Integrated Birth Certificates – A Slap in the Face for many Adoptees?

National Adoptee Peak Body, Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc has rejected the claim that NSW integrated birth certificate reforms solve the issues around birth certificates for adopted people.

President of ARA, Peter Capomolla Moore, says: “The reforms in NSW are a token gesture at most.

“Some adoptees see having the adoptive parents on the birth certificate as a way to make sense out of the mess that the Adoption Act has created and they should be afforded that option.”

“But what about the rest of us who neither want the “FAKE” Fabricated Certificate nor this new “FAKE” Fabricated one? We have been left with no choices again.”

“A Birth Certificate should be as best as possible an accurate & trustworthy document. It should be a snapshot at the time of birth. There is no need to continue the lie of fabricating Birth Certificates.”

“This reform is not about the adoptee’s best interests. It is about making sure the adopting parents’ names still go on the birth certificate, instead of reverting back to using an adoption certificate and leaving the birth certificate alone.”

“So-called ‘Open’ adoptions are still easily closed, and if the only choice is the Integrated Birth Certificate or the fabricated one, the adoptive parent can use the fabricated adoption birth certificate and never tell the child they are adopted. There are no provisions here to prevent that.”

Secretary of ARA, Sharyn White says “Discharge is not something all adoptees would pursue, but it is the only way – currently – for an adoptee to be able to use their true birth certificate and have their ancestry and relationship rights re-instated.”

“If the NSW government was truly listening to adoptees, they would be reforming discharge procedures, which are complicated, and often humiliating, expensive, and presided over by those who give more weight to the institution of adoption itself than the rights of the adoptee.”

“Why shouldn’t adult adoptees who want them have access to a ‘No Fault Discharge’?” Peter asks, “We settled this argument in 1975 with ‘No Fault Divorces’.”

“Why are adopted adults not given the same rights as other community members to identify with their biological family?”

“We are not children any longer, stop treating us as children,” says Peter Capomolla Moore, 62yrs old “I am not legally related to my mother, my father nor my eight siblings and that is a bizarre & traumatising situation that must end.”

Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc is calling for a comprehensive Inquiry into adoption in Australia.

End

Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc is established by adopted persons to give a national voice to their lived experience of adoption in Australia, and to advocate for reform in adoption legislation, policy and services in all Australian jurisdictions, so that the human rights and wellbeing of adopted persons are restored, protected and promoted.

Read more about Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc via https://adopteerightsaustralia.org.au/

Awareness for reform of adoption

Contact information:

For further information, contact Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc at

admin@adopteerightsaustralia.org.au

Peter Capomolla Moore 0416 146 294

Media-Release-Integrated-Birth-Cerificates-14092020

 

National Peak Adoptee Organisation calls for an inquiry into adoption – not the promotion of adoption from care.

National Peak Body for adoptees, Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc. does not support the current push towards increasing adoptions by some state governments and wealthy, self-interested lobby groups. Instead, ARA Inc. is calling for an inquiry into the controversial practice of adoption itself – its legislation, policy and practices, and its effect on the human rights, best interests and whole of life and intergenerational outcomes of adopted people and their descendants.

Inquiries like the Inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices (2012) exposed the treatment of mothers who were forced to relinquish their children at or near birth for potential adoption. Many issues of concern were raised about adoption itself during those inquiries and since, but there has never been a comprehensive examination of adoption or the experiences and outcomes of adoptees.

President of ARA Inc., Peter Capomolla Moore says: “As an adoptee, I am not related to my grandparents, siblings, aunts,  uncles, and cousins.”

“We are told that adoption has changed, but there are so many examples of how it hasn’t:

•    erasure and replacement of identity – adoptees have two birth certificates,

•    legal severance from kin, culture and ancestry,

•    no mandated welfare checks once the adoption is finalised – care is privatised, (many adoptees have spoken out about the abuse they received at the hands of the people who adopted them, but were excluded from the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse),

•    being at the mercy of retrospective Adoption Act changes,

•    the prohibitive access to information and having no rights under Freedom of Information Acts,

•    contact or information restrictions making it an offence to find or contact family, which are more enduring, easier to get, and stronger than most restraining orders…

…and these are just some of the realities that adoptees – past and present – live with.”

“It’s common knowledge within adoptee communities, and indicated by the very few studies that exist, that adopted people are at significantly higher risk of suicide and attempted suicide, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and imprisonment.”

“Why are some state governments dispensing with their duty of care for vulnerable children by supporting a practice that places children into private care with no requirement to follow up their welfare and outcomes in the short or longer term?”

