My Forever Family

Michael McMahon

“The removal of children from serious threat in family of origin is acknowledged, but not a defence of  the use of the term My Forever Family – which causes additional and unnecessary harm.”

The use of the term Forever Family is disrespectful to adoptees and misleading to children adopted under this program. 

The term discounts the fact of biological families, which stretch back “forever”, and suggests adoptive families are permanent. Adoption can be ended by adopters at any time or by adoptees upon adulthood. The term wrongly implies a child is forever part of their adoptive family, which in the case of marriage breakdown, family violence or parental death etc, is not guaranteed. Members of the adoptive extended family are not signatories to an adoption and the child has no legal or biological relationship with them except through the adoptive parent. The child as an adult also has the right to cease the adoption via court, which this term implies is not or should not be the case.

The term My Forever Family disrespects relinquishing mothers, especially those who have reunited with their child and read this term in the media. For current adoptees who have achieved reunion and live with two unrelated families in their lives, this term can be distressing. Clearly reunion or ongoing contact through open adoption, contradict the claim that a child has one ‘forever’ family. Open adoption can connect biological and adoptive families, but this is rarely successful and the biological family has no legal rights or responsibilities in relation to the child.

The use of the pronoun ‘My’ is deceptive. It implies the child has a choice and that the child has some action in the adoption. This is not to say that the child may not be happy being adopted. However self-blame is a recognised response by children to trauma and adoptees should not carry any implied responsibility for the actions of others. ‘Our Forever Child’ would be more accurate as this program is focussed on the legal taking of another’s child.

Most citizens experience their biological family as a Forever Family, without a second thought. The implication that an adopted child has a normal family life just like everyone else is irresponsible. The trauma of maternal/family separation, the developmental impacts of growing up as adopted, the stigma of adoption, the psychological impacts of the absence of genetic related family, and the impacts of reunion are well evidenced in the research literature. Research and best practice also support adoptees integrating the facts of their conception, early childhood, adoption and reunion into their identity, including undertaking difficult grief work. Your Government funds programs to enable reunion and support adoptees manage the trauma sustained through adoption.

Finally, Adoption extinguishes a child’s born identity and is very difficult psychologically and legally to reverse as an adult. All adoptees birth certificates are a legal lie, recording the adoptive parents as the child’s biological parents. Current research is showing that inherited DNA is the major factor in determining identity, behaviour and potential – not nurture. There are viable alternatives to permanent ‘Forever Family’ adoption that provide children with a home and guidance until adulthood while retaining the facts of their birth and biological identity. Keeping real families together FOREVER should be an equal if not greater priority of your Government than fast tracking a last-resort solution such as adoption.
Regards
M. McMahon

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ROBUST ADOPTION RESEARCH IS NEEDED.

Universities should prioritise the impact of adoption as debate grows on adoption as a solution for children in out-of-home care

Michael McMahon

Just musing – logic will never sway bigots, but…

Anti Adoption
– The social institution of Adoption is objectively bad because it harms all involved no matter how aware or unaware they or others are of that harm
Pro Adoption
– your bad experience has biased you against Adoption and you are being subjective not objective
Anti
– So you accept Adoption causes harm?
Pro
– Only in a minority – the majority of people are not harmed by Adoption
Anti
– how do you know?
Pro
– because our experience has been good
Anti
– So you are being subjectively biased and not objective.
Pro
– No- a majority of adoptees have not spoken of any harm
Anti
– How do you know – has anyone asked them?
Pro
– only a minority of those involved speak against Adoption
Anti
– only a minority speak for Adoption and the majority of those are adopters
Pro
– Then all you can say is that a minority experience harm
Anti
– How much harm is acceptable to keep Adoption going? 49%? 9%? 1%?
Pro
– A minority
Anti
– so all you can say is that at least 51% of those involved in Adoption don’t experience harm?
Pro
– At least
Anti
– oh how do you know – have you asked them?
Pro
– how do you know that all involved in Adoption are harmed?
Anti
– because Adoption removes the globally recognised human rights of all children by extinguishing their legal identity and removing them from meaningful access to their mother, extended family, heritage and culture, and in some cases, country.
– Because Adoption removes children from the responsibility of the State and places them in the care of strangers without provision of support, ongoing checks or assistance to access their origins.
Pro
– But that may be less harmful than staying in a harmful family situation
Anti
– So all Adoptees come from harmful families?
Pro
– A majority – That’s often why Adoption is needed in the first place
Anti
– So in summary you are saying that 51% or more adoptees came from a harmful family of origin and that up to 49% may have been placed in an adoptive family where they also experienced harm.
– Conversely this could be put as 49% of adoptees may have come from non-harmful families of origin but that up to 100% of those might have been put into harmful families.
Pro
– You are using the lack of data about Adoptees experiences to create a distorted argument based on missing information.
Anti
– so are you, but I don’t suppose your interested in getting that data?
…….
Anti
– hello? Hello?

 

Adoption Search it’s about truth, understanding and the right of choice.to find your inner peace

Adoption Search

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by  William Hammersley

I have, as long as I can remember, known I was adopted and had always been an 12036653_517764701721713_3508078993853202256_nextremely angry person. As a child, I would question my adopters on why my mother didn’t want me. The answers were always, that she was too young to bring me up, could not afford to keep me and that my father was a no hoper, who would not stand by her.

“That I was special and they chose me”. 

I would overhear discussions about me when my adoptive mother had neighbours over for afternoon tea, about how they could ‘not give up a child’ and ‘what sort of woman she must be to do that?’

My adoptive father to discipline me, which was often, would take to me with a razor strap and lose control. He would grit his teeth and perspiration would run from his brow, as he lashed at my legs until I bled, he could not stop until he was exhausted.
At school and in the neighbourhood I was seen as the bad kid, the adopted kid, not that I gave them any other reason not to, in fact I reinforced their opinion.

handmade-razor-strop

family-violence-defenseI did not know why I was angry, I just was. As I grew older, this anger always kept me down.

