To The Huffington post Australia

PO Box R1235 ROYAL EXCHANGE NSW 1225

CEO Australia: JJ Eastwood

Editor-in-Chief Australia: Tory Maguire

EA to the CEO and Editor-in-Chief Australia: Emily Barton

Dear Sir /Madam

It has come to our attention at AARAG Australian Adoptee Rights Action Group that The Huffington post in Australia have published stories supporting the introduction of Adoption Into our Child protection system one such article titled

The Current State of Adoption in Australia

Last year saw the lowest number of adoptions on record.

09/11/2016 12:01 PM AEDT | Updated 09/11/2016 2:17 PM AEDT http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/11/08/the-current-state-of-adoption-in-australia/

However we at AARAG have noticed that some of our members have submitted posts to The Huffington post in Australia on numerus occasions and have not been successful AARAG finds this quite disturbing as some of the posts that The Huffington post in Australia have rejected have been published in The Huffington Post USA and one post in particular was also requested to be published by The Huffington Post GB after The Huffington post in Australia had rejected it as I say rejected this might not be the right word to describe the extreme bad manners of  The Huffington Post in Australia who simply gave NO response in any form.

We at AARAG urge you at The Huffington post in Australia to consider presenting balanced reporting allowing both sides of a

debate in this case, Adoption in child protection to be considered by your readers

It does appear to us at AARAG that The Huffington post in Australia is presenting a bias view point, by not publishing alternative views to the narrative of Adopt change.

It brings us at AARAG to wonder if The Huffington post in Australia is being influenced to present a one sided view by Lisa Wilkinson who is an Adopt Change ambassador, the presenter of the Nine Network’s Today show, and the editor- at- Large at The Huffington post in Australia where her roll involves helping to shape the news and opinion website as it establishes itself in the crowded Australian digital media landscape.

We at AARAG do not like to think this might be true but given that The Huffington post in Australia has not to date published any alternative views to Adopt Change’s opinion and given that Lisa Wilkinson who is an Adopt Change ambassador and the editor-at-large who is a senior editorial figure who can express views in editorial meetings on what The Huffington post in Australia should be doing,”.

We are left with little else to consider at this stage.

The Huffington post in Australia claims that “anyone can offer a contribution with editing kept to a minimum.” But it seems that if it is not in line with the Adopt Change Narrative it won’t be published

We do not believe that the New York-based The Huffington Post, the brainchild of Arianna Huffington who has published some of our member’s article’s even though they have been Australian centric set out to operate a biased and oppressive model of operation that appears to be happening here in The Huffington post in Australia.

 

Who knows how many other Australian adoptees who discuss issues have submitted stories to The Huffington Post Australia and have been treated in the same way as our members?

AARAG members may not be the only ones.

We look forward to your reply

Dr Catherine lynch

Executive Director

AARAG Australian adoptee Rights Action Group

 

References

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/ls-celebrity-news/huffington-post-appoints-television-presenter-lisa-wilkinson-as-editoratlarge-20150818-gj1w3e.html

 

https://www.adoptchange.org.au/page/6/ambassadors

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/p/huffpost-australia-about-us

 

https://www.adoptchange.org.au/

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/11/08/the-current-state-of-adoption-in-australia/

 

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Membership

 “At the Adoptee Round Table Think Tank in June 2017, held in Warburton, Victoria, a group of adult adoptees came together from all over Australia to discuss their concerns about past, current and future adoption practices.

As a result of these discussions, the group decided to establish a National Body in order to give a public voice to adopted people.

The Planning Group are now ready to take the next step by expanding the membership base.”

 

 Change Adoption Australia –CAA

National Advocacy Association of Adopted people (only)

We would like to invite all adopted persons over the age of 18 who are residents of Australia and have an interest in helping to Change the face of Adoption to join us.

Please jump in and join up with us the Founding Associate Members

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Change Adoption Australia aims to:
 Advocate for the fundamental human rights and emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing of adopted persons,
 Ensure that child protection practices, including removal and permanency placement, are not privatised or industry driven,
 Oppose all forms of legal ownership of children by removal of their birth name, their importation or crossing of state/territory borders, whether for profit or trafficking,
 Advocate for the necessity of ongoing and regular welfare checks for adopted children.
 Increase education and awareness of the traumatic short and long-term impacts of neonatal-maternal separation on both mother and child,
 Advocate for the fundamental human rights and emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing of adopted persons,
 Facilitate, participate in and promote public programs and events for adopted people in support of their fundamental human rights and wellbeing,
 Facilitate, participate in and promote public education sessions to raise awareness about the lifelong impact the adoption experience has on adopted persons and their families.
 Advocate for the recognition of ongoing needs and effective service provision for all adopted persons by all Australian governments, their agencies or post-adoption service providers,
 Participate in relevant government and non-government legislative reviews, inquiries, investigations, studies or research projects to ensure the fundamental human rights and needs of adopted persons are heard and included in recommendations, and that recommendations are enacted
 Propose and promote alternatives to adoption to ensure that vulnerable children retain their original identities and connections to their families, heritage and cultures, without the loss, trauma and harm associated with adoption,
 Advocate for policies and practices that respect families and which strengthen the parenting capabilities of mothers and families to reduce the flow of children entering institutionalised care,
 Engage with all Federal, State and territory governments and their relevant agencies to ensure family and child legislation uphold best practice models, policies, practices and procedures that respect and strengthen family preservation and maintain culture instead of erasing genetic medical history, family connections and historic heritage through adoption,
 Facilitate, participate in and promote research into the impacts of adoption across the lifespan of adopted persons to inform family policy, to reduce the harm caused by adoption and to develop appropriate health and support programs for adopted persons,
 Develop partnerships and collaborate with other entities who share similar objectives in supporting the fundamental human rights and wellbeing of adopted persons, including DNA search organisations, trace and reunification services.
 Develop and implement appropriate financial and fundraising initiatives to promote and support the objectives of the Association across all suitable media and platforms.

