Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Placement Support

Hi everyone, came across this website, looks like it could be very useful for those both looking into the process of care options and also those already placed with a child through care.  They provide support and education in areas such as kinship (relative adotpion), Permanent-care, Foster-care, and Adoption.

They provide great links and info. in all areas including: - Intercountry Adoption, Hague protocol on intercountry adoption and adoption statistics.
For more information visit

Friday, November 11, 2011

National Adoption Awareness Week - With Kerri-Ann & Deborra-lee Furness

Click on Title and watch to find out just hard it is for Aussies to adopt! How can you help?  Do you know someone who can help? We all need to help get adoption practices moving in the right direction to help "Our" world's orphans.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

National Adoption Awareness Breakfast Summit - Sydney 2011

What a morning!  Having attended the summit my inspiration is at an all time high.  Obviously my intentions to help make a difference with adoption practices is already out there, but the summit has highlighted the real need for changes, for more awareness and a call for help from everyone who feels they can contribute towards positive change in providing children with a family.  I have become more aware, that adoption does not have to be the answer, but still an option.  If adoption is still not given as an option then we are robbing both birth mothers and children the right of choice. 
The summit, hosted by Helen McCabe, editor-in-chief of Australian Womens Weekly, who I would like to point out did a fantastic job, heard from an inspiring line-up of celebrities, politicians, adoptee's, adoptive parents - prospective and already placed, including representatives of organisations such as Jigsaw.  The morning gave insight into the horrific conditions children are forced to grow up amongst - orphanages and on the street.  Panalists gave their stories of the heart break they have and are affected by, the years of waiting for the placement of a child through intercountry adoption, their files approved yet left in limbo.  We heard from people like Jack Thompson and Layne Beachley who are adoptees, and how their views and  experiences of adoption are very positive, speaking about how adoption shaped the lives they lead today, and if they hadn't been adopted they would not have been given the opportunities in life they have.  We heard from the Hon. Bronwyn Bishop about her efforts and her call to have someone appointed from the Attoroney General's office to be soley responsible for the overseeing of adoption practices and proceedures, so families are not left in limbo; so that there is a system put in place that works for everyone.  The summit has highlighted the fact we do truly need to move forward, leave past practices in the past and move forward with practices that work for today's needs.  For the next twelve months everyone affected past and present through adoption are called to contribute their positive input into change; ideas that can work.  I for one will be doing my best to contribute and I hope you can join me!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Victorian Family fun day in the park 2011

Families of both local & Intercountry adoption along with donor conceived families in Victoria are invited to connect with one another for National Adoption Awareness Week 2011.
Enjoy a fun and relaxed afternoon together, helpling support & spread awareness of adoption nation-wide.

When:  Saturday 12th November 2011  @ 2.00pm-4.00pm
Where:  Carlton Gardens Nth, Melbourne
( Rathdowne street - Playground, north of Museum) Mel Ref: 14 C16

Facilities include:
endless gardens, interactive maze playground, toilets, picnic tables.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

National Research Study - Past Adoption Experiences

Hi all,
I have just completed a survey being conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. This survey involves people affected through past 'closed' adoption practices within Australia.  Participants are being sought for a nation-wide study into past adoption experiences to identify the support and service needs of people affected.

A little about this survey:
- It will be the largest study of this nature ever conducted in Australia.

The purpose of this research is to understand the current needs of people affected by past adoption experiences, particularly the closed adoption processes in place until the 1980s.
Input is being sought from people who were involved in any way, such as:
■Individuals who have been separated from a child by adoption;
■People who were adopted;
■Adoptive parents; and
■Any other family members (including other children, spouses and grandparents).

The survey dosen't take long and I found it personally enlightning in completing it. Click on title above to learn more about submitting your response.

Monday, August 8, 2011

For a Better World

In light of the recent activity regarding our countries 'Senate Inquiry' into the Commonwealth's role with forced adoption practices taking place as early as the 1940s through to the late 1970s, I felt there is some urgency to express the vast difference between those 'forced adoptions,' of yester-year  compared with adoptions taking place throughout our country today.
Firstly here is an excerpt from a UK Newspaper - the Telegraph, on what may be the start of apologies yet to come concerning Australia's forced adoptions;

It is estimated that more than 150,000 young women across Australia had their children taken away at birth without their consent, often never to be seen again.