I left the adoptive home when I was a young teenager, working and returning in-between jobs, leaving again and I survived in the bohemian world of Carlton, working in a display company, putting my natural artistic skills to work.

I felt empty inside, “a nobody”.

download (2)I was self-destructive, expelled from secondary school in form two (Year 8 in today’s language), always getting into fights, often being found bleeding lying in the gutter. I was in and out of jobs, drank a lot and numbed my feelings with drugs, marijuana mainly.  For many years. I was stoned from morning to late at night.   The self-destruction stage continued into my 20s to mid 30s.

I never identified my behaviour with adoption but hated my mother for deserting me.

It wasn’t all bad though. I had some great jobs and mixed with some very interesting people, some of whom are still my dear friends today but I did not stay in one place for long. It was not until my 40s that I decided to search for my mum and family. My adopted sister had found her family and pushed me to get my papers, but I did not search for a couple of years after I received them, wanting to but not wanting to, it’s hard to explain.

My anger was in the way  

“I thought”

  • I wanted to hurt her like I believed she had hurt me.
  • She gave me away so she did not want me so why should I want her.
  • She did not bother to look for me, so why should I bother to look for her.

It was not until much later, I found out that she was not allowed to.

That the truth was very different to what I believed.

I was in a relationship at this stage and the birth of our son came along. This was the firstsuburban-house-roofs-image-www.australianmortgageloans.com_.au_ time I felt responsibility and love, it was fantastic, my own family. I now had an overwhelming urge to find my mother, to give our son and partner a family and a true heritage.
My adoptive sister came back on the scene. We joined forces, along with my partner and searched through phone books, the electoral roll, made phone calls. Weeks went by with no leads.
One day I was with my adopted sister. She had spotted a phone number that was near her house. We rang it, asked for Gloria (my mother’s name), the person that answered the phone turned out to be my half-sister and she passed the phone to my mother’s husband (her father). I told him who I was and asked if I could speak to Gloria, that I may be her son.

He paused for a moment and said,

“I know about you” 

“YES, it was them”

I was overcome with a strange emotion, not knowing how I felt, and then he told me that my mother had died 12 months previously. He said they were going to a memorial service for her, but would stay home so we could come around.

I remember walking into my half-sister’s house, looking around thinking that they did not look too poor to me, but comfortable, conservative, middle class, inspirational, suburban people and me being bought up in a poor working class dysfunctional, adoptive family who survived a hand to mouth existence with two other adopted children, the three of us from different families .

Here we were.

My mother had married an Austrian gentleman and they had two children and a good life, not long after I was born. It was not without its tragedies and ups and downs of suburban family life, but things had worked out for her until she died of heart disease, at sixty years of age.

It was obvious that she was not the type of person that I was lead to believe. Another little white lie by my adopting couple and society. Or was it? A lie is a lie.

“Why did my mother desert me and who was my father became my questions”

Over the next few months I met the rest of the family, an older half-brother who was from her first marriage and there was once a sister who may have been adopted by mum or was hers, but not the first husband’s child. I found out later in an article in the Canberra Times on Trove that she had been the victim of a paedophile neighbour who strangled her and then hung himself in a barn on his farm. A half-sister and two half-brothers. Both brothers were very sceptical and standoffish. I asked questions, made cynical remarks and always felt they knew more than what they were letting on…

My anger got in the way again over the months.

I found I had nothing in common with them apart from looking a bit like me. They were middle class, conservative, well off in my eyes with all the normal suburban family traits and I was angry, cynical, left wing and street wise, with a very untrustworthy mind and jealous of what they had and have and what I did not have. I spent time working with my mother’s husband building a house in the country and living in the caravan with him on site but I walked out on him. We went to meet my mother’s best friend, and attended a family wedding. My half-sister tried to form a relationship with me, but I was just a strange and difficult person for her to cope with. After her coming to a party at our house and her walking into a room where we were passing the bong around, it just got too much for her and we drifted apart.

“So that was the end of that”

I continued hating my mother for abandoning me and in some ways for leaving me a second time, by passing away before I found her, my attitude was

‘the bitch she got out of facing me”

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I felt I was the sacrificial offering, to save her two children. She was not a young teenager when she gave birth to me. She was 27 years old (another so called little white lie by my adoptive couple and society). She was going through a divorce and custody of her children.

She would have lost them to her first husband who had taken them from her, at one stage and refused to return them and they stayed with his mother. If he had found out that I existed because of the divorce laws at the time of fault divorce, and community attitudes she would have been branded an adulteress and found it near on impossible to find work and be ostracised by the general community.

I convinced myself that they did not matter and got on with my life, with my new family, but always in the back of my mind,

I wanted to know the truth – I needed the truth.

Twenty years pass,

Life is going good, we have our own business, we own our house, our son is in university and my partner is my best friend and our relationship is solid but I am still an angry person under the surface.

Except for questions that constantly pop up in my mind.

  • Why did my mother abandon me?
  • Why didn’t she come for me?
  • Who is my father?
  • What is the truth about my adoption?

I got no satisfactory answers to these questions from my mother’s family twenty years ago.

One day I am at work and I hear on the wireless that there is going to be an apology to the mothers and people affected by adoption, at Parliament House in Melbourne. I had no idea what this was about, but that night before, I said to my partner, I am going to that.

If anyone can tell me what the circumstances of my adoption were, it would be other mothers.

On the day of the apology, my son and I jumped a tram and went to Victoria’s Parliament House. As we approached, I noticed on the steps, all the children’s shoes.1932338_269823919849127_236441906_n

“It seemed like hundreds of them”

As I looked at the shoes, tears just started to stream out, uncontrollable tears.

