Saturday, 8 September 2012


"Adoption should not be an option fort infertile couples - they need to accept their fate in life and realise that some are not meant to have children. Some people are born blind, others without limbs, some with learning disabilities, I don't see being infertile as being any different. It is a defect and that is that."

The above post was sent to me privately in recent days.  I have deleted the name of the author of the post from facebook for her privacy reasons.  However, it does beg the question as to what adoptive parents should be looked at when considering the multiple sins of the past in relation to the act of adoption.  No matter how the apologies are formed, the elephant in the china store will be the role of adoptive parents and the relationships they had with their adopted children most of whom are now adults.

Recently my fifteen year old loyal four legged companion passed away peacefully in our arms at the vet's surgery.  it left a gaping hole in both Sheryl's and my hearts.  it was so bad for my dear wife, two days later i adopted another puppy, a ten week old full of life addition to our mature household.  When thinking about this in relation to most adoptive parents, one can better understand the hole they have in their hearts which makes them pull all stops out to have and raise a child.  Contrary to the comments by the anonymous person, some are not infertile, some may be unable to have children due to health reasons,  some may have been returned servicepersons who in doing their duty to their country became sterile, some may have worked in hazardous areas and the sterility is a result.  you cannot make such blind claims as made by this person.  Some may have raised a family then felt it was their duty to society and their god to help a poor disadvantaged baby.   No matter what in the vast majority of cases the motives of the adoptive parents were honourable.  I say majority because there are bad elements in any level of society.

How involved where adoptive parents in the consent taking process.  There is no evidence that adoptive parents were involved in the methods under which consent was taken therefore they are not liable nor should they be condemned. Again there probably will be exceptions but in the main they picked up a child, were told to go home and raise it with no manual or instruction book.  Did they create a demand for babies. yes they did. The demand has always been there except prior to the 1920's on the Eastern seaboard there were no controls governing adoption so no knows how many children were moved between households.  In Bundaberg in 1896 one could read an advertisement for three babies for adoption just below a advertisement for dingo's for sale.  In the 1936 royal Melbourne show there were babies for adoption in the pavilion.  So the placement of children with other than their natural family has been going on ever since Adam and Eve got together.  And it will never stop.  Society needs to ensure controls are in place to prevent exploitation by those in control of the market to ensure there is a well regulated transfer of responsibility of babies at risk and also how to satisfy the  human needs of those who do not have children.

but back on this subject, the need for some who cannot live without hate  to demonise adoptive parents in general shows that there is a major disorder that needs professional care.  if a child at school had made such statements, their parents would be called in and that person sent for professional assessment and counselling.  but because she has gone through the horrific events that led to the taking of her child by exploitative means some excuse her activities as being understandable.  it would be like understanding the activities of Julian Knight the Hoddle St Killer because he was a late Discovery Adoptee.  There is no excuse for such comments and statements about people that she does not even know, nor the circumstances.  For a person like this an apology will be a wasted effort as she will never allow her anger to subside unless someone else is hurt

As an adoptee , i know the vast majority of adoptive parents known to me are honourable people who respect the fact that i have a intense dislike of the adoption process.  but i freely acknowledge that adoptive parents i have been in constant communication with are also very responsible and caring people who understand my point of view.

And i also know that many adoptee's i know love and respect their adoptive parents because they have given the adoptee all the love they could.  Is that the sign of kidnappers, baby stealer's etc.  No that is the sign of people who created a family in the only way they could do.  I have been castigated because i suggested that the tone of the wording of the apology takes into accounts the feeling of adoptees to their adoptive parents.  The last most of us need is an implication that our parents were child thieves , kidnappers (even in the technical sense) and the use of such words should be avoided in the actual apology motion.  And yes i know there are a few adoptive parents just like natural parents who should never have been put within 100 yards of a child.  I am talking generally.

The upcoming apology is not about the adoptive parents, it is about we who are the survivors of the adoption process.  But they will be present in the minds and hearts of the adoptees who are yearning for validation and acknowledgement of what did occur in the past which so badly affected us in the long term.  but let us remember that just as we adoptees do not generally pass judgement upon our natural mothers as to why we were not allowed to stay with them; nor should anyone pass judgement as to why the adoptive parents desired to have children under circumstances different to that which nature has provided.