Women subjected to forced adoptions in Catholic-run hospitals have described being shackled and drugged during labour and prevented from seeing their children being born or holding them afterwards.
Many said their children had been earmarked for forced adoption well before birth and they were told they could not oppose the decision.
Following an investigation into the practise by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Catholic Church issued a national apology, saying its history of forced adoptions was “deeply regrettable”….
Juliette Clough was 16 when she gave birth to her son in a Catholic hospital in 1970.
“My ankles were strapped to the bed, they were in stirrups and I was gassed, I had plenty of gas and they just snatched away the baby,” she told the ABC.
“You weren’t allowed to see him or touch him, anything like that, or hold him and it was just like a piece of my soul had died and it’s still dead.”…
The women claim they were never told about their right to revoke consent for adoption, or the fact that they could claim single parent benefit.
As well as issuing an apology, the Catholic Church has called on the government to establish “a fund for remedying established wrongs” and a national programme to help mothers and children who were harmed by the forced separations.
It's shocking that our very own country's government played a role in allowing such practices to take place, and even more shocking that innocent young women and their babies were robbed of what could have otherwise been happy futures. together  The decisions made have no doubt embedded long term extreme effects which will haunt all those concerned and personally affected.  However, adoptions of today cannot be likened with those of the past; there just not the same.  While I understand and respect all the individual opinions - especially from those who have been personally touched through such prior practices, it would be unfair for anyone to assume that babies placed for adoption today have been done through force.  Adoptions within our country ARE without any hesitation carried out with both the birth mother's and the pending babies interests being paramount.  Yes, we can all argue that adoption is not the child's choice and how can we say it is done with their best interests held at heart when we couldn't possibly speak for that child and for what they may want; but isn't that the case with any child whether they are adopted or not.  As parents we are responsible for making the best choices possible for our children at all stages of their lives.  A mother considering adoption for her baby in today's society is given choices- choices she gets to make - not the government; not the churches; not the hospitals - in fact she is given every opportunity to make alternative choices other than adoption; adoption being the last most favorable choice to enter into.  And then, if the mother does decide to choose adoption, she is then encouraged to play as much of a role within that child's life as possible.  Adoption today is not baby stealing - that's just ludicrous to suggest and shows no compassion for all those involved with an adoption placement.  It's not about money either; in fact the adoptive parents are faced with all expenses; none which the birth parent is made responsible for. 
And lets not forget the vast difference between local adoption and overseas adoption.  Here, the same outcomes are hoped for; to provide a better life and world for those children to grow amongst.  Why would anyone want any less for a child and why sacrifice a childs life based on what happened in the past?   Awareness is what is called for.  Our nation needs to understand both past and present adoption practices and through understanding maybe we can move on and help those most vulnerable - the child.  Visit and support adoption awareness today. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adoption contact

As adoptive parents to our locally adopted daughter, we consider ourselves quite lucky with regard to contact agreeement between us and our daughter's biological mother.  As part of the 'open' adoption arrangments made prior to an adoption order being legalised in court, contact can vary from as little as an annual update given to the birth parent/s to as much as 3-4 visitations each year.  When I say we consider ourselves lucky, our commitment to our daughter's biological mother is just an annual update, involving just a written letter telling of progress and anything we feel relevent to share, along with photos. 
When I look back at the time when we quite happily accepted the fact we may have to 'share' our daughter with her biological parent's, I can now say I am much happier with the fact we don't have that complication in our lives.  And now five years of updates on, I consider why should contact and or updates be limited to the adoptive parents having to provide the information.  I often wonder what my daughter's biological mother is doing with her life now, what she feels, what her likes and dislikes are; to me this is all comparative, because there will be a time my daughter will ask questions that I won't have answers for.  I believe that under the 'open' adoption arrangements in our country, the issue of updates from both parties should be put in place; after all adoptions are put in place with the best interests of the child put foremost.  This suggests to me that the adopted child should then be given as much information as what is expected to be given to the biological parent's.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Adoption NSW

