An excerpt from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) submission to the Inquiry into Responses to Historical Forced Adoptions in Victoria – Reporting date due 21st July 2021 :
“𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝗜𝗛𝗪 𝗶𝘀 𝘂𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗮𝗱𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗱𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗱𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗱. 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗳𝘆 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗱𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗱𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗮, 𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗻𝗼𝗻-𝗮𝗱𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁(𝘀), 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗱𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗮𝗱𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗱𝗲𝗺𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗽𝗵𝗶𝗰 𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀. This makes gathering data on access to supports by adoptees and their adoptive families difficult. For the same reasons, the long-term outcomes of adoption (such as rates of disruption or levels of educational attainment) are difficult to ascertain.
In November 2018, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into Local Adoption tabled its report 𝘉𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘴: 𝘢 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘈𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯 – 𝘐𝘯𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. In recognising the importance of evidence-based decision making, the Committee made a number of recommendations. Key among these is that the Adoptions Australia national collection should be upgraded from its current aggregate data table supply arrangement to a unit record collection. In its response, the Australian Government gave in-principle support to this recommendation in September 2019. This enhancement would mean that data linkage could be undertaken to explore a range of short-and long-term outcomes of adoption. Such a transition is dependent on the renegotiation of existing relationships of data supply between the AIHW and relevant Commonwealth, state and territory agencies, and on the capacity of all parties to develop the necessary supporting infrastructure for data collection, provision and reporting.”
Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, Submission 20