Support the Committee and consider becoming a financial member of the association.

Firstly, by joining our Facebook page this will give you the opportunity to access to information and a  channel for you to influence issues that you would like to see addressed, to join single issue working groups, and for the sharing of ideas and information.
Next month, we will be distributing Membership application forms for you to apply for  membership as a financial Member, If you wish.
The yearly membership fee of $35.00 carries full voting rights, with the right to nominate yourself or another adopted person for election on to the National Association’s Committee and to be elected or seconded on to subcommittees.
The draft constitution will be posted for comment from the Associate Members, and then the Working Group will submit the application for incorporation.
We will be setting an election date and plan to have the elections for the Association’s Committee online.
A description paper with the duties and responsibilities of Office-Bearers and Committee Members will be available.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
To apply to join the Facebook page ….Click  https://www.facebook.com/groups/303296586789628/?ref=group_header

Thank you.

WILLIAM HAMMERSLEY·FRIDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2017

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

1tcjkj

William Hammersley

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

Hear 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.

1wj8mk

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 proper gander 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

1tcjkj

William Hammersley

AN ALTERNATIVE TO ADOPTION

THE STEWARDSHIP MODEL:    

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.(Sharyn White)

Wherever an adoption has occurred, what should be examined is whether it was necessary to change the child’s identity, and disconnect the child from its family, heritage and blood line. ·

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.

Stewardship is a model just like kinship Care is a Model and both are placed and monitored under a 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 guardians are responsible for all day-to-day care of the child and for decisions about matters such as education, employment, health and wellbeing.

The 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 guardians/family and the child would last a lifetime. The child is able to be involved in both the guardians/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 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, (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 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/

William Hammersley

An adult adoptee who has lived the life of Identity change and the author of the stewardship model.

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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.

 

 

Baby trafficking for Adoption in the 1940s 50s THE MANOR HOUSE: Campbellfield Australia

 

A bluestone retreat of Camp Road in Campbellfield called THE “MANOR  HOUSE” on the four hectares of the Manor HouseThe Manner House Dr Heath and his colleague Sister Corinne. Began an adjunct to their illegal abortion business girls whose pregnancies that were too advanced for termination could live in as domestics until they reached full term, then Dr Heath would deliver them at a Coburg Hospital as many as six at a time were billeted there. The offspring would then be placed with wealthy catholic families through the Matron at St Vincent’s Private hospital. 

 

 

Were you adopted in Australia in the 80s and 90s to present day?

Hi my name is William and I was born and given to two people, in 1952 who legally adopted me two years later, in 1954 ,sixty five years ago . My adoption was a closed adoption created to maintain secrecy and favored the wants and needs of the adopting couple.

In the late 70s to 80s through to present day all Closed Adoptions changed to Open Adoption in Australia.

I have read many blogs and facebook pages from the USA and Great Britain about the experiences of the adopted people who experienced the open adoption period since the 80s Also research has been carried out with natural mothers and adoptive couples

However I have not read any thing about you the adopted person who have lived experiences for at least the last 35+years in Australia.

 

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 from the late 1970s through the 80s and 90s. With the implementation of these legislative changes, adoption practices shifted away from secrecy to open.

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

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 through to 1984 when mandatory open adoption was introduced.

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 AND TERRITORIES had verbal agreements between the natural family and the adopters that were 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 in the form of 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

ARE YOU AWARE THAT YOU WERE ADOPTED INTO AN OPEN ADOPTION SYSTEM?

IF SO HOW DID IT AFFECT YOUR UPBRINGING?

IF YOU WERE NOT AWARE DO YOU KNOW WHY YOU WEREN’T?

WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR YOU’RE STORIES

THIS OPEN ADOPTION AUSTRALIA FACEBOOK GROUP HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED TO FIND PEOPLE THAT WERE ADOPTED INTO AN OPEN ADOPTION SYSTEM IN AUSTRALIA TO SHARE YOUR STORIES

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