Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Veto's =protection or hindrance

Much is being said on Facebook about the need to remove veto's especially the one in South Australia which also prevents identifying information. in principle i agree with the push to remove veto's.  but i have concern for the well being of those who have believed their privacy is guaranteed

The laws are slowly changing in relation to veto's but none of them are retrospective (ie backdated to previous era and times)  In fact they were put in place so that many could be safe in the knowledge that when the laws changed in relation to obtaining your adoption information there was protection. it could be correct to say the advances would not have occurred without that veto.

in 2011 (june 30) there were 8705 veto's in place inside Australia of which 4795 were at the adoptee's request and 3390 at the mothers request.The remaining are made of other.  Whilst some have said that the majority of adoptee veto's are the result of adopting parent influence it is anecdotal with no evidence of a systematic push by adoptive parents.

Why would someone have a veto in place.not having placed on myself i do not know nor would i try to understand. No doubt there are many various and good reasons which we as individual should never condemn .  but I do support the premise that adoptee's and yes their mothers should have a right to know, I also strongly believe that persons right to their own memories and privacy is also sacrosanct .  So basically we have two groups of people with two different rights and the question is whose right is more important. The answer is quite simply no one has the moral right to demand anything fro another person.

I was faced with this situation in relation to my own mother .after three letters her sister called and said she could not handle it and to leave her alone i did and in dec that year i received a short letter which said:

"Dear Murray & Sheryl

Thank you for leaving me alone.i got too much too soon, maybe one day i might feel different. I don't know sorry.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and new year"

And that was that the last time we ever made contact. I knew where all her children loved and where many of her family lived but accepted her rights were as important as mine

I often find it difficult to remember those last words without breaking down but, I respected another persons right and as such i believe that when we try to lobby to remove the insidious veto's now in place it is our responsibility to provide a alternative means of protecting those like my mother.

Whilst this is an unpopular viewpoint with some, maybe many, I feel extremely strong about this issue because by intruding into the peace and stability of someone who does not want you you may cause irreparable harm in their lives and as most would now be senior you could possibly shorten their lives with the stress it would cause.

Finally, I found out that my mother was made to stay with me for six weeks to nurse me as a form of punishment which was standard practise in the 1950's . it was supposed to ensure those with feeble minds would not allow themselves to get pregnant again. They were in fact punishing the mothers for being ladies.   Wouldn't  it be very ironic that at the other end of their lives they are again punished by the very ones whom they gave life to because of a feeling that their the adoptees rights are more important.

I am very pro adoptee and will, challenge anyone in relation to adoptees being heard as equals. but i will not be party to destroying some elderly persons life because they want to live in peace with their memories.

I will leave here with a quote from the final words of the on,y part of her diary i have been allowed to keep or read

"  I like others have tried to let memories sleep... "


  1. I believe that with every veto their should be counseling. Veto's should be placed when informed consent on the consequences of such an act. It should be carefully discussed and talked about and not done as an emotive reaction to unresolved pain, grief or trauma. Yes, Muzz it has been proven that many veto's from supposed adoptees were from the adoptive parents..I just need to remember where and when I found the information. It is not surprising that it happened and compulsory counseling and signing a form in person and not by mail would make it more fairer for all parties. The counseling would consist of reading material, DVD or face to face with others affected and how contact has worked or what contact means to them. This would help the person considering in placing a veto come to a more educated response and leave not question as to whether they feel they have done the right thing or not. Most place veto's out of fear, but if their fears could be alleviated and supports put in place to help them navigate contact, then I believe many would choose not to veto. More should be done to bring families together not keep them apart and veto's need more discussion than ticking a box that's says NO! because at the end of the day someones life could depend on it. I am not against Veto's just against the way it is currently done.

  2. People should not comment on things on which they have no experience. Perhaps you should try listening to those with vetos, and understanding the issues they face, before putting forward such a misinformed view.

  3. So then the PM of Audtrala should nt omment inmfamily atters as she has no famiy. That s the logic you are stating . And and does not compute in my books. Thanks for your comments much aporecated