“I cried all day that day” 

“Talk about emotion, I could not stop”

I met some wonderful people there, one of whom was Elizabeth Edwards, coordinator of Origins Victoria, who gave me her card and told me to ring her; along with Brian and Helen, seen in the picture on the Parliament House steps, who have become good colleagues and friends. If I had not have followed my gut instinct or by chance missed it and not gone to this event, I would not have found out the truth to my story.  I would not have meat Elizabeth Edwards. I was so proud to have my son by my side that day.

What a day it was!

A couple of days later.

My partner and I went to see Elizabeth Edwards at the Origins Victoria’s office. When she was going through my papers she said that I sound like a ‘fifty pound baby’. She showed me a speech by John Cremean, who was a member of Federal parliament in 1950, that said that babies were being sold from private hospitals in major capital cities in Australia.

1795691_270921946405991_875726306_n“I was born in Avonhurst a private hospital in South Melbourne.”

Well that was it. I had to know.

I wanted the answers.

Was I a trafficked child?

How could my adopters do this?

What part did my mother play?

Did that bitch sell me?

Is that what my mother’s family was keeping from me?

All of these questions going over and over in my head.

My anger with my mother at this stage was boiling over.

First I phoned FIND and ordered another set of my adoption papers as my original set was over twenty years old. The new set proved to be of extra interest this time as these papers included some extra information.

My partner and I started to research.

1091233_202848453213341_2056636538_o (1)She went to the computer, searched TROVE and traced the doctors. My good friend, Rosemary, got in on the search and found out information on my family and is still helping me look for my father through DNA today.
On Facebook I started to call for other adoptees that may have been born at Avonhurst and found one who worked with us through emails.

Her experience was so similar to mine and she contributed so much vital information.

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Then I headed off to the State archives, the National archives and State library.

.For two years I searched.

People around me were very supportive, but were concerned that I had become obsessed and that my mental health could become affected.

My mental health was already affected and it was this search that I hoped would resolve it for me.

I could not let go.

Day after day I persisted, two or three days per week sometimes, getting a little bit closer to the truth. I came to a dead end, as the file I thought would have the answer, was full of 1950s pornography underwear ads, not much by today’s standard but shocking back then.

What to do next?

Elizabeth Edwards, Origins Victoria coordinator suggested I should place a Freedom of Information request and see what happens.1377117_217289921769194_663627703_n (1)
Well, from that I attracted the attention of “the man”.  The man in the State archives who knew everything.

Yes everything.

What took me two years of searching and not finding what I was looking for, he found in ten minutes.

It was the mother lode, six boxes of the government adoption files, and four bound bundles of the State Law Revision files (not our personal ones) from 1916 to 1964.

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Every document from memos, policy papers, judge’s opinions, memorandums, confidential letters, conference papers, police reports, and recommendations to the development and changing of the policies and the Adoption Act.

It takes days running into weeks, reading and photographing the files.

One day, I find a confidential letter from John Cremean to the Chief Secretary of Victoria, naming the doctor that my adoptive couple had told me about in their fairy tale stories about ‘how special I was’ and who they went to see in order to get a child to adopt. It was a Doctor Hart. My partner had also found many newspaper articles about him, linking him to the illegal abortion trade. It also named the co-proprietor of Avonhurst Private Hospital, Mr. Allen, as being Harts co-conspirator, that he had reliable information about them being involved in baby trafficking and requested the secretary make some discreet inquiries. It was not Dr Hart, that was my final evidence as he had been named In news clippings, It was Mr Allen. Only John Cremean knew his name.

This was the final piece of proof I needed. 1962883_271569876341198_1595165201_n

“I was stunned”

I had feelings of joy, sadness, anger and relief. As I was driving home that night, tears flowed again.
My joy was that I was not mad,   Elizabeth Edwards from Origins Vic was not wrong, My partner and our friend did not waste their time and yes, I had finally found out the truth of the circumstances of my birth and subsequent adoption.

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The nurse that assisted my delivery, Sister Allen, was Mr. Allen’s wife who were the proprietors of Avonhurst Private Hospital and Doctor Bretherton, the doctor that delivered me, was in cahoots with Doctor Hart, in the illegal abortion trade. Mr. Allen and Doctor Hart were using Avonhurst for the trafficking of babies for further personal financial gain.

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The selling of babies was a byproduct, an adjunct to the abortion business.

The doctors were involved in selling babies for adoption to que jumping adoptive couples.

They were also paying protection money to some members of the Victorian police. The paying of grafts to police by these doctors was alleged in the Kay Inquiry, into the involvement of police corruption and the abortion rackets in the 1970s where some police did jail time for their part in it, but the majority walked free and furthered their careers and the illegal baby trade was never officially uncovered.

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The federal government received reports from the state governments, all denying it ever happened, but newspapers were reporting it and John Cremean was saying it in federal parliament. Adoption agencies would not deny it was happening and they made references to it happening along, with the Secretary of the Children’s Welfare Department, agreeing that it was happening and the chief secretary agreeing with him.

but the police, claimed they could not find indictable proof. i285415639405992810._szw1280h1280_

 

“It may have been years ago but the newspaper headlines have a familiar ring. They tell of high-ranking police masterminding an abortion protection racket, demanding and receiving massive bribes from prominent Collins Street specialists and engaging in an extensive conspiracy to pervert justice”

https://www.theage.com.au/national/the-myth-of-the-clean-police-force-20040612-gdy0so.html

“An Age editorial at the time concluded: “It would have been naive to suppose that responsible ministers and officials, and successive police chiefs, had no inkling of what was going on.”

Doctor Hart did not attend the Kay inquiry of 1970s as he had died earlier but the doctor who delivered me at Avonhurst Private Hospital was among those named.

1508070_267750466723139_724110423_a (1)However, Doctor Hart was mentioned in evidence given by Mrs Margret Berman who was the person that paid the protection money from the doctors to the police, “that cash was held in Doctor Hart’s Mansion in the basement at Albert Park.

Dr Hart one of the first GP’s to systematically arrange referrals for abortions.