Not sure whats going on, but having trouble posting comments; so here is a bit on my findings regarding adoption in NSW.  Firstly, by clicking on post title it will take you to NSW adoption link where you will find info. From what I have found, as long as one of the joint applicants are an Australian citizen then you can apply for local adoption, you also need to have been married or in De-facto for two years, but no mention how long you need to have been living in state.  Keep in mind you can only adopt locally within the state which you reside.  There are also a few agencies who arrange local adoptions, one being Anglicare,, check their web site out for more info.  Good Luck! 
Anyone persuing local adoption and permanent care, my biggest advice is stay positive throughout the process

Friday, June 3, 2011

Intercountry Adoptions

Initially when I set out in establishing an Australian adoption blog, I had local adoption matters as my first priority.  Local adoption plays such an important role in my life; thus being my main objective in getting as much current and accurate information out into our community, especially to those who are considering adoption, have already adopted or are affected through adoption in some way or another.  I believe there is just not enough information provided on our adoption practices and this drives me in helping others keep informed.  Inter-country adoption however is a place I felt already is given alot of attention; alot more than our local adoption processes get, and it is for that reason why I haven't up until now given it its due attention.  I am guessing their are many of you who may have already questioned where is all the info. on how to adopt from overseas?  Well, although it may have been a bit remiss of me to initially exclude it, I now have dedicated a page which will address current issues regarding overseas adoptions for Australians in particular.  Keep a watch out!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Adoption Story Tellers

Recently, while visiting the NAAW (National Adoption Awareness Week) website and facebook page, I was reminded of a task I had all good intentions on completing, yet somehow had got somewhat side tracked. 
The task  - being my own adoption story.  For the first time I have written down both locked and un-locked emotions attatched to the personal experiences I have had surrounding my adoption.   For all those who have been through adoption themselves, whether it be birth parents, adoptive parents or adoptee's themselves, we all have our very own unique stories; some extremely sad to say the least.
In having finished my story, I realised there is still a lot more I have left unsaid; not on purpose, but when you sit back on reflection, you realise there is more to be said, more you didn't first realise needed saying.  Everyone's own experience with adoption is so different; each of us deal with issues confronting us very differently.  Some of us make the decision to contact (search) our birth origins while others are complacent with how things are, others like myself remain confused and question every motive, preventing the ability to move forward or being able to make an infinitive decision.
In saying all this, there is a real need for stories to be told; it's good therapy - really.  In having told my story, it has helped me see aspects of my adoption through a different light; possibly because I have confronted my demons - well at least some for the time being.
Anyone who has an adoption experience, and feels the need to tell their story, they can do so anonymously or openly as part of the Monash Adoption Story Tellers research.    
Although numerous stories have already been submitted, there is obviously many, many more that need to be contributed to make this study a success. 
If you have an adoption story, visit the link and contribute.  Just click on post title above, thanks.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Senate Inquiry into past policies and practices of former forced adoptions

This particular issue is something anyone who has had a history or expereince with past adoption practices should really take a look at.
In meaning past adoption practices, it should be noted that adoptions which took place post 1970s and under or prior to the introduction of adoption laws 1984.
While I am still learning of the atrocities which took place and affected thousands upon thousands of mothers, fathers and families alike in relation to 'stolen generations,' stolen children, greiving mothers and fathers and adults (once children) now left unable to identify, I find it pertinent to include this very important movement taking place within our country.  As Australians we all like to think we can be proud of our heritage and country alike; but can we in all regards, especially when we are not always made aware of things that have had such an impact.  Real people, some still living the nightmare while others sadly have already left this lifetime were robbed of their rightful roots because the issues at hand were either feed by incompetence or ignorance.
Please take the time to read the stories sent to the committee of inquiry; some will teach of the happenings that took place many years ago,and how those decisions still affect lives today, while others will recount experiences or tell of their heartache still felt from such policies and practices placed on real lives - possibly someone you may even know?
To read the stories or view submissions click on the  post title above.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How is Donor conception so like adoption?

