Who will be the surrogates?  Young Australian women who are attracted to the remuneration without an understanding of the risk of being deeply psychologically scared by the experience. Consequently many of these mothers will be unable to reach their potential and just as in adoption the long term economic costs will be born by the mother, her family and the Australian community generally.
The Government has the responsibility to protect the physical and mental well being of all Australians not to provide a framework in which one section can deeply exploit and harm another.
There is no need for a national enquiry on the matter.  There were enquiries way back in the 1980’s and the outcomes of these enquiries was that commercial surrogacy was not a practice that was compatible with a civilized cohesive and compassionate society.
In Australia altruistic surrogacy is permitted so if the judges named in the article as being in favour of commercial surrogacy feel strongly on the matter it is open to them to encourage the female members of their own families and own social circles to make their bodies available for this purpose.

 

 

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Brief History of the Apology Alliance

I was asked to write a brief overview of the history of the Apology Alliance for the Without Consent Exhibition currently on show at the National Archives in Canberra.

The Exhibition is  amazing and something that I never dreamed I would see in my lifetime:  the truth finally being presented to the public. To see the cruel, barbaric and previously hidden history of the theft of thousands of newborns from their young healthy mothers for the purpose of adoption finally exposed is one more step in our healing process . Our story is truly one of a stolen generation of White Australians.  As was stated by an Aboriginal Elder at a National Adoption Conference held back in 1994: “No wonder they did it to us (the Stolen Generations) they did it to their own”!

You can access the history at the following URL  https://apologyalliance.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/overview-of-the-apology-alliance-australia-3.pdf

 

The Exhibition came about because of the Federal Apology and was opened to coincide and commemorate its 2nd anniversary.

The PM with my granddaughter: Bella & Apology Draft Working Grorup

The Federal Apology was truly remarkable and a turning point for many of us.  I was very proud to be part of the Working Group that was involved in drafting the formal part of the apology given by the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard to the nation on March 21, 2013.  The above photo features the Working Group and my granddaughter is standing beside the former PM

Dr. Christine Cole

Convenor  – Apology Alliance Australia

 

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Coroners finding support pro adoption lobby agenda

http://indaily.com.au/news/2015/04/09/chloe-inquest-scathing-coroner-calls-for-massive-legal-overhaul/

The above article details a case of child abuse that was reported, but shockingly nothing was done to protect the child.  The Coroner blamed a “family preservation” ethic within SA Child Protection as the cause of the child’s death.  A conclusion that  is at odds with the findings of an earlier inquiry conducted into SA Child Protection Services (2009). Findings that were scathing about the over reporting, lack of funding, inadequate training, the failure to remove children in harm whilst removing others that were not.  Interestingly it found that far from there being a family preservation ethic there was a quick rush to take some whilst other children in real danger slipped through the cracks.

I believe the Coroner’s findings as well as contradicting those of the earlier Inquiry are simplistic and do not provide a solution to a complex problem and purposely feed into the pro adoption campaign that is presently  under-way in Australia.  The damage done to the many stolen generations of white and black children permanently removed and adopted have taught us that utilising this as a default child protection measure  is not the answer.

Another alarming fact is that the Coroner quotes how few adoptions there are in Australia compared to the UK and the US. He obviously has not researched the myriad of problems there in in the out of home care industry — and that includes adoptions – in those countries. Continually comparing Australia’s low adoption rates with that of the UK and the US has been an ongoing tactic utilised by the pro adoption lobby to argue their case for increased adoptions in Australia for a number of years.

The article does not mention kinship care, which is surprising,  considering it was the grandparents who were key players in bringing the abuse to the attention of authorities and repeatedly asked to take custody of their granddaughter for her protection. Considering the severity of the complaints and the fact there were two people who were related to and had the best interests of the child at heart why where the grandparents ignored?  Why was the Department’s failure to place the child with her loving grandparents not flagged as a systemic problem within the system by the Coroner?  The earlier Inquiry (2009) had certainly stated disregarding grandparents concerns and failing to place their at risk grandchildren with them was a systemic failure in the SA child protection system.