For me,I believe I have proof beyond reasonable doubt.

the receipt 13.3

I have the original receipt that shows my adoptive couple paid, for my mother’s hospital fees which was illegal at the time. I found out that they had borrowed the money from a close family friend and worked for him on weekends doing furniture removals, until he had paid the debt of. His wife who was a teacher was recommended by the adoptive couple and appointed by the court as my guardian, ad litem; who is meant to represent the adoptee and reported to the court that the adopting couple were fit and proper people to adopt.

Talk about a conflict of interest!

A few months later, I was given the opportunity to sit amongst a group of mothers who lost their children to adoption. They talked about how they felt when they left the hospital, empty handed, being told to forget what happened and start a new life. One at a time, they reflected on that moment, standing and telling their stories. I cried again that day as I realised so many mothers, all with the same feelings, that this was the truth, this is how my mother must have felt…Another little white lie.

My half-sister and half- brother find it a bit difficult to deal with the fact that I know more about my mother and our families heritage than they do, or did, and that I don’t hide the negative parts under the carpet or keep them safely locked away in the closet. I tread slowly, but surely in the hope that we can achieve a long and lasting relationship but they are making no moves for that to happen at the moment in fact my older half-brother has told me to stop digging but they do not understand the plight of an adopted person with the need to know the Truth.

Through all our research, I have finally gained a full understanding of why my mother had no other choice.

  • I had come to understand the horror for women, who had to prove fault, to get a divorce and how she could have lost her two children, along with being stigmatised and facing hardship.
  • I came also to understand the lengths a woman could go to keep her children.
  • I now understand how some people, unfortunately suffering infertility,who seek to adopt other people’s children would go to great lengths to obtain a child and why they seek to fulfil their needs for a child as their last resort after all other efforts had failed to give birth to their own. Along with the damage PTSD caused to my adoptive father by war.
  • I also came to an understanding of how privileged, greedy, unscrupulous people take advantage of other people’s misfortuneand vulnerability.

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  • Along with it,  bringing me to an understanding that governments need to not only set polices, but should also accept the responsibility of the policy failures, as well as enforcing policies that are not adhered to in practice and not simply to sweep them under the carpet.

Governments should listen to the people who try to inform them of its failings.

I point the finger of blame clearly where it belongs, with the privileged greedy doctors, the bad inefficient government policy, their lack of enforcing some of their own policies, along with the greed of some police and my adopter’s underhanded way of obtaining a child.                                                                                                                                                         

I am now at peace with my mother and the adoptive couple, we have forgiven each other in spirit, for things that do not need forgiving. I no longer carry any hatred towards my mother, her family or my adoptive couple.

I tell you this, entire story, so people can understand the lengths, that I as an adopted person, had to go to get to the truth, but should not have had to spend nearly a life time getting there.

‘Yes, I hated my mother for 60 years, but now I don’t.

I know the truth now mum’.

  •           Do I have regrets? Yes.

  •           Do I wish she was alive? Yes. 

  •           Do I want to know my father or at least his

  •           name and my heritage? Yes.

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Would I like the choice of a No Fault,  No Fuss Discharge from my adoption,  to live and leave this world with the legal identity and heritage that I was Born to – with the name my mother named me, the family name of my father, not the Legal name and heritage that was given to me by the government and people who bought me and not have to die “AS IF BORN TO” – YES!

However this may not ever happen because my mother passed away before I was ready to find her and had taken the name of my father with her.

Unless DNA is successful in finding a recent relative on my father’s side with the ‘Y’ test and so far after 3 years and 2 different DNA tests this has not come to fruition.

And unless the people who seek to adopt abolish their stand on ownership for life and beyond along with state governments changing their discharge policy’s to a No Fault No Fuss Discharge.

“I can only dream, keep hoping and lobbying for the right of choice”

If I am still angry about anything, it is with mefor allowing my anger from stopping me contacting her earlier.

But would I have been ready then?

‘I don’t know, probably not’

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             “My MOTHER WAS FORCED it is  TRUE she had NO CHOICE.

 

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Victorian Adoption act 1928 that was currant in 1952

  1. The court before making an adoption order shall be Matters with respect to which court to be. satisfied- (@)
1928 5(a) that the applicant has not received or agreed to receive, and that no person has made or given or agreed to make or give to the applicant, any payment or other reward in consideration of the adoption except such as the court sanctions.

 

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the receipt 13.3

Receipt that shows the Adopters paid my mother’s Hospital fees

John Cremean’s Speech

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I REST MY CASE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Adoptee’s birth certificates, It’s an issue of the right of choice.

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William Hammersley, adult adopted person

Most people would not know that when a child is adopted in Australia at any age there original Birth certificate is canceled and no longer has any legal standing.

The adopted person can get a copy of the original Birth Certificate and has been able to since the 1980’s after attending mandatory counselling session and being issued with a certificate of access however the original birth certificate is only a souvenir of who the adopted person use to be.

However It is useful for searching and seeking out the people and heritage we once belonged to.

A new birth certificate is issued and the child’s original identity is changed stating the child’s name change and that the adoptive parents are the people who gave birth to the child “As If Born To” and includes any living sibling of the adopters as the child’s brothers and sisters it looks exactly the same as a non adopted persons birth certificate and becomes the only recognised legal identity of the child and parentage.

‘Adoption by way of identity change and new birth certificate is not necessary to providing belonging. I do agree that having legal ties to adoptive family and natural can promote a sense of belonging . However, the birth certificate falsification and legal severance is not necessary. It’s punitive. It’s an archaic model used to hide the shame of illegitimacy. It’s time for this to end.’ 
Ang Maree Oliver.Adult adopted person.

The issues for us adult adoptees from the Closed and Open adoption era and Future adoptees are:

  1. • There are Adoptees that want to leave their ancestry behind, those who wish to identify only with their adopted family.”
  2. • And there are those who would like a post adoption integrated birth certificate that could show ancestry and kinship was severed and thus it would show who they became and remained for the rest of their life and who their children’s children became.
  3. • And there are those that would like to have no identity change in the name of care and want their original unaltered Birth certificates back and be able to live as the person that they were born as.

