Monday, November 12, 2012

Holding Hope for Geelong!

Welcome Geelong's newest support group for those who are involved, considering or about to start their own personal journeys in the adoption process here within Australia.  This is proof in the pudding that there still remains a very real need for education and support within the adoption community.  The process is daunting to say the least, and the reality is that there needs to be a lot more openness between the departments who run the show and those who merely want to access the programs being made available.
If you live in the Geelong or surrounding areas contact 'Holding Hope.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

With eyes wide open

Well it's lucky I have some friends in high places isn't it?  My idea of a campaign to try and better our inter-country adoption practices seems as though it could all be far too out of reach; in the interem at least. 
I know I'm not the person with all the answers, and yes I was reacting from the heart, but none the less I have seen the bigger picture and realise I'm not the first to want to help make a difference. 
Quite simply I don't think I have the smarts to pull-off such a campaign now that I sit back and take on board some very real facts presented to me; and just as well too.  Don't get me wrong, this campaign still needs a facilitator; some one needs to drive this and keep driving it, someone who knows alot about the subject, who has lived it, seen it first hand and can get a pollie to back them. 
This is not giving-up, more so it is reflection time, a time to weigh up whether this is about Australia or is it bigger, involving government legislation that is simply out of our hands? In all honesty I think it is.  This is why this subject is so frustrating.  Perhaps we can better our own system here first?  Look at the bigger picture affecting Aussie kids in care, those needing permanent families right here on our very own shores.  It's does however remain hard to think our hands as a nation are tied and unable to help those genuine orphans of the world.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Campaign Adoption Down Under

For anyone who just sat through the latest plight screened by the Seven network Today/Tonight, regarding the failing system on Australian Adoption, and you sat in absolute dismay as I have, yet again, wondering why Australia, who's econonical standards compared to the rest of world is one of the best, and ask the most obvoius question - why are we not getting this right?  Then I truly think it's time a fair dinkum stance needs to be taken, but where do we start?
First and foremost why can't, and why haven't our government bodies made this dire system within our own country a priority, especially considering it is progressively slipping further into dissaray?  I wonder what these politicians are afraid of?  Why is it that other countries around the world can get this system right, yet the 'lucky' country fails to? 
I don't profess to know much about politics, or for that matter alot about inter-country adoption, and that's why I hope this post will reach some of you who do.  Who is ready to help Australian adoption embark on a new era, where we can get someone (political) to stand up and be willing to take on board this challenging endeavour?
Quite simply it is not good enough that a country of our standards cannot put into place a simple system to enable Aussie families or couples to provide quality of life to children left in orphanages like we saw on tonight's show.  The question that should be posed is 'Does every child deserve to live a quality life?' For those who saw tonight's show, Baby George Denehey was on the brink of death and would without a doubt died if he was not adopted by his American family.  Sadly, how many other stories like his did not end with such a happy outcome?  How many other children have been left in orphanages left to die because they have a physical handicapp?  I'm sorry, but I am bitterly disgusted that anyone who has been left in a position to care for a child could deny that child a fulfilling life because of there own agenda.  Last year as volunteer for NAAW, I attended the adoption summit in Sydney, and sat through a screening of desperate children locked within orphanges around the world, who were being denied of a fulfilling life.  My heart ached for these children, it aches for the couples who so desperately want to provide for these kids but are faced with a government who for what ever reason can't see the importance for this to be rectified.  I'm frustrated and I know I'm not alone. 
My plea is for anyone reading this post and who feel the same way, but don't know what to do to make a difference, then lets all get together, put our heads together as a collective group and come up with something substantial so we can help change the future of adoption for our families, so it becomes a streamlined process that allows aussies to adopt or become permanent carers for overseas orphaned children.
If anyone is interested and has any links or affiliations with departments of governmental bodies they believe may help with this plight, or just feel they have something helpful to contribute and who are truly passionate about trying to get this right, then leave your comments on this post and lets see if we can make some headway. I'm embarrased another year has past and we still have not been able to make the slightest impression on the existing disaster that governs our countries adoption practices.
I don't profess to know all that needs to be done and clearly I don't have all the answers, however I am genuinely interested in helping make a difference, I hope you will be too.  It would be really helpful to hear from someone who has recently adopted from the U.S so we can see how the system is placed over there, and compare where perhaps Australia is getting it wrong.
Please only place comments if you are genuinely interested in joining this campaign for the right reasons.  I will not tolerate or allow posts that are derogatory, in-sensitive or inappropriate in anyway. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

By Chance!

