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.