There is a lot to learn from this tragedy.  Many caseworkers are poorly trained, inexperienced and over worked.  The sector is underfunded.  The answer however is not adoption.  There needs to be  a system set up  that is adequately funded so there are enough properly trained child protection workers to adequately investigate cases such as these. Kinship care needs to be part of alternate care arrangements, properly funding supportive services for at risk families and if all else fails then removal under a Permanent Placement or Parenting Order.

The following are some extracts from  the SA Inquiry that I published on the Blog more than 12 months ago  – See https://apologyalliance.com/a-stolen-generation-in-the-making/a-stolen-generation-in-the-making-part-3/a-stolen-generation-in-the-making-part-4/a-stolen-generation-in-the-making-part-6/:

The Select Committee on Families advised the South Australian Government that the culture within SA Child Protection was “rotten”.  The Committee was scathing in its findings.   Goward’s claims that an ineffective and abusive system existed within NSW child protection equally applied to its counterpart in South Australia.  The Select Committee found that “immature, inexperienced, badly trained” workers were “vindictive and abused their powers with impunity”. They were totally inept at protecting children or engaging with their families. There was no attempt to assist families stay intact. When grandparents offered to provide kinship care for grandchildren with whom they had a connection, care workers not only ignored them, but were obstructive. As was the case in NSW families who applied for respite care or support services had their children removed.  Families SA policies for family preservation and reunification were ignored.   They covered their mistakes by falsifying files and failed to reunify families that had their children unnecessarily removed.  In other occasions they did not remove children who were in danger. Since 1997 SA Child Protection has worked in partnership with NGOs such as Anglicare SA, Aboriginal Family Support Services, Anglicare Community Care, Port Pirie Central Mission/Centcare Whyalla. All of which are collectively known as ACSPs.  When children require alternative care the Department refers them to the Central Alternative Care Unit (CACU) which liaises with the ACSPs to obtain appropriate child placement. They were also supposed to assist families whose children were in care. The ACSPs are also responsible for recruiting, assessing and training carers.  The Committee stated that the SA out-of-home care is in crisis, failed in its duty of care to protect vulnerable families and instead caused them harm. Further that it has failed a key initiative to preserve and reunify families.

Family preservation SERVICES need to be implemented. This was also  the recommendation of the Queensland Inquiry into their Child Protection system.

(Extracted from an article published on this Blog over 12 months ago:

The Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry found that the Department, even after two previous inquiries into its child protection system, one of note being in relation to abuse in foster care, still did not ensure the safety, wellbeing and best interests of children. It concluded that the system focused on coercive strategies of removal rather than supporting families to stay together and that too little money was spent on early intervention to support vulnerable families. Of a budget of $2.6 billion only $90 million was allocated to preventive or supportive services. This resulted in intake of children into foster care growing 185% from – 40, 202 in 2002-2003 to 114,503 in 2011-2012.

Commissioner Carmody stated the:

The symbiotic link between supporting families and having fewer children in the system is irrefutable and has been ignored and underestimated by government for too long. I am also firmly of the view that better rehabilitative and therapeutic family support for parents under stress – especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities plagued with chronic neglect – is the key to stronger Queensland families AND SAFER CHILDREN. It may seem simplistic to say ‘prevention is better than cure’, but it is an undoubted reality that without preventive strategies the cycle of intergenerational abuse will continue to infect successive generations.  There is little point in tearing a family apart just to try to put it back together.  To children, a loved parent is much more than the worst thing the parent has ever done them: most children are better off being cared for haphazardly by a loved parent than in some else’s family or a state-run facility … The risk-averse ‘better safe than sorry’ culture that has sprung up over the last 10 years has been only too evident during this inquiry.  This overly timorous attitude pervades child protection decision making at all levels of government and across the entire system.  It is  the root cause of over-reporting, resource wastage and an overcrowded out-of-home care system struggling to provide safe and stable placements for children with multiple and complex needs who could, with proper support, be cared for safely at home by a still-loved parent.  The best way for government to help children is to support their parents and communities.

