Thursday, 31 January 2013

Support For Adoptees Post Apologies

As we approach the final apology (excepting the Northern Territory) it is time we as adoptees focus our attention upon the types of services that are needed to assist with the  healing that the past decades have created for us.  As all of us are aware all of us have had differing life experiences differing level of trauma and and for some no additional support is required.  We as adoptee's must recognise and respect that differing past and experiences we all have had.  For example, the way a man has handled his adoption life is so very different to that of a woman.  The old saying that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus is very appropriate in relation to adoption.  Also Late discovery adoptee's react differently to those who are fully aware of their circumstances from a early age.

With this in mind from this adoptee;s point of view must be provided on a needs basis.  Many will need extreme trauma therapy and PTSD treatment and others will need some psychological support. Some may need no support at all but then again may as they age.

With this in mind we need to discuss this and look at ways where we can help those in authority approach such matters.  To date organisations like Beyond Blue and Mens Shed have not been that interested and many other organisations like Relationships Australia do not have the number of  therapist trained in adoption related matters to assist on the scale that is really needed.  With that in mind it is vital that psychologists etc be brought up to speed on this.  I spoke to my therapist about this and she believed that such training should be part of the ongoing development of psychologist after their graduation.  This way only those who have a keen interest in this matter will take the time to further develop their knowledge. we want no more therapist saying to adoptee's get over it, get a life etc.  She readily agreed that we the adoptee's would be best positioned to assist those who wish to embrace the knowledge and after such training and courses they could be certified.

I also spoke to her about determining the level of service and support that some of us may need.  her solution is simple. The therapist assesses the client and then sends the details off to a independent panel made up of specialist, client support groups who will approve a system and method of treatment along with regular reviews to keep or cease the treatment depending upon the circumstances.  The independent panel would be able to ask for a second opinion and include other areas of medicine as is current for chronic illnesses.  The system would not be perfect but would reduce the instances of rorting.

The major item that i am looking at is keeping governments to their commitments.  As we have seen in the past as time goes by governments of all persuasions tend to lose interest in past just causes and support funding is reduced accordingly.  We also have a election coming up in September so we all need to see if the current opposition will commit themselves to the packages that may be announced on 21 march 2013. Otherwise the work we have all done will be for nought. we also need to ensure from both sides of the aisle that they will CORE commitments .

I have often said that the real work starts on the day the apology is handed down.  For we as adoptee's to have some influence upon these matters we need to unite as one strong unit and present a united front to governments and other authorities.  No more back sniping . That time is way behind us.  Old fashioned confrontation  style activism needs to be shelved . It may be needed at a later date thus be more effective if rational approaches fail.  Adoptee's need to get over this " No one speaks for me" attitude because a single voice is nothing in the big picture.  Voices joined together are noticed. The only lone sound that is universally heard is the lone piper at the end of the Edinburgh  Military Tattoo.

The Australian adoptee's network will be such a voice. However the current administrators of that organisation are seeking those who may be able to replace them and move the organisation forward.  Any persons taking over will need to be alert and ensure that no one disrupts the prime purpose of the organisation which is to support and promote the needs of adoptee's without interrupting the nature and harmony of the organisation. Once we have people to be put up for office holders, it will be run like any other organisation where the office holders run the day to day affairs as agreed by Annual general meetings.

I hope we can have some support in moving the AAN forward and assisting in helping with the needs of adoptee's

Murray Legro

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