Thursday, December 15, 2011

New closing date for inquiry 29th February 2012

Submissions Received for the Senate Inquiry into Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices

If you would like to read the submissions for the Senate Inquiry, here is the link:
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/comm_contrib_former_forced_adoption/submissions.htm

Sunday, December 11, 2011

ADOPTION LOSS ADULT SUPPORT AUSTRALIA INC.



We are looking forward to an exciting New Year.

Meeting for January 2012

Our first meeting for the new year will be 14th January 2012.
Please contact; Trish 0417 077 159 for venue.
All welcome.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was devised by 8 countries, one of which was Australia.


Dr. Herbert Evatt was the leader of the Australian Delegation.
The 8 countries worked from 1945,(after the close of the second world war) till it was ratified by the United Nations in 1948.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Preamble
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and unalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge.

Now. therefore. The General Assembly, Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race. colour, sex. Language. religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property. birth or other status.
Furthermore. no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent. trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 12
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought. conscience and religion: this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 25
2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 28
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fti.iiy realized.

Article 29
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and -Freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Australia is a signator to all of the Agreements, Conventions, Protocols and Treaties.

Information supplied by Jan Kashin.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mums call inquiry, compo over adoptions Newspaper article by Christine Retschlag, 16th June 1997.

MOTHERS forced to relinquish their children to adoption have called for a national inquiry, an apology and compensation.
Janice Benson, convenor of the 6th Australian Conference on Adoption held in Brisbane yesterday, called on Prime Minister John Howard to apologise to all mothers and children separated by adoption.
Ms Benson said an Adopted Persons Trust should be established from which people affected by Australia's adoption policies could have access to financial assistance.
"I believe subcontracting adoption policy and laws to the states was an incredible cop out," she said.
'For the Federal Government to say it is a state issue ... it is a human rights issue.
"Until we have a national inquiry we are not going to get the truth of what happened. The only way for mothers to move forward is for the truth to be told."
Ms Benson said the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission should probe Australia's adoption history.
CHRISTINE RETSCHLAG

IT HAS ONLY TAKEN 14 YEARS TO GET THIS INQUIRY!

(Janice Benson is also known as Janice Kashin.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas meeting 26th November 2011

Our last meeting for the year will be our Christmas breakup.
It will be held at The Ox, Oxley Ave Margate. Starting time; 11:30 am
Bookings are required.
RSVP by 24th November 2011.

Please contact Trish; 0417 077 159 or
Marg; 0402 336 480
Please wear Christmas colours and bring a smile.
All welcome.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced. Media release 2/11/2011

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee has decided to seek an extension of time to report on its inquiry into fonner forced adoption policies and practices.
The committee was expected to report on 21 November 2011, but will now seek to report on 29 February 2012.
This inquiry has attracted strong community interest and media coverage.
The committee will use the additional time to gather evidence and speak to more people who have expressed an interest in contributing to the Inquiry.

The committee has not been able to hold a hearing in Tasmania, and now intends to do so, on 16th December.
It also intends to hold a second hearing in Sydney, on 15th December.
The committee believes that evidence given by the Commonwealth requires more detailed scrutiny.
Over coming weeks the committee will be considering archival material from the 1950's to the 1970's, which should shed more light on the Commonwealth's role in past adoption practices.
The committee needs more time to consider the many detailed personal accounts that it continues to receive.
It also will be writing to some states and territories about their adoption information laws, and wants to ensure they have time to respond to the committee's queries.
Senate inquiry site.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

ALAS rejects, "Statement of Apology"given by Benevolent Society to Senate Inquiry, 31/10/2011.


With 200 years experience in, “care of women”, ALAS mothers/ adoptees, believe, the Benevolent Society still does not understand the consequences of their past policies and practices and, the long term effects mothers separated from their babies and their children and the children, and both of our extended families suffered while in Benevolent Society’s, Scarba House and Royal Hospital for Women in Paddington, N.S.W.

Benevolent Society receives funding from Governments for their, Post Adoption Support Qld and Post Adoption Resource Centre N.S.W.

A separate apology for our mothers, our babies, our children and our extended families should have issued.
We believe, the Benevolent Society failed in their duty of care to correct their own wrongs.
The language used in this “statement of apology” we believe, shows that the Benevolent Society has only protected their own interest.

We believe, the Benevolent Society should have listened to their clients who passed through their Adoption Services, their counsellors who hear the horror stories, and groups who sent in information for what would have been accepted in an apology.

We feel we are re-traumatised and our painful experience trivialised.
We believe this apology lacks sincerity and depth.