Haven taken up the November challenge of NaNoWriMo, where all budding author's like myself - both emerging and established - sit themselves down over a short period of 30 days to produce 50,000 words in novel writing; Yep, I hear most of you, and your right it's a hard ask, but none the less I am going to push on and try and complete it.  So, now I have committed myself to that task as well as blogging every day my progress, I fortunately stumbled across an adoption blog I had never seen before, as this blogger too, is challenging herself but slightly different.  With NAAM (National Adoption Awareness Month), or better known to me as NAAW (National Adoption Awareness Week), the task at hand is to blog every day for the awareness of adoption.  What a fantastic idea!
So now I am not only writing 50,000 words for a novel and blogging my results, but now I am also going to blog for the awareness of adoption - every day - for this whole entire month; after all this is my passion so  this will be the easiest task of all - the hardest task will be to attract an audience who can resonate with the posts, or to help those who want to understand adoption better to read posts with an open mind. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Latest Adoption Campaign – Adoption Advocate

Once again, we are seeing another campaign towards helping Australian Adoption practices become more accessible for couples to give orphaned children a chance in life and a family. Deb our countries campaigner is the most committed and determined person who our country truly needs to keep Australian Adoption afloat. It's a shame our government can't get on board and appoint someone to take charge of a matter that is cleary not going to go away or be swept under the carpet. View the latest video link of interview here.

Check out this great MSN video - Deborah-Lee Furness – Adoption Advocate

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ACT Government Apology

It has just come to my attention that The ACT Government will make a formal apology to those affected by past forced adoption practices, at 10.00am on Tuesday 14 August 2012.  this will be delivered  at the ACT Legislative Assembly, Canberra.

For those who cannot make it to Canberra you will be able to view the delivery of the
apology live by going to the webstreaming tab. Click on link at post 'title.'

Another step forward for Australia.  It will be interesting to hear what the apology covers.

The state of Intercountry Adoption from Africa & Ethiopia

Recently Australia's involvement in the Ethiopian Adoption program was brought to a sudden hault with the Hon Nicola Roxon announcing the decision to cease all adoptions from Ethiopia as of the end of June 2012, due to the unstable conditions surrounding adoptions from that country.  With little other explaination hundreds of awaiting couples who have spent many years planning to adopt has now been brought to an abrupt ending.  Since that decision I stumbled across an article covering the current general state of adoptions in both Africa and Ethiopia, and in my mind explains some very important points that could have led Australia to withdraw from the Ethiopian program.  Here is an abstract of that article which I hope may help explain the vulnrability that these countries face with the children left within their orphanages.

'There is no word for adoption in most African languages and the concept is greatly misunderstood. Many African family systems have traditionally favoured informal care of children by extended family or community with no legal basis for the arrangement. Adoption agencies are accused of profiting from this misconception as parents are persuaded to sign away their children.
This is exemplified by the situation in Ethiopia. It could soon become the leading sending country in the world as adoption agencies there are accused of soliciting children directly from families. Women are coerced into relinquishing their new-borns and according to Dutch NGO Against Child Trafficking (ACT) the adoption process in Ethiopia “is riddled by fraud and other criminal activities. Parents are stated dead when they are not, dates of birth are falsified, false information is provided to the courts”.

This of course is a very sad state of affairs for all concerned; especially for the women who feel they have no other choice but to give their children over to someone else's care to ensure they can - at least - have something to eat.  My heart truly goes out to all concerned and these governments and adoption agencies who allow this type of activity to continue in this day and age is just outrageous.  Australia, instead of pulling out from these type of programs leaving nothing but the children still facing uncertain futures, should instead be negotiating a better way with these countries to ensure those vulnrable children ABLE to be adopted out with consent are; and those without consent are helped to return to their families, enabling them to lead happy healthy lives as expected.
How can we help this happen?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Australia's withdrawal from the Ethiopian Adoption Program

Dear Friends,
I just signed the campaign: Sustain its pledge to UN Rights of the Child and Reopen the Ethiopian Intercountry Adoption Program
It would mean the world to me if you could also add your name to this important issue. Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign and makes it more likely for us to get the change we want to see.
Will you join me by taking action on this campaign? Click on post title to go to petition.

