"Adoption has Lost me my Father" so was one of the posts my daughter has made about myself and this struggle to receive recognition of adoptees in their own right in Australia. It has been a particularly nasty struggle because adoptees are being assaulted by many mothers who still believe we are children and should not be explaining our own feelings because they know what we should feel like. And on the other side we have some politicians and the media failing to realise that for every mother out there who lost a child and whose pains has been multiplied by the mind over many years to a point where they despair as to what happened, there is an adult who as a child was taken and also paid a huge price. It seems easier for the media to focus on a short painful birth episode than to look at the long term often hidden effects that nearly 300,000 people in this country suffer and this number will increase substantially into the future with the resultant health care costs escalating at a major proportion. but no Adoptees do not make good copy for a five second statement so we are placed in the corner.
Since October 2010, when the joy of finally having a inquiry to look at all aspects of adoption was raised under the badly titled Forced adoption, adoptees have been on the back foot. Firstly one of the most well known independent support groups with an international base, continually attempted to demolish the spirit of adoptees who showed a independent thought. Woe betide anyone who went onto the origins sponsored Adoption enquiry Facebook page and say "birth mother" . like a pack of ravenous wolves they were devoured and spat out and if they even showed an ounce of resistance they were brutalised. this author has hard copy evidence of such behaviour and we all know that cyberspace ensures all copies of deleted posts are held by FB. The next attempt to muzzle adoptees was to attempt to isolate them by calling people telling them not to stay friends. When this failed they attempted to destroy their own personal history by falsely claiming they had been brainwashed, had the Stockholm Syndrome and that they were stolen. all of these things were false as any adoptee will tell you. adoptee's were only required of they were doing what they were told. this caused countless heartache for so many colleagues and drove them to despair.
Basically the adoptees own truth was not allowed unless it complied with what the mothers wanted. If you challenged the eugenics theory , which by the way the senate Committee inquiry dismissed, you were an enemy. if you suggested that a mothers parents in most cases assisted in this forced adoption, you were howled down and some nameless hospital staff member was demonised as the devil incarnate, you were jumped upon like a wounded deer. Even if you tried to suggest that even those who willingly signed had been coerced into believing they were making the correct choice, you were accused of influencing the inquiry and needed to be reported on. if you found some piece of evidence4 was factually incorrect, like the claim they were not incorporated in the State of victoria when in fact they were, they lodged a false complain with the inquiry in a attempt to silence a person. if they checked the public record of anyone involved they falsely claimed stalking and libel, both of which would have been defensible in court under the current laws .this was an attempt to hinder free speech. if you rued to set up a local support service and it was reported in the local press it was demeaned by people from outside the area casting dispersions. What was interesting was that one person who demanded what qualifications were held, then proceeded to try to act as a facilitator at a mothers sponsored group. I to this do not know whether this was an attempt to muzzle one person or to stop adoptees from having any media coverage.
One of the saddest things coming from all this is the attempt by people of the Apology alliance to muzzle the convener for supporting the rights of adoptees. There is still a attitude that adoptees cannot know what they feel, only their mothers can. of course we know that to be a myth. You only have to ask the child who was tossed against a wall by her mother or the baby put in the clothes dryer by her mother to know that for some mothers, the bonding process will never happen. but for a person who has never seen her child since birth to claim they know best is just like me advising a mountain climber how to climb mount Everest.it is a oxymoron and it is time all mothers not just the few , to wake up to this fact. our lives have followed a different path to that which you would have wished. our lives has developed in the knowledge, subliminal or conscious that we were removed and placed elsewhere and that is what affects us and how we have developed, that is something no mother can ever understand even though many do empathise.
Now the media and the politicians and others. You have in general ignored us. you have seen no decent copy about 40 to fifty even sixty and seventy year old adoptees. AT the handing down of the report when a reporter and cameraman was making arrangement to speak to the lady next to me, they asked are you a father.when i replied no,I am adoptee they just turned around and weren't interested. even the adoptee who gave a great speech was only popular because she had her lovely mother with her. in other words adoptees make good props not the main story. How many adoptees have called the press and actually got their story up in the paper, two that i know of. The politicians were initially not too interested in the props at the beginning but slowly the senate committee did come to realise that there were persons who were not mothers saying a huge price for the systems of the past for that i thank them. And the wonderful South Australian lower house.They are a pleasure to have heard. Not so a person in the South Australian Upper House. Despite all the evidence at the inquiry, the knowledge that caused the lower house to show a equal response she persisted in running her own narrow minded line and did not mention the adoptees in their own right. this form of dismissal of us will be felt by the adoptees of south Australia for many years to come and one can only hope that the rest of the politicians this great country realise just how much they damage they are doing to their loyal Australian citizens.
And the others. It was very disheartening to hear that the Salvation Army major who gave evidence in Tasmania fail to acknowledge on the day that they actually run the Home i was born in in Launceston. This fact is a part of my heritage and that of my children because as an adoptee i have no real heritage, just the history of other families i don't quite belong to. so this was a slap in the face to this adoptee and underserved because of the ineptitude of the salvation Army. The other thing noted is that most official support services have for clients more adoptees than others but they failed to talk about the pain and suffering of adoptees at the hearings. this was most unfortunate and makes one wonder whether they had been incorrectly told that adoptees were only a prop for the mothers.
i have many wonderful friends who are mothers and i support their cause for justice. but this is the truth as i see about the situation for adoptees in this lead up to the apology. many see adoptees as props for their own need and not as the equals they should be . i know some of my friends will be upset but sadly i cant talk about the few who are so understanding of us in our need to be recognised in our own right. They are such wonderful people. I know a few say, when the WA apology was given where were the adoptees why weren't they organised then. the answer is simple. We weren't and some had already discouraged independent grouping for adoptees. but we are now and we must stand for what we n]believe which is a Supplementary acknowledgement of the adoptees in WA and full acknowledgement for adoptees as equals elsewhere in the country. Only then can adoptees feel genuinely empowered and acknowledged