  1. 'For a person like this an apology will be a wasted effort as she will never allow her anger to subside unless someone else is hurt' seems to hit the whole rationale of some and is unhelpful to the process of moving forward.When you are invesated in remaining a victim you don't welcome or want change.

  2. Thaks again Murray for a very balanced and thoughtful piece of writing. As a "PAP" (hahaha I hate that term!), and someone surrounded not only by adoptees but also adoptive parents, the demonising of 'adopters' drives me crazy, if only because of the 'ALL adopters are bad" mentality. I am not infertile, and I decided to pursue intercountry adoption AFTER volunteering in a third world orphanage. In a country where children are abandoned daily, not just on park benches and in front of orphanages, but also sadly at times at rubbish tips etc etc. This decision has not only been accepted, but supported, by most of the adoptees in my life.

    The forced adoptions and coercions of the past were truly horrific; but to me, adopting an abandoned child from an orphanage, who otherwise has no hope of being adopted into a family within their country of birth, is not a 'bad' thing.

  3. Hi Murray

    I usually enjoy your blogs and often let them roll about in my head. You often writes some really good stuff about adoption. Sometimes adoption is a good thing, other times it is the worst thing.
    I have to say I don’t go along with much of what you said this time.
    First I don’t think you should be taking comments from someone else and pasting them on you blogs without their permission and use of their name. Surely if this is their original comment then it is their work and should be acknowledged. This person must feel very strongly about the adoption process to make a comment such as this. I felt I understood where he or she was coming from.
    I was adopted at 10 days from Crown Street Women’s hospital. My adoptive parents were not able to have any children because it was said “ He was firing blanks” From a very early age I was aware that he never wanted me and I was only adopted because my adoptive mother wanted a child and he always referred to me as ‘ someones b……” which was so offensive. This caused so much upheaval in their marriage that in the end I became the target for everything that went wrong.
    He was a violent man who thought nothing of giving me a kick up the bum or a slap around the head for no reason , he walked past me. My life from the time I was 3 to 16 when I left home and lived in a shelter was one that is difficult to put into words. Once I was old enough to get my first birth certificate I started using the name I was born with – not the “unnamed’ but the surname. I changed my first name to one I really liked and have lived that way for the last 28 years. I have not returned to my adoptive parents house at all.
    These people should have been screened before they were allowed to adopt a baby. My adoptive mother had lots of nerve problems and he had one big problem. They were allowed to adopt two babies, a boy and a girl, both from Crown Street but the girl died when she was little. She got hit by a car.
    I know a few people who were adopted and some stay with their adopters but many just strike out on their own. I searched for my mother and when I found her when I was 31 she had never told anyone what had happened to her as a 16 year old. She told me how they didn’t even ask her if she wanted to keep me – just told her she was too young and the baby would be adopted. We have a wonderful relationship and as she never had any other kids, she is now a proud grandmother of my 3 sons. She grieved for me all those years never knowing if I was dead or alive and afraid to search. In the first few years it was hard because we both had so much anger and she is still angry today. She says why did we have to provide babies for people who could not have their own. Why didn’t they get a dog. In recent years she has met other women who went through the same place and she can now talk about how she felt being told she was not fit to be a mother but they gave her baby to a couple who had no real love to give.

  4. Hi I am so sorry that your life was one of hardship with your adoptive parents and their apology yesterday by the NSW government showed how insensitive mentioning the adoptive parents can be as many of my friends are like you and have had bad experiences with their adoptive family. The adoptive parents should not be mentioned whatsoever in the apology, supporting speeches etc

    The reason i did not name the mother who made the statement is that she has had a history of abusing me and I did not want that to continue and i used it as a example of how hate can overcome good sense. I will make a note of your comments in relation to this.

    The AIFS study showed that about 75 percent of adoptee respondents classified their quality of relationship with their adoptive parents from basically indifferent to very good. Thats where i fit in. but you obviously like my friend Kerri saint fits into the 25 percent which says poor to very poor and that is a significant number. Whilst i did try to explain that there were exceptions to the good I am sorry if i did not explain that much better. And the AIFS report now confirms it is a significant number which if extrapolated against the common used stats of 150,000 it would mean up to 40,000 had a bad life experience with their adoptive parents. Sio again sorry I did not explain that better in the blog

    Thank you for your comments and i hope i have explained myself much better