For those who are uncertain as to why this pledge is so important; Australia's Attorney Generals Department announced recently that as of the end of June 2012, Australia would be withdrawing from the current Ethiopian Adoption program due to  the program apparently becoming 'increasingly unpredictable.'  This means hundreds of couples who have been waiting years to adopt from overseas are now left devastated by this decision.  What can we do?  We can make a united stand to send a clear message that Australians need this program to help fulfill the need in giving these vulnerable children a stable and loving home.  Australia is capable of this as much as any other country.  Join us now to change this decision quickly.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Hi everyone, I have some very exciting news for anyone who has ever had any questions regarding the processes of adoption here within Australia. 
 My New ebook 'Adoption Down Under' is finally ready for purchase right here on my blog, or visit my official website.
Want to learn more about my ebook first? Click on image or visit:

To purchase your very own copy at just $9.95 as a PDF, Go to 'Add to Cart' below.

Add to CartView Cart

Your download link will be sent through to your email once payment has been verified.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Personal Blogger!

Recently I blogged my "Personal" views with regard to the outcome of our countries recent Senate inquiry into past forced adoption practices having taken place.  While I believe I try to maintain a relatively unbias outlook on most situations - especially when it comes to issues regarding adoption - as I realise it can cause quite an uproar with so many different point of views and perspectives out there within our community, lets not forget that blogging is for personal satisfaction; perhaps a way to vent our own inner most thoughts that sometimes fill our minds with confusion and via blogging it can help with putting things back into perspective.  The benefit of blogging  especially for me is to make sense of what I am feeling, and that obviously will not be the same opinion or feeling or view of many others.  Please keep in mind that when visiting blogs of others - including mine- my posts are not intended to offend, but instead to rationilise my own personal views. 
Taking into consideration that this blog in particular is not a forum for debate; but to share my thoughts with those interested in reading them.  If at any time my posts offend please keep in mind it is not intentional; and for that reason I have deleted my last post regarding my own views on the recent senate inquiry, however this does not mean my views have changed as I stand by how I feel; sorry to those two people who felt my views were not the same as theirs.  As we all know adoption must be one of the most complicated and controversal topics affecting many of us - yes, that includes me having personally experienced adoption throughout my life as both an adoptee and now as an adoptive parent.  I have had contact with my birth mother, I have been torn between natural and adoptive family loyalities and to the person who felt I had no idea how adoption affects someone they could be no further from the truth.  I respect others opinions, thoughts and feelings, so please give me the same benefit through my own personal blog.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

4 Corners report on Forced Adoption's within Australia

Click on title above to watch the video of such  heartwrenching stories by mothers who were forced to give their babies up for adoption.  While we wait with anticipation for the land mark decision due to be handed down later today by the Senate Inquiry into forced adoptions, our countries hospital's who took part in these practices should be so ashamed and held accountable for their actions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Apology into Forced Adoption practices -The Royal Women's Hospital

While I respect the fact that The Royal Women's Hospital have apologised on behalf of staff both past and present for enforcing forced adoption practices within our State; are we still missing something; something of a greater picture.  Yes staff are to blame for the horrendous acts of injustice to mother, father and baby but the hospital - the directors, those who passed down the instructions to carry out these acts are the ones ultimately liable.  Surely staff didn't come up with the idea to take these babies on their own accord?  Someone greater was responsible for that - who? And where are they today?  These people alone should be held accountable.
As an adoptee I find very little comfort from these apologies being made; how can that change the grief, pain and anguish already caused?  An apology here is a cop-out, it's not necessarily made or endorsed by those individually responsible, all it is after all is acknowledgment of what happened in the past, a corrective measure to say we don't condone these type of practices anymore - but they did! They want to protect their so called trust to families today, that's all.  Whether you are a birth parent who was forced to relinqhuish their baby or an adoptee who was robbed of their parents, families, origins how can an apology fix that - it just can't.  You don't suddenly turn around and say - oh well an apology has made all the difference, I forgive them.  Our lives are not mended over-night nor will they.  The effects of such acts are life long, never forgotten.  So to the very hospital which I was born and possibly stolen from, shame on you all, you will have to live with the knowledge of such wrong doings.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wow! Sounds alot like Australia - What is going wrong?

