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.
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/
For further information, contact Adoptee Rights Australia (ARA) Inc at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, 24 June 2020