According to Commissioner Carmody not to act now will mean that the system will become even more ineffective with an increase of 40 percent of children entering the system in the next decade. He suggests redirecting more of the Departmental budget of $2.6 billion into family support services.  If  family preservation methods are implemented he projects rather than the welfare budget blowing out in the next decade the number of children in the statutory system will have fallen by more that 25%.  Hence the implementation of the reforms will have recovered the new money in the first five years, plus be better off by $578 million in the next five.

Significantly he stated:

Child protection is about more than economics. It is an ethical imperative. The cost of repair may not be cheap — but the cost of doing nothing would be much more, measured both in dollars and human suffering … failure to learn the lessons of history will guarantee that they are repeated. It is time for us to break the cycle of intergenerational abuse by addressing the drivers of abuse and refocusing our attention on parents and families. The new child protection system must be one that encourages and enables everyone to take responsibility for protecting children.(Extracted from: https://apologyalliance.com/a-stolen-generation-in-the-making/a-stolen-generation-in-the-making-part-3/a-stolen-generation-in-the-making-part-4/a-stolen-generation-in-the-making-part-6/

Adoption has not proven to be panacea that pro adoption proponents stated it would be in the past but instead proved to be a failed social experiment that damaged hundreds of thousands of mothers, fathers children and extended family members. To link the abusive system of historic forced adoption with current child protection issues obfuscates the illegal and immoral treatment of survivors of Forced Adoption and we learn nothing from this very shameful part of our history.

A child has a whole extended family: siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and of course grandparents.  Adoption permanently cuts off the child’s access hence their connection to their entire family.   We do not do this if there is a divorce.  A child does not get a new birth certificate that obliterates its biological history.  It does not get legally constrained from having contact with non-offending biological family members. It is not taken possession of by one side of the family whilst all connections to the other are permanently extinguished.

The pro adoption lobby has done an exceptional job of confounding historical Forced Adoption – which was not conducted on the grounds of child abuse but purely because of the parents unwed status, with child protection issues.  The mantra being the more adoptions there are the less child abuse there will be (See https://apologyalliance.com/2014/07/25/politicising-foster-care-abuse-to-promote-forced-adoption-call-for-adoption-targets/ ).   This is evidenced in the Coroner’s remarks:

Johns also suggested that “permanent removal to adoptive parents must have a place in South Australia’s child protection system”, noting that “only 114 Australian children were adopted in 2009-10 compared to more than 8,500 in the early 1970s. If Australian children in care were adopted at the same rate as in England, there would have been 1,700 adoptions in Australia …if at the same rate as in the United States, there would have been 4,800,” he said

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A White Stolen Generation? Comments published on Mamamia Blog

 I selected a sample of comments that reflect the hurt, damage or mindset of those affected as opposed to those who benefit from Forced Adoption.  They are up on the Mamamia Blog and follow a short article on Forced Adoption and the current exhibition  Without Consent running at the National Archives– I have not edited them so unfortunately many posts use the derogatory term “birthmother”. 

https://www.facebook.com/mamamiablog/posts/10152834809690945

 The Pro Adoption Lobby

Note: The following comments epitomise sentiments  commonly found on adoptive parent or pro adoption sites.  When I interviewed a former consent taker she was still enunciating the same stereotypical nonsense to justify her participating in the kidnap of thousands of newborns in the late 1960s – 1970s

 Kelly Nash I too, was one of these babies…. And I thank God everyday for the courage, care and love my BM showed by consenting to my adoption, wether forced, coerced or otherwise. My adoptive parents have loved and treasured me my whole life. When I see the many, very young teenage mothers our society encourages and indeed funds, to keep their babies, my heart breaks for those babies and the parents desperate to adopt them. Given, Most of those babies will be raised in loving caring homes, but there is a percentage of those babies that have become “a career option” for their mothers. Crucify me if you will, but I would bet my last dollar, if their was no government funding for these young parents, they would think long and hard about keeping their babies.