The Integrated Birth Certificate that has both sets of parents on it Dose not Resolve the issue for All adopted People.

We believe for adult adoptees the government should give each group what they want considering the mistakes of the past “with no fuss”

-1 Adoptees that want to identify only with their adopted family,
the government should do nothing just continue on with the post adoption birth certificate.

-2 Adoptees who would like a post adoption integrated birth certificate,
the government should Pass it and supply it through application to Births Deaths and Marriages B.D.M.

-3 Adoptees that would like to have no identity change and want their original unaltered Birth certificates reinstated to live out their lives as the person that they were born as

for group number -3 The government should give it to them via a simple application to B.D.M or If for legal reasons this can not be done then a the right of choice of a No fault Discharge ‘keep it simple”

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Then for present and future adoptions.

  • The child should maintain its birth identity and keeps its original birth certificate as the primary source of identification.
  • The adoptive parents for legal parent identification use the certificate of adoption.
  • All that is needed is the usual court Order of Adoption or a parenting order that is used with the original Birth Certificate to prove legal parenting and that certificate is only to be used to prove legal parenting NOT name change.
  • When the parent/s consents to the adoption we are not actually adopted until the actual court order by the Supreme Court. So this is the real adoption document that evidences the adoption and legal parentage.
  • When the Adopted infant /child becomes of age then they can choose If they wish to identify with their adopted family as well as their original family by adding the adopted parents to the original Birth certificate. (Integrated OBC) if they so wish to do so.
  • Those that want to leave their original ancestry behind, those who wish to identify only with their adopted family. by applying to B.D.M for a post adoption Birth Certificate that changes the child’s/adult identity. can also do so if they so wish.
  • Those that do not wish to have an integrated BC or a Post adoption BC can just simply continue using there original BC that they have been using since birth.
  • Those that want to get a discharge from their adoption and identify as the person they were born as, can, with out having to prove fault or irretrievable brake down via a No Fault fuss free Discharge can also do so if they so wish .

“A GOVERNMENT THAT COULD PRODUCE EACH OF THE ABOVE OPTIONS THROUGH LEGISLATION WOULD BE OUTSTANDING AND A WINNER IN MY EYES! If they could only produce one option for the future, then I would like it to be the one that enables the original birth certificate without a new, fake ID for the adoptee’ –Sandra Barker adult “adopted person

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Birth Certificates

https://httpadoptionwilliam.wordpress.com/…/adoption…/

No fault Discharge

https://httpadoptionwilliam.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/no-fault-discharge-for-adult-adoptees-2/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROBUST ADOPTION RESEARCH IS NEEDED.

Universities should prioritise the impact of adoption as debate grows on adoption as a solution for children in out-of-home care

Michael McMahon

Just musing – logic will never sway bigots, but…

Anti Adoption
– The social institution of Adoption is objectively bad because it harms all involved no matter how aware or unaware they or others are of that harm
Pro Adoption
– your bad experience has biased you against Adoption and you are being subjective not objective
Anti
– So you accept Adoption causes harm?
Pro
– Only in a minority – the majority of people are not harmed by Adoption
Anti
– how do you know?
Pro
– because our experience has been good
Anti
– So you are being subjectively biased and not objective.
Pro
– No- a majority of adoptees have not spoken of any harm
Anti
– How do you know – has anyone asked them?
Pro
– only a minority of those involved speak against Adoption
Anti
– only a minority speak for Adoption and the majority of those are adopters
Pro
– Then all you can say is that a minority experience harm
Anti
– How much harm is acceptable to keep Adoption going? 49%? 9%? 1%?
Pro
– A minority
Anti
– so all you can say is that at least 51% of those involved in Adoption don’t experience harm?
Pro
– At least
Anti
– oh how do you know – have you asked them?
Pro
– how do you know that all involved in Adoption are harmed?
Anti
– because Adoption removes the globally recognised human rights of all children by extinguishing their legal identity and removing them from meaningful access to their mother, extended family, heritage and culture, and in some cases, country.
– Because Adoption removes children from the responsibility of the State and places them in the care of strangers without provision of support, ongoing checks or assistance to access their origins.
Pro
– But that may be less harmful than staying in a harmful family situation
Anti
– So all Adoptees come from harmful families?
Pro
– A majority – That’s often why Adoption is needed in the first place
Anti
– So in summary you are saying that 51% or more adoptees came from a harmful family of origin and that up to 49% may have been placed in an adoptive family where they also experienced harm.
– Conversely this could be put as 49% of adoptees may have come from non-harmful families of origin but that up to 100% of those might have been put into harmful families.
Pro
– You are using the lack of data about Adoptees experiences to create a distorted argument based on missing information.
Anti
– so are you, but I don’t suppose your interested in getting that data?
…….
Anti
– hello? Hello?

 

Permanent Care was developed as an alternative to adoption and hear they are recommending it become a supply chain

The Adoption Act report

VLRC Victorian Law Reform Commission

   Known-child adoption

51 The Adoption Act recognises two types of known-child adoption in Victoria: adoption by a step-parent and adoption by a relative of a child. ‘Exceptional circumstances’ must exist in relation to the child which make the adoption desirable. Additionally, parenting orders under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) are preferred to adoption orders as they do not sever the legal relationship between the child and their parents, and expire when the child turns 18. There is also concern that when a relative adopts a child, it can distort family relationships. The Commission supports the preference for Family Law Act orders over adoption orders in relation to adoption by step-parents and relatives.