Urgent action is needed.
If you agree, please send your objection to,
Email: www.bensoc.org.au
Post: PO Box 171 Paddington N.S.W. 2021
Phone:02 9339 8000
Fax: 02 9360 2319

31/10/2011
Statement of Apology
As Australia’s first charity, The Benevolent Society has a long history of supporting the most vulnerable members of our community. It is because of this commitment that we wish to make a public statement of apology about past adoption practices we were associated and involved with.

The Benevolent Society has been involved in the care of women and children for close to 200 years, establishing Australia’s first maternity hospital, the Royal Hospital for Women in Paddington, which we operated from 1905 to 1992, and opening the Scarba Welfare House for Children at Bondi in 1917. The Benevolent Society also ran an adoption service from Scarba House between 1969 and 1975.

While The Royal Hospital for Women had no official role in organising adoptions, we recognise and acknowledge that unmarried women in our care from the 1940s to the 1980s were not always given the care and respect that they needed during this difficult period of their lives and were sometimes coerced to give up children for adoption. We also recognise and acknowledge our involvement in arranging adoptions in the past through the adoption agency we ran at Scarba House.

The Benevolent Society deeply regrets past practices based on policies which, while influenced by societal attitudes of the time, we now know to be deeply flawed and damaging to many unmarried women who gave birth at the hospital.

The Benevolent Society apologises unreservedly for any pain, unresolved grief or suffering experienced by mothers, fathers, adoptees, adoptive parents and their families as a result of the past adoption practices of The Benevolent Society, the Royal Hospital for Women or Scarba Welfare House for Children.

In the context of a society that stigmatised motherhood out of wedlock and did not provide adequate financial, legal and psychological support for unmarried mothers, adoption was widely assumed to be the only possible option for unmarried pregnant women.

We now recognise that great damage has unintentionally been done to people’s lives as a result.

We now understand and acknowledge the deep grief that many mothers experienced after the loss of a child to adoption, and the lack of support available to manage their grief.

Through our extensive work with people affected by adoption over the past 20 years as part of our post adoption support services, we understand the intense shame and secrecy that surrounded past adoptions. What was done cannot be undone but, for many, lifting the burden of secrecy is an enormous relief and an important step towards acknowledging the grief they have carried for so many years.

We have been and still are in the position of being able to offer people affected by past practices specialised support to help them with their lives today. We will help anyone affected by past adoption practices to access assistance and support from the Post Adoption Resource Centre in NSW or Post Adoption Support Queensland. Both services provide telephone support, specialist face-to-face counselling, intermediary services to assist individuals approaching birth relatives, and assistance in accessing adoption records.

We respect the fact that some people may choose not to access services from The Benevolent Society and would be happy to refer them to another appropriate service or counsellor.

We also suggest anyone affected by past adoption practices consider participating in the National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Experiences being conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

These practices were repeated across the country, and we believe the Australian Government has a unique role to play leading the nation in acknowledging these painful mistakes from the past and ensuring they are not repeated. We will continue to advocate for a formal statement of apology from the Commonwealth Government, for better access to specialist counselling and support services throughout Australia and for amendments to legislation to remove the barriers to people accessing adoption information.

We respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered, as part of our commitment to assisting those affected by past adoption practices in their lives today and ensuring the mistakes of the past are not repeated.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How can a second birth certificate for adoptees be a legal document?


We believe that "make alterations" should be to the original birth certificate and not mean, issue a second birth certificate.
We cannot see any reference to a second birth certificate to be issued.

This transcript has been taken from the Proof Committee Hansard, Public Hearing in Canberra, and relates to birth certificates.
This is part of the Attorney-General's Department statement.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 Senate Page 5

CHAIR: Before we move off the legislation there are two things I want to ask about in following up from Senator Moore. One of those is the time limit on offences. In 1965, were there any time limits on the offences that were outlined?
Ms Smith: They would have been subject to whatever broader requirements there are for the statute of limitations, but there is nothing in this actual ordinance that puts any time limit on
CHAIR: So we would need to check what the statute of limitations was for the ACT at that time.
Ms Smith: It is outside my area; I am sorry.
CHAIR: Was there one general one across Australia or was there one specific for each state and territory. It is not an area of my expertise.
Dr Smrdel: It is not ours either. What we do not know is how this legislation was affected by, say, the Crimes Act operating in each state and territory at the time.
CHAIR: For the ACT one, which the Commonwealth was responsible for, is it possible to find out what the statute of limitations was at the time and how it interacted with the Crimes Act?
Dr Smrdel: We will talk to our colleagues in the criminal law enforcement branch and see if they can provide us with an answer. I hesitate to provide an answer when they might say they cannot, but we will certainly endeavour to follow up with them.
CHAIR: It is obviously an issue that is of deep interest to many of the people that we have been talking to about this issue.

