should provide that an application to discharge an adoption order filed by an adopted person over the age of 18 should only require the court to be satisfied that the discharge of the order is appropriate and desirable in all the circumstances.
Adoption is a system that changes the child’s authentic identity, it issues a completely new birth certificate naming the adopters as the people who gave birth to them, and severs the child’s legal connection to sisters, brothers, grandparent’s, uncles, aunts, extended family, heritage and bloodline for life and beyond, when there are other long term guardianship programs that do not sever the child’s birth rights?
Forced adoption is being introduced in NSW but not all states agree
VIC, SA, WA, and QLD have rejected adoption as not being in the best interest of the child and have introduced, expanded and re modelled various methods of long term guardianship that do not sever the child’s birth rights to its identity heritage and blood line but offers all the long term stability love and support a child needs, who can’t live with their parents for a variety of reasons.
Victoria’s position is that permanent care orders are a more appropriate and balanced option than adoption.(Permanent Care in Vic is a Guardianship model)
Liana Buchanan Victoria’s Commissioner for Children and Young People agrees – “adoption cannot be seen as the panacea; Systems such as Permanent Care have been able to negotiate permanent arrangements for out-of-home care children that take into account the connection circumstance, heritage of the biological family, and can be more flexible in bringing permanency for the child in their care.”
Government of Western Australia Department of Communities
Do not support adoption from care as a primary mechanism for reducing the numbers of children in care a protection order (special guardianship) is the preferable option.
Queensland Chooses long –term out of home care for children and young people instead of adoption. My Home is a new care option for children who need long-term out-of-home care.
South Australia is not persuaded that an increased emphasis on making children in care available for adoption is necessarily appropriate; when fundamental considerations of the child’s best interests are brought into account children can gain additional feelings of security within a loving family through Other Person Guardianship.
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 interest 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’.”
Pru Goward’s Retirement, Wednesday 19th December 2018.
Yesterday, the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward, announced she will not be running for re-election in 2019. She has served the state of NSW for 12 years and is retiring to care for her ageing husband. No-one could fault retirement for such a purpose.
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said Ms Goward was a ‘trailblazer for women’ and a ‘strong advocate for the people of the Goulburn electorate’ (1). NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts described her as ‘a remarkable individual’ who had ‘championed the cause of women over decades’ (2). A quick google search provided these – just FYI:
I suspect there are more.
Ms Goward said that her decision was ‘personal’ and a ‘difficult one’, made ‘in the best interests’ of her family.
Using near century-old adoption language to describe her family circumstance is psychologically…. performatively….. interesting.
Has ‘in the best interest of the child’ become part of her daily vernacular? The definitive discourse of adoption applied in a different context, slipped so easily – by design perhaps – into her retirement announcement … transliterated for media consumption to – ‘in the best interests of my family’.
It is simple of course. Now, at the end of his life, her husband needs his family.
He needs care from those who love him – those who know him. He will not be placed in the ‘care’ of strangers and ‘forgotten’. He will not be ‘vulnerable to abuse’ in a government run facility. He is not ‘unsupported’. He will not be voiceless and powerless to the impatience, abusive language or violence of strangers in an institution. Even the very best that money can buy in an aged care facility, wouldn’t be good enough. No-one is more qualified to care for a loved one who is dying than one’s own family. In both our coming in to life, and in leaving it, we are entitled to the care of our families.
Pru Goward’s husband is entitled not to suffer forced removal, or to be placed in ‘care’ against his will and/or without the consent of his family.
Ms Goward’s words are powerful. She is an actor of the political stage. Her role is one of power – she is the maker of decisions – of lasting impact – forever even – in the lives of others. She speaks words that construct social narratives. Journalists record her words – the media repeats her words – inscribes her words – enshrines her words into history.
And so, I wonder whether Ms Goward has ever suffered financial hardship. She was not born into poverty, she has never been the victim of domestic violence, nor lost her home, nor been rejected by her parents, her church, society, judged by medical practitioners, state social workers, or the law. Nor do I believe, was she ever alone and destitute, when pregnant with any of her three children.
I listen to and I watch her performance. Despite her own contribution to the NSW State Apology for Forced Adoption (2012), in her final political act, only four short weeks ago, Ms Goward’s new ‘adoption bill’ for the state of NSW was passed into legislation.
Her solution to the state’s child-protection system’s ‘failings’ was to make forced adoption legal.
When NSW forced adoption law is implemented it will be couched as being, ‘in the best interests of children’.
Ms Goward worked hard to implement her final political act. I don’t think this is her final exit from the public stage. She is entering a transition period. She will come through this transition and we will see her again. She will most likely be playing a different role – but one of similar character – one with the same objectives.