Vice President of ARA Inc., Dr Catherine Lynch JD says it’s important to recognise that adoption is an issue for all Australians:

“The complexity in adoption practice and policy for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is recognised in legislation and policy as it should be, but given that Australia is a diverse multicultural country, it is time that we acknowledge that all children have powerful familial links to their mothers, kin, identity and culture.”

Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc’s position is that to continue adoption, let alone increase it, without paying heed to the calls for a comprehensive inquiry into adoption by those who are living it, is not only short-sighted, but a reckless act which will have long-term and profound negative repercussions.

End

Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc is established by adopted persons to give a national voice to their lived experience of adoption in Australia, and to advocate for reform in adoption legislation, policy and services in all Australian jurisdictions, so that the human rights and wellbeing of adopted persons are restored, protected and promoted.

Read more about Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc via https://adopteerightsaustralia.org.au/

Contact information:

For further information, contact Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc at admin@adopteerightsaustralia.org.au

Published Date:

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Adult adoptees silenced in Parliamentary Adoption Inquiry

The Commonwealth government is years behind Europe in adoption research and practices and they are silencing adoptees in Australia who have lived experience of adoption, according to Adoption Rights Australia (ARA).

Head of the Parliamentary Committee Inquiry on Local Adoption, Julia Banks MP, refused to allow Adoptee groups and ARA members to contribute to the inquiry in person. ARA members were told that the past practices under which they were adopted had no relevance to the proposed new adoption policies for 21st century Australia.

ARA Adult adoptees were advised that the content of their submissions would be censored or their names withheld. The committee’s justification for this has silenced the lived experiences of adult adoptees with much to contribute to government policies and legislation around the well-being of both current and future adoptees. According to an ARA spokesperson, adult adoptees from the era of closed forced and past open adoptions (mandated in Victoria since 1984), were simply advised that adoption isn’t ‘like that anymore’. ARA disagrees with this sentiment.

Recommendations in the recently published parliamentary report Breaking Barriers: A National Adoption Framework for Australian children state:

  • that the Commonwealth work with state and territory governments to achieve agreement, through the Council of Australian Governments, to develop and enact a national law for adoption;
  • adoption should be considered before long term fostering or residential care;
  • and, decisions on whether a child may be able to safely return to their parent(s) must be made within a legislated timeframe, such as six months of an interim care order for children under two years old, or within 12 months for older children’.

Implementation of such policies will place many vulnerable persons in exactly the same legal position as current adoptees who lost their families to the adoption system of the 20th century. Alternatives to adoption, such as legal guardianship, permanent care orders and family stewardship programs, offer vulnerable children protection while preserving their rights to their identity through their original birth certificates and their ongoing legal and physical connection to their biological families.

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Social_Policy_and_Legal_Affairs/Localadoption/Report

For further information and/or comment, please contact ARA Inc Spokesperson ‘Elizabeth Russell’ on 0421 645 42

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Media Release: Launching Adoptee Rights Australia Inc. (ARA)

ARA aims to fulfil the urgent need in Australia for a national adoptee representative peak body run by, and for, adopted people. To date, other stakeholders’ views have been prioritised and ARA was formed in response to a longstanding need to have our voices heard in relation to adoption policy and services. To this end, ARA aims to promote Australian adoptees as key contributors as opposed to passive objects within adoption debates.

Core Value

ARA recognises that adopted people are the experts in adoption. This is not only due to their lived experience, but also because of their breadth of knowledge and skills in the adoption field and wider academic and professional careers.

Key Objectives

ARA aims to provide an independent national voice for Australian adoptees, conducted on the basis of democratic elections and policy voting. To this end, and as the peak body, ARA will work with other stakeholders towards the common goal of improving adoption through education, policy and legislation. We are committed to learning from the mistakes made by past adoption practices and, most importantly, considering modern developments in adoption, law and society.

ARA exists to promote the voices of adopted people in Australia, informing services, policy and legislation on adoption at state and national levels.

  • Dr Catherine Lynch (NSW) – President
  • Sharyn White (SA) – Vice President
  • Christin Coralive (QLD) – Treasurer
  • Glen Scott (SA) – Secretary
  • Jamie Harrison (VIC) – Ordinary Committee Member
  • Carol Maney (TAS) – Ordinary Committee member
  • Peter Capicola Moore (NSW) – Ordinary Committee Member & Public Officer
Get Involved

We welcome the opportunity to liaise with relevant government and non-government organisations and other key stakeholders who share the objectives of restoring, protecting and promoting the human rights and wellbeing of adopted people.

To arrange interviews or comment, please contact:

William Hammersley: Williamhhh52@gmail.com

Social Media:

Website: https://adopteerightsaustralia.org.au/

Twitter: @AdopteeRightsAu

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