The second area is birth certificates. One of the big issues is access to data and documentation,, which we have touched on. A lot of the complaints that we have had are around either a second birth certificate being generated with just the adoptive parents' names on them or the first one being altered with the father's name not being put on and the mother's name taken off. So there is one birth certificate but not with the birth mother's name on it. Is that sort of issue dealt with in either the model legislation or the ACT ordinance?
Ms Smith: The legislation with respect to the responsibility of the registrar of births, deaths and marriages relates to registering the adoption order and making alterations to it as prescribed. There is a section which deals with the making of adoption order, the adopted child having the surname of his adoptive parent or parents and the forename as in the adoption order approved on application of the adoptive parents.
(2) Where, before the making of the adoption order, the adopted child has been generally known by a particular surname, the Court may, in the adoption order, order that the child shall have that name as his surname.
(3) Nothing in this section prevents the changing of any name of an adopted child, after the making of the adoption order, in accordance with the law of the Territory.

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS REFERENCES COMMITTEE

Page 6 Senate Wednesday, 28 September 2011
So that would be subject to name-change laws.
Senator MOORE: I am sorry; somewhere in that sequence I lost what name we were talking about. Can you do that again? I want to try to follow the name through because it is critical in this inquiry. So the child is born.
Ms Smith: In section 35 of the ACT ordinance, when an adoption order is made:
the adopted child shall have as his surname the surname of the adoptive parent or parents and shall have as his forename or forenames such name or names as the Court, in the adoption order, approves on the application of the adoptive parent or parents.
Senator MOORE: Right
Ms Smith: And further:
Where, before the making of the adoption order, the adopted child has been generally known by a particular surname, the Court may, in the adoption order, order that the child shall have that name
Nothing in this section prevents the changing of any name of an adopted child, after the making of the adoption order
Senator MOORE: That middle bit seems to go back and then forward again. Under the 1965 legislation the adoption order allows the child to be known by the surname of the adoptive parent?
Ms Smith: That is correct.
Senator MOORE: The documentation ceases to have the name of the birth mother and instead has the name of the adoptive family?
Ms Smith: That is correct. ?
CHAIR: That automatically means birth certificate?
Ms Smith: Yes.
CHAIR: changing the birth certificate has changed history and changed reality. That section does not specifically talk about a birth certificate; it talks about changing the name. To me, those are two different things. Birth certificates contain the names of the natural birth parents you were born to, which is different to changing a person's name.
Senator MOORE: There is still a documentation trail. We have had cases where people have had two birth certificates. The original one was somewhere on file and they did not find it until later. Their birth certificate, which they have taken through life, is in their adoptive process—sometimes with correct dates, sometimes not, which is a clerical issue—but, nonetheless, the standard proof of identity which, under our system, is the birth certificate is in the name of the adoptive forename and surname.
CHAIR: If there are regulations that go with the legislation, could you take it on notice to look at that issue? The issue of the birth certificate and access to data has come up repeatedly during this inquiry.
Ms Smith: I can read to you the provision which deals with the process for the registration.
CHAIR: Thank you. What does it say?
Ms Smith: Section 56 states:
The Registrar of the Supreme Court shall cause a memorandum ... of every adoption under this order made by the Court under this Ordinance, and a copy of every order for the discharge of such an adoption order, to be sent to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, who shall—
(a) register it ... in a Register of Adoptions ... and
(b) if it relates to a child whose birth is registered in the Register of Births kept by him, make such alterations
to, or entries in, that register as are prescribed.
CHAIR: The legislation says you can change the birth certificate?
Ms Smith: That is correct
CHAIR: That is the model legislation or the ACT legislation?
Ms Smith: That is the ACT ordinance.
CHAIR: Did that reflect the model legislation?
Ms Smith: I will just check that. We have confirmed that the same provision is in the model bill.
Senator MOORE: We need that legislation to highlight it. That particular clause came out of the discussions around the model legislation in 1964. With respect to what happened before that, we would have to trace through every jurisdiction. But this process in 1964 and 1965 established the process from then on and then each state had to enact their own legislation where, as you say, there could be some variation from state to state. We need to find out with respect to those key clauses what happened.
Ms Smith: Yes.
CHAIR: The process of investigating the legislation is what I want to go to.
Ms Smith: Just to clarify the terminology when I was paraphrasing then, it is the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages which can be altered rather than the birth certificate.
CHAIR: When I want to get my birth certificate or, for example, my sons birth certificate I go to the registrar. Presumably, they look in the register and give me a birth certificate. That is essentially where the birth certificate is derived from, is it not?
Ms Smith: Yes.
CHAIR: If somebody is chasing their birth parents, they go to the register in the various states. The register says that if it has been altered through this process, their adoptive parents are the names that are on the birth certificate. That is certainly the evidence we have received and that seems consistent with what you have just told us.
Ms Smith: That is what the legislation provides. I could not comment on how the individual registries look after their applications for certification.
CHAIR: That is fair enough.

