One of the biggest problem we have in the adoption community s the right to have contact and the right to privacy. This conflict is never ending and coupled with the draconian non information laws of South Australia it will be a permanent stain on society.
This conflict is the result of the changes from closed adoption to open adoption that occurred in the 1980's. The sad thing about all is that it divides people who believe their rights are more important than the other persons rights. And examples of the abuse of those rights can be directed to the old Victorian legislation where adoptees could find about about their mothers and even if the mothers had a contact statement in,place the adoptee could ignore it with impunity. I was told by others of adoptees stalking their others , of an instance where a adoptee posed as a market research interviewer to get into her house. Whilst many have said the use of the AVO system should help , it has in every state been shown to be a paper tiger. one only has to look at the number of assaults and murders of people who have AVO out to protect them understand a disturbed obsessed person would not take any notice of that. hence in the past most states have severe financial penalties for people breaching contact veto's.
The senate reference committee recommendations in the Forced adoption policies and practise report at page xxxiii Recommendation 15 states in part
" All parties have an ability to regulate contact, but that there be a upper limit on how long restrictions on contact can be in place without renewal"
This showed that the reference committee was aware of the rights of some people to have their privacy respected, but also recognised that people do change their minds over the years especially as we age.
The nationwide common implementation of this recommendation still has not occurred with differing states having differing rules and regulations and very few implementing the time limits. it is interesting to note that South Australia with it draconian laws does have a 5 year renewal period.
Now how do we as citizens who respects others rights implement such common rules. well first of all using the stick of massive fines and jail does not work and only traumatises people who already have experienced much trauma. But we need to ensure that breaches are kept to a minimum.
One solution may be that after the interview where a person receives the information, the relevant authority try to arrange a one off meeting at the authorities office so that both parties can a, have their rights in the future protected because there is no longer a yearning to make contact. The contact is in a controlled environment and reason can be presented either face to face or through the intermediary. There could be more than one meeting under supervision
One month after that contact they find out if the party who as the veto wants it to remain and if they do then have the penalties for breaching.
Like all matter pertaining to adoption there is no simple solution, and like everything else compromise by all concerned has to be the order of the day. This solution may never work but it should be put in the mix when discussing changes to adoption laws again in Victoria.