52 Adoption agencies told the Commission that they do not prioritise adoption applications by step-parents, due to funding constraints. Such applications are considered low-risk, in that they seek to formalise an existing relationship which will continue whether or not the child is adopted. xviii Victorian Law Reform Commission Review of the Adoption Act 1984: Report

53 The Commission considers it is reasonable to expect a step-parent to contribute to the administrative cost of their application if they wish to adopt the child before the child turns 18. It makes a recommendation to this effect. At 18 years old a person can elect to be adopted by a step-parent or relative without the involvement of the Secretary or principal officer.

Adoption from care

“Permanent Care was developed as an alternative to adoption and hear they are recommending it become a supply chain”

Adoption from care

54 In Victoria, permanent care orders under the CYF Act provide permanency for children in Victoria’s child protection system. A permanent care order transfers parental responsibility for the child from the natural parents to the permanent care parents while maintaining the legal parental relationship. The Adoption Act does not provide a way for a person with responsibility for a child under a permanent care order to adopt that child.

55 The Commission recommends the creation of a pathway to adoption from permanent care in strictly limited circumstances.

56 The consent of a child’s natural parents should remain the fundamental requirement. ‘Child protection’ grounds for dispensing with consent should not be available in granting an order for adoption from permanent care.

57 Eligibility should be limited to people applying to adopt a child who has been placed with the applicant under a permanent care order for at least two years. The two-year requirement ensures that children will not be quickly moved from permanent care to adoption.

58 As a form of known-child adoption, it is appropriate that ‘exceptional circumstances’ be demonstrated which make the adoption desirable. Lack of contact between a child and their natural parents should not of itself satisfy this requirement. The court should also be satisfied that an adoption order would make better provision for the child’s welfare and best interests than continuation of the permanent care order, or an order under the Family Law Act.

59 As permanent care orders are under the Children’s Court jurisdiction, discharge of a permanent care order is a decision of that Court. Leave from Children’s Court should be granted before an application for an adoption order is made to the County Court.

http://lawreform.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/VLRC_Adoption_Report_forweb.pdf

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OPEN ADOPTION

Hi my name is William Hammersley

 

If you were adopted into an  OPEN ADOPTION SYSTEM

I’m writing to you to get your help

‘Here in Australia we have had Open Adoption since the early 80s but I have found it extremely difficult to find adoptees that have the lived experience with Open Adoption and I’m starting to think that it may have been policy in most states of Australia but not really practiced and that most adopted persons since then don’t even know it existed.

In Australia we are currently experiencing a very strong push by the pro adoption lobby group Adopt change headed by Deborah lee Furness, Hugh Jackman’s wife, to open up and fast track Open Adoption into our child protection system. It is being presented as a new paradigm that solves the problems of the past closed adoption era.

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There has been established an Open Adoption Institute at the University of NSW to research Open Adoption and this is proving to be nothing more than an ‘industry propaganda exercise Cherry picking research from the UK and USA and conducting questionable research with adopted children, adoptive parents, natural parents and a very small hand full of young adopted adults from the open adoption system who support their aims.

The current state of play in Australia at present is that the federal government and State Governments are either considering or implementing such strategies with the exception of a couple of state governments who are prioritising Guardianships to the carers over adoption.

I am aware that Open Adoption has been operating for quite a while in the USA and the UK and we would like help from YOU, the Adopted persons with the lived experiences of open adoption from any country where open adoption has been practiced or supposed to have been practiced to share your stories with us so we can present a fair and balanced argument that shows that there are two sides to a coin rather than a one sided pro open adoption one, that we are experiencing at present.

I have set up a Face book page where you can post your stories and share them with others from the Open Adoption Experiences

Please join us at Open Adoption Australia and share your Stories

https://www.facebook.com/groups/800055193508540/?ref=group_header

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William Hammersley

AN ALTERNATIVE TO ADOPTION

THE STEWARDSHIP MODEL:    For babies and children in child protection

Former judge of the Family Court of Australia, Professor the Honourable Nahum Mushin on ‘permanency and adoption’:
“I think the concept of permanency is contrary to what I regard as being in the best interests of children. We shouldn’t be talking about permanency, we should be talking about long-term. Once we get to that, really what you got to do is that you have to construct a care regime for each particular child depending on his or her needs, and you can’t say ‘one size fits all’.”12208395_1082718815093301_3139828462954000807_n          

Why a stewardship model and not adoption for children in child protection?

Adoption should not be included as a child protection strategy in any form of legislation, policy or practice. We believe that overall decision-making authorities in Victoria in relation to adoption need to take care to ensure that dialogue and policy is not driven by the desire of adoptive “parents to have “ownership” of such children, rather than to create safe and supportive care environments that maintains their identity, connection to their family and community” Changing a child’s identity in the name of care is too great a price for a child to pay when it is in need of care.

Having families THAT DON’T discontinue their relationship just because the court order discontinue at 18 years of age can radically change outcomes for these kids.

We know these families exist when we hear that there are 100s of people who want to adopt, it poses the Question. Why can’t these people care for children in need and offer support for the duration of the child’s life time without the need to change the child’s Identity and cut legal ties to its brothers, sisters, grandparent’s and the rest of its extended family, heritage and blood line.

By the introduction of a post adoption Birth Certificate that states a legal lie that they are now the natural parents “As If Born To”?

Why it is that Adopters must own a child before they will commit to a lifelong caring relationship with a child in need?

Is it the child’s needs that they are truly wanting to fulfil or is it the needs of the person/s that seeks to adopt that they want fulfilled instead?

Understandably for many people it’s a profound commitment, but it doesn’t have to be based on ownership here’s how a Stewardship model works: The approach is tailored to the Child’s needs first and is the paramount consideration. The overarching principle which is meant to govern adoption is that the ‘welfare and interests of the child’ are the ‘paramount consideration’.

This puts the child’s welfare and interests above the interests of the, people wanting to adopt adoptive parents and the child’s natural parents This overarching principle is the focus of the Alternative care Stewardship model to ‘ensure that the best interests and rights of the child are the foremost consideration in any decision made

Adoption changes the child’s identity and the child is legally severed from its family heritage and blood line it is not only a replacement family but also an ownership transaction that denies the child’s human right to its true identity but allows the child knowledge of who they use to be.