Heartbreak-The Catholic Weekly



Catholic news from Australia and the world

Heartbreak

Editorial
9 October, 2011

IT IS wise not to judge too quickly and too harshly the conduct of our forbears.
With that wonderful gift of hindsight, grafted to the lens of contemporary mores, the actions of people of yesteryears can seem to us puzzling if not incomprehensible.
In answer to, "How could they have sanctioned this or done that" is: quite simply and understandably given the social environment and thinking of the time.
What is wrong now was, unfortunately, acceptable then.
Such is the case with some of the ways we used educate our children, regard with suspicion people of other faiths, treat indigenous people and the way we dealt with 'the problem' of unwed mothers.

It is this latter group that has received publicity of late.
These women, young as they might have been, were separated at birth from their newborn in actions seen then as in the best interests of both mother and child.
Only now can we really start to appreciate the suffering that this caused to these young women. Only now can we begin to understand that many of their children, too, were hurt badly and are still hurting.

Catholic Health Australia chief Martin Laverty has issued an apology to all involved because, like other institutions of the day, Church-run hospitals participated in this program of separation.
Indeed, the practice of placing the babies of young unwed mothers into adoption was once the policy of governments and organisations across Australia over many decades.

The apology is sincere, and while it cannot rewrite history, coupled with proposals made by Catholic Health Australia, some redress may be made to the people affected.
Included in this is a call to make records more accessible so that mothers and children can be re├žnited.
Mr Laverty has also stressed the importance of a setting up a national strategy to support access to post-adoption counselling.
He has also called for all governments to join with the Church body in offering an apology to those who experienced and continue to experience the heartbreak of separation.
At least it's a good start.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Proof Hansard Records from Public Hearings in Canberra.


Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices.
The proof Hansard records of the Public Hearings held in Canberra have now been posted on the Parliament of Australia Senate Site.
There are three;
22nd September, 27th September and 28th September.

Our next Meeting, 15th October 2011.


Our next meeting will be held in the home of one of our members, north side.
Time; 12 30 onwards.
Please bring a small plate to share.
For further details,please contact;
Trish 0417 077 159.
Marg; 0402 336 480.
All welcome.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Over 81,000 Attended the Football Grand Final.


As I looked at the footy grand final,2nd October, the visual of the crowd that was in attendance, I could'nt help but think that, that was less that half the number of the mothers who lost their babies to forced adoption!
Margaret.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Unmarried mums tied to beds, sedated during birth - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A parliamentary inquiry into forced adoptions has heard how unmarried
mothers were tied to beds and sedated as they gave birth.

For this article, please click the link below:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-29/unmarried-mothers-tied-to-beds-sedated-while-giving-birth/3034690
Thanks to Brett and Therese

Time to say sorry for all the broken hearts


Martin Laverty
September 28, 2011

. Turning back time ... the pain of past adoption practices still lingers. What can be done to mend hearts broken in the past?

Some women live with broken hearts, past practices having taken their babies from them for placement in adoption. Some of those children, now adults, live with broken hearts because they were taken from their mothers and placed in adopted families. Fathers, siblings and other family members have lived with broken hearts because of past adoption practices.

Some Catholic hospitals and health services played roles promoting and implementing the once widespread policy of placing the children of some unmarried young mothers in the care of adoptive parents. To those across Australia who carry broken hearts as a result, I say sorry.

The practice of placing these babies in adoption was the policy of governments over many decades. The practice was carried out in government hospitals, Catholic hospitals and in other formal and informal organisations.

I've had recent contact with many people who have had different experiences of adoption; three of which, while respecting the privacy of the individuals involved, shed light on the different challenges they've faced.