'I'm hearing you all - but does our Governments? Not likely.  This article jumped out at me, it portrays Australia's situation to a 'T.'
Adoption challenges for children and carers. 
From the Guardian

What a refreshing change to read Anthony Douglas's article (There is no right to adopt, 23 December). I had begun to despair that the needs and the complexities of those very vulnerable children for whom adoption is the care plan would be ignored in the rush to speed up the adoption assessment process. Having managed an adoption team for several years, and now working in adoption support, I am increasingly aware of the issues facing adoptive parents – and the recognition that love alone and the wish to parent children is rarely enough to enable families to meet the needs of the children being placed for adoption.

Many children will have been affected by pre-natal alcohol and/or drugs or by significant neglect or abuse. We now know that their physical brain development is likely to have been affected by such trauma and therefore their parents will need even more resilience, creativity, parenting skills and support networks than those of us whose children were born to us – and that is why the assessment process must be one which is sensitive, thorough and effective. I agree that there should be no unnecessary delays – and would suggest that such delays are more likely due to poor management or lack of resources than to the adoption assessment framework – but it cannot be rushed. My hope is that Anthony Douglas's perceptive views, based on his working knowledge of the adoption process in its entirety as well as his personal experience, are heard in Whitehall.

Hilary F Thomas - Ulverston, Cumbria
• It has been good to see the spotlight on the rotten state of adoption in the UK (Adoption plan meets with open arms, 23 December). The fact that so many children are in effect further abused by a care system that clearly does not serve their need to have a permanent and loving family of their own should by now come as a surprise to no one.
Much has been made in the media of the prospective adoptive parents turned away or deterred by the UK process. Martin Narey talks of those who have "gone to extraordinary lengths" to adopt from abroad as a result. Indeed I am such an adopter myself. However, people do not only adopt from abroad as a last resort. I believe that when there are hundreds of thousands of children living in institutions without their own families, who will never be found families in their own countries, there is a strong justification, imperative even, for those who can adopt them to do so.
The Hague convention has been signed and ratified by the UK to oversee the proper and ethical adoption of these children. And yet we have one of the lowest rates of inter-country adoption – if not the lowest – in the western world. If we wish to serve the best interests of children the world over – and I don't see why British citizens should be any less compassionate than those in the US, Spain or France for example where intercountry adoption rates are significantly higher – then we need an adoption process that supports all forms of adoption – domestic or international.

Siobhan Flynn

Number of Adoptions slump to there lowest ever

It comes as no surprise that Australia's local adoption numbers are at an all time low. This can be viewed both as a positive and negative. A positive outcome that mothers are keeping their babies or choosing to have family members adopt them, and obviously negative that perhaps there is just not enough education for those looking for options when they find themselves in a position where they can't or don't want to keep their babies. There is a definate negative to say the least with regard to the decrease in inter-country adoptions, and area that needs such an overhaul and review - a job for our Government to get off their back-sides, take immediate action and make this a priority. Read below an extract from The Australian.

ADOPTION continues to fall out of favour in Australia, with just 384 recorded in 2010-11 -- the lowest on record.
The decline is a result of changing conditions in countries that previously provided inter-country adoptions, such as South Korea, along with a fall in the number of local children considered in need of adoption, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found.
In a report titled Adoptions Australia 2010-11, released yesterday, the AIHW noted that more than half the adoptions in the year were from overseas, and most of the local adoptions were of known children, where there was a pre-existing relationship with a step-parent or carer.

Just 49 Australian-born children outside the known category were adopted in the 2010-11 year, the institute found.
The 384 adoptions were down 7 per cent on the previous year, and from 1142 in 1990-91, showing significant long-term decline, the report says. ...Inter-country adoptions have fluctuated since the early 1990s, but are down 45 per cent since 1990-91 and have recorded their sixth straight year of decline.
"The long-term fall in numbers can in part be attributed to a decline in the number of Australian children considered to require adoption," said AIHW spokesman Brent Diverty.
This reflected legislative and social changes that meant children were less likely to be taken from their parents, he said.
The adoption picture was more fractured for inter-country adoptions. Asia accounted for about 80 per cent of adoptions from overseas, the three most common countries being China, The Philippines and Taiwan.
"For the first time in more than two decades, South Korea was not among the four most common countries of origin," the report says.
by: Stephen Lunn, social affairs writer From:
The Australian December 14, 2011