With the recent events involving both state and federal inquiries regarding the practices of donor conception within our country, I can relate to how both adoption and donor conception is so closey linked.
While we all view adoption as a process where both parents have no biologial attachment to the child; donor concieved babies can have either -
a) A biological mother who is inseminated with donor sperm,
(DI) - Donor Insemination - donated sperm placed into the woman's reproductive tract by a non-coital (non- sexual) method.
(AI) - Artificial Insemination - any proceedure where human sperm is introduced into the reproductive tract other than part of IVF or GIFT procedures.
b) A donor embryo is transferred by the means of a fertilised egg (sperm &oocyte used which do not belong to the couple wanting to concieve.

Like adoption, children concieved through the means of donor, whether it is via sperm or embryo, the child may (like adopted children) want to find out about thier biological make-up.
I can see if a child is born through donated embryo, that the need to learn of their biological make-up would be of higher interest than possibly a child who has been concieved using only sperm, meaning they still carry his or her biological mothers make-up.
Yes, it is very much like adoption - the need to learn heritage, history and biological make-up.  The only real difference here is in both circumstances the mother has given birth to the child.
I hope in the best interests of the donor concieved child, the practices are given due consideration first for the donor offspring, and that the donor themselves are considered thereafter.  The donor child, as an adopted child should have their interests seen as being paramount (above all). 
As an adopted child, a donor child did not make the decision for how they enter into this world, so the least they can be offered is how they manage their lives thereafter.  In simple terms, I strongly believe it is the adopted or donor childs decision to learn about their biological heritage, and therefore it should be left open for them and them only to explore.

Monday, March 14, 2011

All Quiet on the home front

I haven't heard from my birth mother for almost twelve months now.  Well, when I say I haven't heard from her I mean in the sense of correspondence or via telephone.  Is it unusual? Possibly? Does it really bother me? Maybe? I'm not really sure.  My birthday and Christmas saw a card and gifts arrive but not with the usual, 'Letter to follow,' message, and obviously no letter has arrived.
I have to say the card and gifts thing is becoming slightly awkward.  Yes, it's nice to recieve gifts, but when you recieve numerous gifts and money enclosed within the card, I think that is bordering on over-kill.
Sound ungracous?  Don't mean to.  I just truly don't believe gifts and money are a substitute for what happened 45 years ago.  I don't even know if that is the reason why she feels the need to send so many things to me.  In return, no, I don't send birthday cards or gifts to her; actually I don't even know when her birthday is - or that could be a lie, because if I took the time to look over the adoption order papers I am sure I would find her date of birth there somewhere.
What I do is send a gift at Christmas.  Why?  Because it is the only time I feel I can repay her for all the gifts and money she sends me I guess.  It's not because I don't like sending gifts, I do, and quite cleary this is something we both obviously share in common, the fact we love sending gifts to those we know and love.
So there it is, "Love."  I have to ask myself how does she know she loves me?  Yes she gave birth to me, but how does that define love - she doesn't know me, I am in the true sense a stranger as she is to me.  I only know what I do about her from what she has told me, and she only knows about me from what I have told her.  Do I only tell her the nice things, things I  believe she wants to hear?  Definately.  So is that the same from her?  There is alot about me I am sure she wouldn't want to learn about me.  So yes, we are strangers when we cannot make our own judgement of character on one another, othe than based on what we are told.
I want to write to her, tell her I do appreciate the gifts etc. she sends, but I also want to tell her enough is enough.  I don't need gifts and money, I would rather if she wants to maintain contact we do it on a level playing field, one we don't have to give or take on, instead just allow one another the pleasure of letting each other know what is going on within our lives on occassions.  That's not to much to ask is it?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

National Research Study

With view to research conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Services (AIFS), into available literature on the topic of past adoption practices in Australia, it was found not enough evidence and information has ever been obtained to gain a real perspective as to how individuals have been affected through those practices.
In response to this finding, it was announced on 4 June 2010, that a new national study be conducted, becoming the largest study ever for this country into past adoption practices.
The purpose of this study is to find out the current needs for individuals affected through past adoption practices.  The study will focus on the long term impacts of past adoption practices, targeting:
  • mothers, fathers;
  • adoptees;
  • adoptive parents(and families)
  • professionals involved in adoption practices (mid-wives, doctors etc).
This study was due to commence early 2011; To register your interest in participating in the study, click on the above post title and follow the registration process. 
Personally, I am looking forward to participating.  I only hope some good comes from this study, and the results providing those who most need it with support and possible closure.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stuck In the Middle