And, ‘in the best interest of the child’ will be a repeated line.
If she does not return, it will only be because resistance to her final act is persistent. It will only be if resistance to the Commonwealth Parliament’s Committee Inquiry into Local Adoption Report,
… which recommends, a ‘national (forced) adoption law’ is persistent.
If she does not return it will be because persistent resistance comes from within the ‘system’ – by the good people working in our states’ and territories child protection units, who have, over decades, campaigned for and successfully implemented ‘permanent care orders’ not adoption orders – and only when absolutely necessary.
If she does not return it will be because resistance also persistently comes from those of us who know what it means to live with the impact of family separation – of inter-generational loss – and the lifelong impact of adoption trauma.
Resistance must come from those of us who believe in breaking the cycle – from those who know that change can only come through continuity in the care for mothers, babies, children and families in need – and in commitment to the preservation of families – not in the same repetition of speech, action and silenced outcomes.
Not in what the state itself has acknowledged was cruel – not in apology – and not in claiming, that the political ‘mistakes of the past’ would never be repeated.
Thursday 20th December, 2018
“If we’re going to make a decision to remove children from their family of origin, it has to be to something better.”
A model that changes the child’s true identity in the name of care, like adoption does, is not better. It may save a child from abuse but at what price?
I see adoption, in it’s present form, as a crime against the child; to legally sever a child, who will become an adult, from not only the parents but also their brothers, sisters, uncle aunts, cousins, grandparents, extended family, heritage and blood line.
As an adopted person I can understand in some cases a child may not be able to live with their parents, for many reasons, however I cannot understand the legal severing for life being the price the child pay’s for that care.
Is this in the child’s best interest?
May be in some circumstances severing parental rights until they are 18/21 years of age is necessary but why brothers, sisters, uncle aunts, cousins, grandparents, extended family, heritage and blood line for life?
I think not.
It seems to me that it’s all about the adopters wants for ownership to fulfill their needs and governments need to get them out of the system and save money. Get them adopted and off their books.
As an adopted person living grafted onto my adopters family tree and having no legal connection to my true heritage the pain gets more and more as I grow older.
To tell you the Truth, now at 66 years of age I don’t want to die being someone else. I want to die being the person I was born as and that is William Hammersley (the name my mother gave me). I want my real parents names on my death certificate not my legal parents (the adopters) .
The adopters always argue that they are the real parents and our Biological parents are merely Birth parents and that Biology and heritage does not matter.
This I find extraordinary, especially when I consider the number of non adopted people that use Ancestry.com and other heritage search organisations. I cannot understand why it is important to the thousands if not millions of non adopted people but not adopted people.
Why is there a shortage of carers in child protection when we are told there are so many people who want to adopt?
Why won’t a person who wants to adopt simply care for the child without going through the adoption process of ownership that legally servers not only the parents but also the child’s, brothers, sisters, uncle aunts, cousins, grandparents, extended family, heritage and blood line?
To know who you once were (like adoption is suppose to allow) is not the same as being legally connected to who you really are.
In a new advertising campaign by Family and Community Services NSW,
A very young adopted child is presented to viewers through only the perspective of her adoptive parents. Entitled ‘A Perfect Match’, the ad’s language harks back to past practices when babies and children were ‘matched’ to their adopters, and when adoption was sold as the ‘one size fits all’ solution to social problems of poverty, single motherhood, the ‘unwanted’ child, illegitimacy and infertility, in one fell swoop. In this ad, the adopted child’s adoptive parents ‘talk about’ her – she is too young to grasp the intent of the advertisement. Her adoptive mother says the little girl has ‘completed me’ and again, the notion that the grief of infertility is resolved by adopting someone else’s baby harks back to past narratives and false claims that adoption completes life for people who are unable to have their own children.
The majority of adopters are infertile and infertility is considered to be a trauma and professionals now recommend that before one takes a major decision such as bringing an alien child into the home the potential adopters work through any grief issues they have about the loss of not being able to have their own biological child.
If the grief and other psychological phenomena that attach to infertility are not dealt with prior to adoption it can set the adoption up to fail.
Additionally unexpressed or repressed grief may be displaced as an overwhelming need to adopt and this of itself can cloud judgement. Once a couple have adopted they then have a vested interest in justifying to themselves and others that what they have done is ‘good and moral’….Apology Alliance
So her entire ancestry and identity had to be obliterated so she could get care? How is that still happening in this day and age? If she has siblings she is not related to them anymore! And now has genetic strangers named as having given birth to her!