Maybe society didn’t have it so wrong all those years ago. Cruel -yes, but wrong……I am not so sure……
Go your hardest haters!!!!

 Andrea Taylor I’m thankful that I’m one of those babies that was adopted out in 1967. I’ve since met some of my natural family and although nobody’s life is perfect at least back then authorities were attempting to act in the best interest of the child. There will be a whole new range of apologies to today’s children that have been left in the appalling care of feral parents because now their rights are more important than their children’s access to CRC (rights of the child)!

Note: Additionally the above comments echo a mindset articulated by Dr. Jeremy Sammut of the Centre for Independent Studies and Tony Abbott who have both stated at various times adoption needs to be quicker, cheaper and easier for infertile couples particularly for  children whose  “parents are not effective”.  How does one determine effectiveness and who is given the power to make such a determination?

 The ignorant that deny there are any stolen generations

Ian Harris This is another urban myth. Mothers did not have ‘forced adoptions’. They were offered alternatives. In every single case they had to consent to their babies being adopted. “Without consent” and “forced adoptions” are just a load of crap. Stop it.  Its like the ‘stolen” generation. Today almost 20,000 Australian children are living in foster care, removed from their biological parents for their own safety. Not stolen. Stop the lies.

 The growing realisation that another stolen generation exists in Australia 

 Ally Breitkopf I was one of these mothers. I was 15 when my son was born in 1972. I remember nothing of the actual birth waking up 2 hours later. I was sent back to the home for unwed mothers and received no help of any kind. It was never spoken of by anyone for 20yrs. My son was adopted only a few weeks later so even if i had changed my mind with in the allowed time it would have been too late. I met my son in 1992 and we have a great relationship. I also have a great relationship with his adoptive parents. The whole thing was disgusting… talk about a stolen generation. This is no different.

Margaret Oakhill Hamilton Your story could have been mine except that the adoptive parents were possessive. My son died last year. He knew of his genetic heart problems but didn’t fully understand it. He would be alive today if he had lived with me and saw the heart problems in our family. He would have had a better understanding of, not smoking, exercise more and better eating habits. I don’t know how to forgive those who stole him from me.

Barbara Hansen Ally my thoughts exactly I am part of the stolen generation. I was adopted in the 60’s. Such a awful traumatic event you girls went through. How can anyway think you would get over giving birth, not seeing your baby, being sent back to home not to ever bring the event up. Reading my documentation my heart just broke. Such a sad situation yet again controlled by the churches.
I am glad you found your son.

Aimee Pracy They talk about the stolen generation with the Aboriginal community but never about the unwed mothers that had their babies taken away … Lovechild got people taking about it … I’ve grown up with hearing about this as my family lived it luckily the baby wasn’t taken.

Melissa Hill It wasn’t ‘forced adoption’, it was government sanctioned, obstetric rape, child kidnapping and falsified birth records. You can choose to listen to survivors’ testimonials, read the Commonwealth Senate Inquiry – Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices and learn from the horrific human rights abuses and inter-generational harm caused. …or you can continue to listen to multi-billion dollar global child trafficking industry ‘called adoption’.

 Kirra Ruth Joan Twiner My Mum was one of the babies taken from her birth parents. The small, quite apology that went through parliament is crap. Where was the song and dance apology like the aboriginal stolen generation got? We have a generation of stolen children from that era.

Now Mum can access records etc. she is looking for her birth parents but it may be too late. They could of past. Think she said her birth mother’s name is Barbette Joyce (maiden name).

Annabel Gleeson It’s awful to realise that Australia’s social policies of that time also put young disadvantaged (by pregnancy) women in the same position as the Aboriginal peoples stolen children. It’s a shameful reminder and I’m so glad my girls will grow up in a more sensitive and understanding world.