As an adoptee I often feel the victim, yet somehow I am expected to play the role as heroine.  Although I do feel fortunate having contact with my birth mother, I also feel the relationship between us weighs heavily upon my shoulders, and I often wonder why.
No, I didn't make the choice to be adopted as a young baby; placed in a babies home and left to 'hopefully' become part of a loving and caring family, raising me with all good intentions, providing me with all the necassary skills to walk through life without any inhibitions.  Luckily I did get a loving family but unfortunately no one knows how such an event as adoption can affect an individual, it is a very personal experience and with it comes many complexeties- whether we like it or not.
Before I became an adoptive mother, my thoughts and feelings were quite different to what they are now.  I once questioned my mums agenda that blatantly opposed the idea of any contact between my birth mother and myself. How could she ever doubt my love for her and why would she think that would change because I wanted to meet my birth mother?  As an adoptive parent, I now understand her reservations; it's not because she doubted my love for her, it was a genuine concern for my welfare, my state of mind and path in life that may or may not benefit from such an unknown entity.  I can put myself in my mother's shoes and fully understand her concerns, yet there is one big difference between that, and that is I will never deny or sway my daughter's right to meet her birth mother - but there will be strings attached; she will have to be old enough to make that informed decison herself.
I truly believe that the adopted child (come adult), should have the ultimate right to choose whether they want to contact their birth origins, not the birth parent.
So where does the herione come into it I hear you say?  I must be the herione to my adoptive parents and I must also be the herione to my birth mother.  My parents (adoptive) don't want me to persue any contact, so I must forfeit my own right of passage for what I want; my own judgement is swayed - whether I like it or not - I now feel obliged to honour my parents wishes.  But hang on, my birth mother wants to meet me; she tells me of all the thoughts, feelings, sense of loss and hopelessness she has been burdened with since relinqhuishing me.  So now I feel I owe her something-but what, something for breathing life into me? Something because she feels so bad about what happened and wants to make it alright-but for who?  And know I am expeced to make all things right for all us. I must respect my parents wishes ( after all I love them, and I don't want to hurt them), - I don't want to hurt them - ever.  And so too, I don't want to hurt my birth mother and her feelings and I don't want to make her live the rest of her days feeling guilty for placing me for adoption.  But who's thinking about what I need or want?  Me!  Just me. 
So I make all parties involved happy.  I keep contact with my birth mother hush hush.  No talking openly about it around my parents; no birthday or Christmas cards displayed among others - instead boxed away with all the letters we have exchanged over the years.  Do I feel a sense of betrayal in doing so - hell yer.
Am I comfortable with how things are being handled - hell no.  My birth mother wants to meet in person, letters are not enough anymore.  I can't extend my betrayal this far; and now even I don't know what I truly want anymore.  Is it because all these years I have come to accept that I should put others before myself?
Yes, I am very much stuck in the middle.

Monday, January 31, 2011

DVD: The Waiting City

A film about inter-country adoption.

Although I am a big advocate for local adoption, I understand and realise how big the impact of inter-country adoption plays with many couples within Australia wishing to become parents through adoption.
This movie portrays the complications and heartache of a couple who travel overseas to meet and bring home the baby they have been planning and waiting over two years to legally adopt.  They travel to India and are faced with many obstacles; some personal, some out of thier control.  I felt the movie moved a little slow and could have shown more insight into the processes of adoption.  In saying this, it was a moving film and well worth watching for anyone interested in adoption generally. The outcome came as a surprise; one all couples going through the inter-country process should not get disheartened by.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Aussie Adoption

To your left you will find my current survey - Would you buy a book on  how to adopt in Australia?

Why not place your vote and become a part of this important statistic that could ultimately help hundreds of thousands who have been affected through adoption matters within Australia, and those who are either currently going through local adoption processess or contemplating the idea.

Your Vote will show the real need for such a resource. 
So please take a few seconds to place your vote!