The Liberal MP Ms Banks said while launching the Federal report recommending a national adoption law be established. in Canberra on Monday 26/11/2018. “That adoption figures would have been closer to 5000 if Australia had a less fragmented system, like that in the United Kingdom.”
Yet in the United Kingdom a very different view is rising
The use of adoption places the UK in much closer alignment with the US than with European states, as outlined by the Donaldson Adoption institute.
Let’s look at the ethical dilemma that is now presenting in the UK after several years of previous Prime Minister David Cameron’s push for more adoptions to take place and forced adoption which mirrors the push here at the moment by the Federal Government and people with vested interests in adoption.
The research paper below screams caution, caution and was done BY the people at the coal face of adoption in the UK.
They felt it necessary for many, many reasons as they find themselves in an ethical dilemma having been forced to follow
Cameron’s emotionally ignorant and damaging push.
Anyone person caring for children at the moment with a view to adopting them has no idea today how adoption will play out in the lives of those children when they grow up.
It is nothing that any prospective adoptive parent can predict little alone this committee and it really is Russian roulette when it comes to their later life.
We can look at what has gone before in this country and learn from the lived experience of tens of thousands of people and be emotionally intelligent ENOUGH in the best interests of the child and the child’s ENTIRE LIFE to say, the lived experience of so many tells us to be very cautious when it comes to adoption in any form open or closed.
You are told that the UK is an example that should be followed here in Australia and that we don’t adopt anywhere as many as we should like the UK do.
This following film tells a different side of the story
Great Britain is one of two European countries where ‘forced adoption’ takes place, whereby a child’s biological parents are given no say in the decision to give up their offspring.
The stated motive for the practice is putting the child’s interests first, but opponents insist that social workers often abuse their powers simply to meet targets. Human rights activists have raised concerns about the fairness of the system.
They believe child protection services often act on false allegations and operate under vague definitions of child abuse to forcibly remove children from their natural parents.
Is this what we want in Australia?
It has been shown in other countries that Adoptions lead to even higher costs, with the engagement of Adoption Agencies as exceedingly high placement fees, and in some instances a continuation of fostering allowances to the adopters until the child attains 18 years.
Unsurprisingly, it is also the Adoption Agencies that are pressing for more adoptions, as it will considerably enrich them as it has done in the UK and other countries.
Many families have had to flee the country just to keep their kids.
Bridget Robb Chief Executive British Association of Social Workers – Time: 46.38 in the following film states
“There are some cases going on where the parents are challenging the adoption order and that’s a very hard one because legally at adoption they are no longer a child of those parents.
The courts normally say even if it was wrong to make that initial decision to upset the child again and move them back is not necessarily the right answer because adoption stays with people the rest of their lives.
This isn’t a short-term decision; this is making a decision for the next 70-80 years of that person’s life that they look back on that time in their life and they say but why, why was that and why was that done?
Why was I taken away without the consent of my parents? “
(Please note the video has some quiet spots in it please be patient and continue watching to the end)
BASW unveils the UK Adoption Enquiry report and key findings
A new piece of research written by social workers predicts that forced adoption will come to an end in the UK. The document also offers new research on the impact of adoptions on birth parents and asks whether it is right for the government to pursue adoption at any cost.
How can it be right to have targets for breaking up families?
FOUR FLAWS IN THE “I know someone who’s adopted and they turned out fine” argument
“They turned out just fine” is a popular argument defending many beliefs, including in adoption. It relies on the personal experience of just one adoptee who the supporter of adoption claims is ‘fine’.
It’s an argument with fatal flaws.
ONE: It’s what’s known as an ‘anecdotal error’
This error, in simple terms, states that “one adoptee was not negatively affected (as far as I can tell), so it must be O.K. for everyone.” As an example: “I wasn’t vaccinated, and I turned out fine. Therefore, vaccination is unnecessary.” We are relying on a sample size of one. Ourselves, or someone we know. And we are applying that result to everyone. This argument also immediately dismisses any and all adoptees critical of adoption as not being ‘fine.’
TWO: It takes a shortcut relying on ‘availability reasoning’
Related to the anecdotal error, it’s where we reason using information that is immediately available to us when we are in the middle of the argument. In this case, information about a ‘friend who’s adopted’ is handy — it’s already available. My brother was smacked as a kid and he turned out fine, so smacking doesn’t hurt anyone. But studies show that availability reasoning is a cognitive bias that can cloud us from making accurate decisions that rely on ALL the information available. It blinds us to our own prejudices.
THREE: It dismisses well-substantiated, scientific evidence.
To say “I know an adoptee who turned out fine” is an arrogant dismissal of an alternative evidence-based view. The statement closes off discussion and promotes a single perspective that is oblivious to alternatives that may be more informed. Anecdotal evidence often undermines scientific results, to our detriment.