On the other hand a stewardship model has the role of the life long relationship between the child and adult clear the family is not a replacement family because the child already has one but a lifelong support family that take the role as an uncle and aunt type characters who include the child in their family but do not try to replace the child’s family and respect’s the child’s identity and loves the child as any relative should.

The Stewardship model is preferred as a last resort instead of adoption

After all efforts have been exhausted for family reunification and have exhausted all efforts to place the child with appropriate kin then it only is logical that a model is chosen that takes on a kinship type roll such as stewardship rather than a replacement family as the child already has a family and heritage. In a position to care for them or not they are still the child’s flesh and blood. In a stewardship model The child maintains its rights to its true identity and has a lifelong support family grows up to become an adult with no confusion, no divided loyalties no living a lie and growing up with the truth about its family circumstances and is supported to come to terms with its truth within an honest ,transparent and supportive family with a warm and loving safe environment to grow up in and not be expected to be anyone else but the child’s true self and as the child becomes an adult it will still be supported through to independence and beyond without having to trade its identity for care and will always have some where to come home for Xmas.

“Stewardship is the responsible overseeing and protection of somebody special considered worth caring for and preserving”.

  • The Court issues a guardianship Care Order granting custody to a nominated family
  • Retain original birth certificates and the truth of the family of origin
  • Issue a subsequent document which states care and guardianship without legally severing biological ties
  • Only sever the ties that give care and control for a child whilst a minor.
  • Add a clause about continued responsibility and obligation after the child reaches 18 years of age therefore reality and truth is retained, consequently identity is protected.

We agree that some children can’t be raised with their parents for many reasons and that they might feel positive about the experiences they’ve had in the care of others – even in some cases building relationships with these people who are ongoing, strong and positive. The way to get it right is to fundamentally rethink how to provide safe homes to all children.” NOT permanent removal by means of adoption by people fulfilling their need for a child and governments looking to save money. Adoption is a past option for today’s children who need care. However severing ties and creating a false birth certificate isn’t a necessary part of that. It doesn’t logically follow that to protect and care for a child their identity must be changed or invented. Basing care of a child on changing the child’s identity and denying a previous existence and origins (whether known or not) is not a sound basis for child protection and child development. Definitely, there will always be a need to remove children in some cases, however family preservation should always be the first port of call but changing the child’s birth certificate (adoption) is not about what the child needs at all. In adoption, child protection becomes inextricably linked with child ownership and becomes – disturbingly often – about those who ‘need’ a child. Wherever an adoption has ‘worked’, what should be examined is whether great caring with well-balanced, good people lucky enough to have the means to offer care has ‘worked’ instead.(Sharyn White)

Wherever an adoption has occurred, what should also be examined is whether it was necessary to change the child’s identity, and legally disconnect the child for life from its brothers ,sisters,uncles, aunt ,cousins and Grandparents, heritage and blood line for life without even a right to a no fault discharge  from that adoption·

Stewardship is a model just like kinship Care is a Model and both are placed and monitored under a Parenting order or guardianship order by the courts. After it has been determined that there has been no coercion, family reunification is not possible and all efforts have failed to place the child with kin a guardianship order is legally established. In the case of siblings, a stewardship family is chosen that can keep them together. The Stewards/Gardians are responsible for all day-to-day care of the child and for decisions about matters such as education, employment, health and wellbeing.

The Parenting order or guardianship order expires when the child reaches age 18/21 and it is assumed that by adding the clause about continued responsibility and obligation after the child  reaches 18 years of age along with the close relationship established between the Stewards/family and the child would last a lifetime. The child is able to be involved in both the Stewards/family and their own parents/family lives by choice. Without the added pressure from a replacement family that wants the child to be  “As if Born To” them that often exists in adoption. .

“In a natural biological family the parents no longer have the legal responsibilities for their child when the child reaches age 18/21 the child becomes legally responsible for themselves, however the relationship between the child and its family does not finish, and this is the same with a stewardship model”

Contact

The court’s involvement is to construct a contact regime for each particular child with immediate family, siblings, grandparents and extended family depending on his or her needs and circumstances of each child, (you can’t say ‘one size fits all) that is legally binding and the guardians are legally bound to support its implementation through until the child reaches the end of the Parenting order or guardianship order. If this is not appropriate the court shall set out and monitor what is appropriate. Contact is a difficult issue, relying on, in practice, the goodwill of the parties involved however we believe that a contact regime can only be legally protected and enforceable if the Court has made the contact regime part of the guardianship order. In adoption current practice and section 59A of the adoption act 1984 (Vic) permits mothers/parents to nominate a preferred frequency of contact in the form of face-to-face meetings and information exchange, which, with the agreement of the adoptive parents, is written into the adoption order by the Court. Contact is generally set at between one to four times per year but this is usually a minimum frequency with contact beyond the nominated frequency at the discretion of the adopting parents. Open adoption in the Adoption Act 1984 2.46 The Adoption Act establishes open adoption. Openness is built into the adoption process. The Act allows natural parents to nominate a preferred frequency of contact which, with agreement from the adoptive parents, becomes a condition of the adoption order

‘However while contact arrangements agreed to in an adoption order are legally enforceable, in practice they rely on the goodwill of the parties involved. If family of origin members do not keep their commitments, there is little that children or adoptive parents can do to enforce them. Likewise, adoptive parents can also ‘make it difficult or uncomfortable for families of origin to stay in contact, with the result that contact may cease or greatly diminish over time’. Review of the Adoption Act 1984: Consultation Paper/ Victorian Law Reform Commission

How contact is to be conducted is not prescribed beyond the requirement that the adoption service manage the arrangements for the year between the placement of the baby and the order being ratified in the Court. After the adoption order is made, there is no professional support for the ongoing contact ordered by the Court.