Kat Forner-Reardon And where is their compensation? constant apologies? and decades of screaming stolen generation?  Welcome to the reality that it didn’t just happen to aboriginals!! 

Note: During the 1994 National Adoption Conference a group of Aboriginal mothers were listening to some White Australian mothers speaking out about their stolen babies. A member of the stolen generation obviously quite shocked stated loudly: “No wonder they did it to us – they did it to their own!”

 Theft of white children occurred from colonisation – (See Stolen Babies Broken Hearts: Forced Adoption in Australia 1881-1982)

Michele Taylor My Nan had to be given up as her mother was unwed and that was long before those times. She never knew either of her biological parents and grew up in foster homes.

Kerry Ellery My father and his sibling were taken in 1938…..

 Note:– However numbers of newborns taken for adoption grew exponentially after World War II and again after the Model Adoption Act was introduced into all State during the 1960s. The three forces driving the adoption industry was 1  Economic: To save the State welfare dollars;  2. Ideology: An unmarried mother irrespective of race was inferior and therefore  unable to care for her newborn;  3. The demand by infertile married couples for perfect, white/light skinned, healthy newborns.

Adoptees speaking out about the damage caused to them

 Brenden Creese I was one of those children… I was born in Hobart in 1972… In 2015 I am still struggling with it psychologically, still having to see psychs weekly… I would have preferred that my birth mother had aborted me rather than gone through with the pregnancy, that’s how much of a struggle being adoption has been for me.

Leanne Carpenter I too was one of these babies… Eventually adopted for the second time into a house with an alcoholic parent – my life was a roller coaster of fear of the outburst. In my case, it was not for the better, I suffer depression & anxiety as an adult, now aged 50. There is no turning back the clock & undoing the damage caused to me – it’s been a long hard journey. I’ve heard beautiful stories & similar outcomes to mine, which by some standards is not so bad.

Heidi Chisholm The babies were just a money making scheme by these organisations. I know 2 people who’s adoptive parents were told that their babies could be returned if they were sick or not suitable. There were also loads of children taken from the UK during and after the war and shipped to Australia and placed into work house style orphanages.

Lyn Macchetta I was adopted at two weeks of age and consider that myself and other adoptees to be part of our own “stolen generation”. The home I was born in for “unwed mothers” alone saw over 11,000 adoptions in a 12 year period, all “forced adoptions” as far as I can see, the mother didn’t necessarily have to be drugged, if they had no support, either financial or family, the adoption was forced – there was no other way the birth mother was going to be able to support herself and her baby. My story is a long and complex one but I’ve always said blood belongs with blood and babies belong with their mothers

The Ripple Effect: Adoption trauma echoes across and down the generations

Kaysey Deacon My Brother was adopted out…..still looking for him…..born 4th July 1964 in Nsw

Barbara Hansen I was born to a unwed mother who was sent away to a single mothers home so as not to bring shame to the family.  My biological father was on the scene but this had no impact on the decision to allow my birth mother to keep me.  I have all my documents and it makes me quite sad to read how my birth mother was treated. It was a very cold and clinical process. My mother was young and possibly not able to look after me and at no stage would I ever say my parents have been awful. I love my parents very much and have had a great life and they will always be my mum and dad.

What is sad is the way these girls were treated. For me in 2013 Anglicare found both my biological parents…..they had gone on and got married and I have two full blooded sisters but unfortunately only my birth father made contact with the agency not my birth mother. I subsequently do not know either of my birth parents or my sisters. My concern is what did this whole situation do mentally to my birth mother. I do not blame her for anything that happened.