FOUR: It leads to entrenched attitudes
When confronted with alternative views, adoption supporters make an assumption that whoever holds those views is not fine, refusing to engage, explore or grow. Ironically, the inability to engage with views that run counter to their own suggests that it may be them who did not turn out quite so “fine.” For where is the line for deciding if an adoptee turned out fine? If it means the adoptee avoided prison, they are setting the bar conveniently low. Gainfully employed and have a family? Still a pretty basic standard. It is as reasonable to say “I turned out fine in spite of adoption” as it is to say “I turned out fine because of adoption.”
Adapted from Justin Coulson, author of the Australian best seller “10 Things Every Parent Needs to Know.”
There is a school of thought that Adoption from Foster Care is a long to medium term back door strategy to supply babies and toddlers for Adoption
It is a well-known that most adopters prefer to adopt babies and infants and don’t really want older children for a variety of reasons in fact In Australia during 2015–16, 100% of local adoptees were aged under 5
The latest Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) report indicates an increase in numbers for 2016-17, largely made up of known child adoptions, the majority in NSW.
The AIHW report identifies that the increase in adoptions is primarily due to the rise in the number of adoptions by known carers 143 of these being foster carers, 131 of who were from NSW leaving 12 from all the other states and territories.
Of these children 80% were aged five years or older.
It is said the majority of people who want to adopt from OOHC presently are people who have had the long term care of the children.
This may be true however once the few that want to adopt the older foster kids that have been in there care have done so.
Where will supply come from then?
The truth will then start to surface as babies and toddlers are placed with foster carer’s. Who are really adopters that plan to adopt as known child adoptions. Then we will see the 80% aged five years or older reduce and the under 5 increase.
Of course those stats will take time to surface as the babies need to be in their care for one or two years first, and toddlers will get older and appear as over 5 conveniently hiding the truth. A more honest statistic would be to show the age the child was when they first came into the care of the foster carer/ adopter and how long the child was in their care before adoption was approved.
“Adopt Change is pleased to see the New South Wales government leading the way to prioritise Adoption/permanency and suggests that other states are now considering adoption as a permanency option for children in out of home care.”
We must do our best to try and stop this back door method to adoption of infants from happening.
AS WE CELEBRATE THE SUCCESSFUL DISCHARGES OF ADOPTEES FROM THEIR ADOPTION HEAR IN AUSTRALIA THERE REMAINS A VERY DANGEROUS CLAUSE IN THE ACT IN VICTORIA AND PERHAPS IN OTHER STATES THAT ALLOWS THE CHILD TO BE DISCHARGED BY THEIR ADOPTERS THE “FOREVER FAMILY” WHICH LEAVES THE DOOR WIDE OPEN FOR RE-HOMING LIKE IS THE PRACTICE IN THE USA.
RE- HOMEING You would say this could never happen in Australia
However our current State Adoption Act1984 has a loophole that leaves the possibility WIDE OPEN and as the adoption act will remain in place for many years as time rolls on this clause could be taken advantage of.
The VICTORIAN ADOPTION ACT 1984 – SECT 19.
“Discharge of adoption orders (1) An eligible person may apply to the Court for an order discharging an order for the adoption of a child made under this Act (a) “eligible person” means the adopted child to whom the adoption order relates, a natural parent of the adopted child, AN ADOPTIVE PARENT of the adopted child, the Secretary or the principal officer of the approved agency by which the adoption was arranged;”
Changes to the Act are necessary we completely oppose adopters having rights to discharge an adoption other than fraud.
That the adoption order or consent for the purposes of the adoption order was obtained by fraud, duress or other improper means”
So- if the adoption order was obtained by fraud (i.e. the adopters were misled)
– If not it will almost always be in the best interests of the adoptee to be unadapted by people who don’t want them so much for a “FOREVER FAMILY.”
It gives the adopters too much of an out.
What happens to the child then?
We argue giving adopters greater rights commodifies children because it means they can be “returned” if the adopters can make an argument that it’s in the child’s best interests
The Governments who have this legislation are trying to keep the adoptees, natural parents and adopters THE SAME but because it involves children they are NOT THE SAME.
To prevent the ‘re-homing ‘situation prevalent in the US we recommend
• Transparent process and criteria for straightforward ‘no-fault fuss free’ type Discharges of Adoption for adult adoptees only to be written into the Adoption Act.
• Adopters should only be able to apply for a Discharge of Adoption under no wider grounds than “that the adoption order or a consent for the purposes of the adoption order was obtained by fraud, duress or other improper means”