I came across an article posted on the 22 January 2013 by the Department for Child Protection, titled 'Thinking about Adoption?'
What caught my attention more than anything else was the sub-title 'Find out what it means to be an adoptive parent...'
What I find bewilding about this title, is how can an organisation claim to tell anyone what it is like to be an adoptive parent unless of course they are one themselves?
The article explains to the reader how adoption is 'a service' and how it effects parental rights, privelages and inheritance. A service? I'm baffled with this suggestion.
The article then goes on the describe the following:
'The undesirable consequences of past adoption practices, which were shrouded in secrecy, have led to changes in adoption law both nationally and internationally. West Australian legislation endorses 'open adoption' which recognises a child's birth parentage and cultural origins and promotes contact between the parties to adoption is encouraged where this is possible and appropriate.'
Ok, so most would agree we know 'open adoption' arrangements are better than keeping a child's true identity tucked away in the corner of the closet, but unless you are an adoptive parent who has a child in an 'open adoption' arrangement, you wouldn't be aware of the what psychological issues this also can impact on that child's life and the adoptive parents/family unit.
The agencies and departments tell us it's best to tell your adoptive child of their adoption from a young age; this enables them to grow up with the idea and realise their true identity - or does it?
And what happens when a child is adopted in an 'open adoption' arrangement, yet they don't have physical contact with their birth parents? Is that classed as 'open', and does that allow for true identity?'
What happens when an adoptive child at the age of six or seven knows they are adopted, yet has never met their birth parents because the 'open adoption' arrangement only allows for the adoptive parents to send yearly up-dates on the childs progress and the adoptive family gets nothing in return to share with the adoptive child?
While adoption legislation 'endorses' open adoption practice, it does not consider the effects of those who fall within it's legal boundaries that can't get access to the so called promotion of birth parentage information, because of the one-way street system put in place.
If our country is serious about not repeating history with the shrouding of secrecy on its adoption practices, then there needs to be a more clear and defined legislation put in place that means all three parties of the adoption triangle under the 'open adoption' arrangement can on a regular basis obtain information that allows all parties to stay in touch in some manner.
Everyone is insistent on saying adoption is about the child and their rights, and not the adoptive parents; but from my experience adoption is least about the child and their rights and all about the birth parents and their rights.
Something has to change before we have a new generation of adoptee's who suffer some type of psychological disorder from these under developed practices.