The Importance of the Federal Apology for adopted persons

Leonie Gray I lived with the pain of rejection for most of my life (I was born in 1965) until I stumbled upon a late night telecast of the National Apology last year. I realised then my pain and anger was misdirected, as I had always *assumed* my birth mother had rejected my very soul before my first breath.
That led me to start reading the written accounts of some of the mothers. I wept, for hours. And I began to understand. I have not yet tracked down my mother, but reading these stories has helped me begin to heal. And just the brief accounts of mothers on this post has moved me and helped me to understand. If any mothers who had their babies forcibly stolen are able to share their account on the Forced adoption website I strongly urge them to do so. The truth is healing. Even though I have yet to read the account written by my mother, hearing the stories of others helps me.
There is a ‘contribute your experience’ button on the website I have linked.
Barbara McCulla Dandridge – this could be the place to share your account.
http://forcedadoptions.naa.gov.au/experiences

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Former PM Julia Gillard seeks legal advice re our apology being linked to a Christian Rights marriage agenda

Hi Everyone,

Our former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is seeking legal advice about our historic apology being taken out of context and linked to a Christian rights agenda being run by The Australian Marriage Forum. How ironic that a marriage forum wants to hijack our apology for political gain when it was lack of marriage that was used to justify the theft of our newborns.

I was approached by the Canberra Times on Thursday to respond to the Marriage Forum’s use of our apology. I was asked:

“I’ve been sent a link to a video produced the Australian Marriage Forum and placed online –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U0e66iyVI8

The video starts with an exert of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s apology to victims of forced adoption. They then link this to gay marriage and what they refer to as a future “Motherless Generation”. How does Apology Alliance feel about former Prime Minister Gillard’s apology being taken out of context and applied to the same sex marriage debate?”

My response:

It is deeply traumatising that what was for us a profoundly moving and historical moment, the apology given to us by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2013, is used out of context and for a particular agenda. Only a few days ago our former PM opened up an exhibition in Canberra at the National Archives exposing the real history of, and the damage caused by, past forced adoptions in Australia.  Two hundred and fifty thousand newborns were forcibly taken from their mothers, sight unseen, and given to strangers purely because of our unwed status. Many unmarried fathers who wanted to be included were  excluded from any consent process – because of their lack of marital status.  The argument used by adoption agents to justify the theft of thousands of newborns was that the child would be better off with a white, married Christian couple. It was for this policy and these dreadful past practices and the damage done to mothers fathers and adopted persons that we received a Federal apology.

Regards

Christine

Following is the link to the Michael Inman’s article in the Canberra Times

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julia-gillard-seeks-legal-advice-after-forced-adoption-apology-linked-to-same-sex-marriage-debate-20150403-1me5r2.html

The article is being featured in a number of other publications

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julia-gillard-seeks-legal-advice-after-forced-adoption-apology-linked-to-same-sex-marriage-debate-20150403-1me5r2.html

http://www.bunburymail.com.au/story/2990111/julia-gillard-seeks-legal-advice-after-forced-adoption-apology-linked-to-same-sex-marriage-debate/?cs=12

http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/2990111/julia-gillard-seeks-legal-advice-after-forced-adoption-apology-linked-to-same-sex-marriage-debate/?cs=8

regards

Dr. Christine Cole

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Apology Alliance: Mr Patrick Rogan, former Labor MP East Hills died 10/2/2015 – a great campaigner for justice for mothers and our stolen infants

Following is an email I forwarded around the Apology Alliance email list and to various politicians:

Hi Everyone,

I have some very sad news – Mr. Patrick Rogan, former Labor MP for East Hills died last Tuesday and his funeral will be held tomorrow 17/2/2015. Following the funeral a  wake is being held in the Whitlam Room at the Revesby Workers Club at 12.30.

I have been friends with Pat since 1994 when as Chair of an activist group: Mothers for Contact I brought to his attention the plight of the white stolen generation.  Over the next 3 years I furnished Pat with  copious research, much of which had been originally unearthed by Judith McHutchison and presented in her 1986 Masters thesis. Later after I formed the original Origins group – no affiliation with the one that exists today – Pat in a private members’ statement brought the issue of forced adoption firmly into the political arena – you can read his speech at http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA19971112038?open&refNavID=HA8_1   – titled: Stolen White Babies.