A stewardship model would introduce a body to assist the court with an Independent/Ethics Committee not connected to the NGO or DoHHS is to be established to report to the court. This body would oversee, monitor, and report to the court on all aspects of the process, including the contact regime and regular welfare checks

Welfare checks must be carried out on all cared for children in private homes not like adoption which has no welfare checks or follow-up at present the government and NGOs have no duty of care once a child is adopted which possibly leaves the child at risk

Contact agreements should be set based on each individual case recognising one size does not fit all, along with the ongoing monitoring, implementation of those agreements with the full weight of the law for the execution of such until the child comes of age.

Contact agreements should be decided upon between the independent ethics committee, parents/relatives, the guardians and the child when the child is of an age to contribute overtime. Recommendations should be put to the court for including in the guardianship order. If the family of origin do not keep their commitments, it would be part of the role of an ethics committee to consult and counsel all parties, if the ethics committee’s efforts fail, then it goes to the court to be determined

  1. Natural parents must have the option to re-establish contact at a later date pending their circumstances.

Whilst Britain continues to try, not terribly successfully, to modernise its child welfare system, we continue to look to countries like Australia, who are always ahead of the curve in this field.

https://researchingreform.net/2016/01/01/in-adoption-child-protection-becomes-disturbingly-about-those-who-need-a-child/

 

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Are there any adopted people from Australia who have had lived experience of being in an Open Adoption from the 1980s and 90s? We would like to hear from you

https://www.facebook.com/groups/800055193508540/?ref=group_header

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Most adoptions that occurred in Australia from the early 80s were Open adoptions. The practice of closed adoption changed gradually across each of the states and territories in Australia  in  the 1980s and 90s.
With the implementation of these legislative changes, adoption practices shifted away from secrecy.

Open adoption means that the parent or parents and extended family are encouraged to have contact with the child, as well as the opportunity to exchange information.

Open Adoption is set up by asking mothers to nominate a preferred frequency of contact in the form of face-to-face meetings and information exchange letters, photos, phone calls, with the agreement of the adoptive parents, in practice, contact is generally between one to four times annually. This is a minimum standard and contact beyond the nominated frequency is at the discretion of the adopting parents. Often the contact was discontinued after the adoption was finalised in the court for a variety of reasons.

ARE YOU AWARE THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN ADOPTED INTO AN OPEN ADOPTION SYSTEM?

Since 1984 In Victoria the new Open Adoption system put an end to the secrets of the closed adoption period that occurred during the late 1940s to 1984 when mandatory open adoption was introduced .

Open adoption in the Adoption Act 1984 2.46 The Adoption Act establishes open adoption. Openness is built into the adoption process. The Act allows natural parents to nominate a preferred frequency of contact which, with agreement from the adoptive parents, becomes a condition of the adoption order. while contact arrangements agreed to in an adoption order are legally enforceable, in practice they rely on the goodwill of the parties involved. If family of origin members do not keep their commitments, there is little that children or adoptive parents can do to enforce them. Likewise, adoptive parents can also ‘make it difficult or uncomfortable for families of origin to stay in contact, with the result that contact may cease or greatly diminish over time’.

All other states had verbal agreements between the natural family and the adopters that was not legally binding like Victoria in most states Open Adoption is set up by asking mothers to nominate a preferred frequency of contact in the form of face-to-face meetings and information exchange, with the agreement of the adoptive parents, In practice, contact is generally between one to four times annually. This is a minimum standard and contact beyond the nominated frequency is at the discretion of the adopting parents often the contact was discontinued after the adoption was finalised in the court.

Baby Trafficking into Adoption during the 1940s-50s in Australia

My mother’s consulting doctor, an American born in 1882 with skilled networking techniques, in the immediate post-World War 2 period this Melbourne-based entrepreneurial adoption consultant admitted to providing over 600 baby’s for adoption in Melbourne, by 1951 a preposterous number of adoptions for a Middle Park consulting doctor’s practice?

ShowImage Dr R.C.Hart

A page 3 story in Melbourne’s, 30 March 1950, Argus newspaper reports that the Labor MP Mr John Cremean has announced that the illegal practice of charging for adoption was widespread in Australia’s capitals. And the MP demands that, as he believes baby’s from marginalised and desperate mothers are being trafficked for ₤50, an Inquiry should be established to obtain evidence against … unscrupulous doctors, whom he suspects are engaged in this obnoxious trade”.

In his speech to parliament He adds it as “… bad as the white slave traffic or the drug trade.”

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Ray C Hart one of the very first GP’s to systematically arrange referrals for illegal abortions. The law caught up with him in July 1951 when he was charged for supplying information that led to an illegal abortion in a private home in Camberwell, a Melbourne suburb. The case was reported in The Argus of July 1951 and heard at Malvern Court. Dr R C Hart was alleged to be the procurer however the charges were dropped,

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In a confidential letter to Victoria’s Chief Secretary in July 1951, the Federal MP Mr Cremean Names the American doctor, and an operator of the notorious Avonhurst Private Hospital, Mr Allen and asks for them to be investigated.

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When it came to money, the Doctors being paid for organising illegal abortions and the sale of babies for adoptions of the 40s and  50’s had hidden their paper trail well and it is often only in their obvious inexplicable wealth that we see the financial rewards available through illegal abortions and placing newborns for sale into adoption.

.An example is the American doctor’s grand mansion in Albert Park’s St. Vincent’s Place. It still stands in all its opulence.

HARTS HOUSE

The Police interest was in protecting the networks of doctors who had adoptions as an adjunct to their racket in particular as they were the same people who referred women for illegal abortions. In Victoria this interest developed into a monumental protection racket demanding massive bribes from elite Melbourne doctors specialising in “women’s problems.”

The Kay Inquiry of 1970 eventually exposed the illegal abortion  racket, but by this time the consulting American doctor involved in my adoption was dead. But the doctor who delivered me at Avonhurst Private Hospital was among those named.