Without Pat’s activism there would have been no NSW Inquiry.  Pat had successfully gained a Royal Commission for victims of the horrors of the Chelmsford Private Hospital Deep Sleep Therapy, so he and his personal assistant: Ms Margaret Como, had a wealth of expertise in successfully knowing their way around gaining inquiries.  Many do not realise that only a handful of MPs have such expertise.  I informed Pat that the infamous Drs. Bailey and Herron who ran Chelmsford were also consulting psychiatrists at Crown St Women’s Hospital hence many mothers, such as myself, had been given the same cocktail of barbiturates as those intravenously given to Chelmsford deep sleep victims – only we were given them in pill form.  Judy McHutchison provided me with the information about the linkage between Crown St and Chelmsford via Bailey and Herron and when I passed it on to Pat he was immediately aware that grave injustices had been perpetrated on unwed mothers in the government’s attempt to get babies for the infertile.  Pat had always been a fighter for the underdog.  He explained to me later that his hate of injustice was the outcome of  “the Irish in me”!

When I met Pat he had been in state politics for 25 years and was extremely well respected.  When he stood up and called for an inquiry his friends, Jill Hall, Bryce Gawdry,  and Deirdre Grusovin added their support in their own private members’ statements’.  Pat told the then Minister for Community Affairs, Ms Faye Lo Po, that if she did not agree to an inquiry he would continue fighting until he got a Royal Commission. Lo Po knew that Pat was a man of his word and in April 1998 she announced that there would indeed be a NSW Upper House Inquiry into past adoptions. For the first time what really happened to unwed mothers and the theft of our babies was put on the public record.  The Inquiry provided the opportunity for psychiatrist Dr. Geof Rickarby and former head of the Law Reform Commission: Justice Richard Chisholm to identify the illegal practices and put them onto the public record.

I owe a lot to Pat. He has been a part of the Apology Alliance since I set it up, to gain apologies from all state and federal governments,  in February 2008.  In September 2008 Pat launched the Mothers’ book I edited and wrote: Releasing the Past: Mothers’ Stories of their Stolen Babies at the ninth National Adoption Conference.  It was at the launch of the book I had the opportunity to announce officially our fight for these apologies had begun.  There is some amateur footage of Pat’s speech that can be accessed on the Apology Alliance Blog  at  https://apologyalliance.com/

Under links:  Launch of Forced Adoption book and campaign for justice Pt, 2

There are 3 links to the launch of the book up on youtube :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeLt06ftNUU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K486CcAxROc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEbsONRHQoA

Pat you are loved and will not be forgotten.

PS I have not generated an updated list of current MPs so please pass on the above to your relevant MPs – Pat’s speech is certainly worthy of a read

Regards

Chris

Dr. Christine Cole

Convenor

Apology Alliance Australia

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Please say NO to the question: Should adoptions be made easier?

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2014/12/10/11/29/australian-adoption-rates-hit-record-new-low

At present the poll is 76 % for  the YES  vote and and only 22% for the NO

The pro adoption lobby  spend their time trolling websites and participating in such polls to create an impression that everyone thinks adoption is the preferred welfare option  to help them push their case for the expansion of adoption under the guise of a child protection issue.

I am aware that many thinking Australians now see through the smoke and mirror campaign that those “desperately  wanting babies” are engaged in, but many do not have the time, motivation or are paid to spend hours creating a particular perception of adoption on social media

Please say NO to making adoption easier for adults.  Please think of the children who lose their identity, have their birth certificate altered to reflect a false reality and the many who lose all ties with  and knowledge about their original families.

 

“The long-term fall in numbers can, in part, be attributed to legislative changes, such as the increased use of alternative legal orders in Australia, and improvements in local adoption practices in countries of origin,” the report read.

Alternative care arrangements can be made for children who truly cannot remain with their family or extended kin – they do not need to have their biological ties severed completely nor have their identities changed to suit the demands of adults who want to own babies.

 

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