The first is a mother who delivered her two children in a Catholic hospital in the early 1970s, shortly after having stayed in a Catholic home for women to which she was taken by her parents. She describes her births as painful, she describes the removal of her children as heartbreaking, and she struggled in the years afterwards to access the medical and birth records needed to make contact with her two children. That contact is now made. They've done what they can to put their lives together, but the heartbreak remains obvious and there have been periods of darkness.

The second is that of a woman who is still searching for her brother, born in rural NSW in the 1920s. Her situation is one for which there simply may be no solution; she has no records and no system to enable a family reunion, which in all reality could simply be too late.

The third is a man in regional Queensland, seeking his birth records from the early 1960s. It appears his birth was in a public hospital in Sydney, and now approaching 50, this man is trying to put together the jigsaw puzzle of his birth. He does not know his mother, and in turn, his mother does not know him.

Each of these stories is deeply personal, as are the experiences of those touched by past adoption practices. For some, adoption has been positive. For others, tragically, not so.

What can be done to mend hearts broken in the past?

First, some still have difficulty accessing records, despite post-adoption services in all states and territories. The Community and Disability Services Ministers' Conference should establish a national strategy involving all governments and non-government agencies involved in adoption to facilitate access to medical and birth records.

Second, there exists a continuing need for post-adoption counselling, by counsellors with experience in post-adoption care. Again, the Community and Disability Services Ministers' Conference is best placed to develop a strategy to support access to counselling focused on the differing needs of mothers, fathers, adopted children, their siblings and, if needed, the parents who have cared for adopted children.

Third, some mothers continue to have grievances about their birth experience or the consent procedure that led to their child being adopted. Some of these grievances are unresolved. Adoption was and is a legal responsibility of states and territories, and the processes that exist to hear grievances about medical care and consent differ across states. They are complex and difficult to access.

Finally, there is a role for an apology from governments. We have issued our apology in recognition of the role of Catholic organisations. The government of Western Australia has done the same. Others should follow. We would be happy to work with governments in shaping such an apology.

These words here today will not satisfy everyone, as words cannot put broken families back together. These words have not emphasised that for some, adoption has worked well. I'm nonetheless pleased to have been able to make our formal apology to the Federal Parliament, and to now encourage federal parliamentarians to do what they can.

Martin Laverty is the chief executive of Catholic Health Australia. This is an edited version of his address today to the Senate inquiry in Canberra into past adoptions.
Sydney morning Herald.

Thank you Chris for forwardg this to ALAS.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Public Hearing- Canberra, Wednesday 28 September 2011

Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices

Committee Room 2S1
Parliament House
Canberra

9.00 am - 4.15 pm

Time Witness
9.00 am – 9.45 am Attorney General's Department
9.45 am – 10.30 am Australian Institute of Family Studies
10.30 am – 10.45 am Break
10.45 am – 11.15 am Mr Thomas Graham
11.15 am – 11.45 am Dr Susan Gair (via teleconference)
11.45 am – 12.15 pm Department of Health and Ageing
12.15 pm – 12.45 pm National Archives of Australia
12.45 pm – 1.45 pm Lunch
1.45 pm – 2.15 pm Mrs Janice Kashin
2.15 pm – 3.00 pm Catholic Health Australia
3.00 pm – 3.15 pm Break
3.15 pm – 4.15 pm Community Forum
Taken from Parliament of Australia Senate site

Hickey aploogises to mothers

The West AustralianSeptember 21, 2011, 5:26 am
DANIEL EMERSON,


Perth Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey has asked for forgiveness for his "insensitive" comments in July about unwed mothers who were forced to give up their babies for adoption in Catholic institutions.

The plea comes as the Catholic Church's Australian medical arm prepares to apologise during a Senate hearing in Canberra next week for the treatment of unwed mothers coerced into parting with their newborn babies in its hospitals.

Catholic Health Australia chief executive Martin Laverty delivered a similar apology in NSW in July.

But his expected apology before the Senate inquiry into former forced adoption policies next week is being hailed as a national gesture.

It will be given to Federal Parliament and broadcast live on the internet.

Archbishop Hickey offended affected mothers after the July apology by saying there was "little evidence" of forced adoption by the Church.

Albany woman Judith Hendriksen, who gave birth in 1973 at St Anne's Hospital in Mt Lawley run by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy and had her daughter adopted against her will, wrote to Archbishop Hickey about her experience.

In his reply to her last month, Archbishop Hickey wrote that he had since read other reports from girls who gave birth at St Anne's "and I am beginning to understand something of their grief".

"Perhaps they (the Sisters) did not believe they had forced anyone, only strongly recommended adoption but I can see for a young girl this would seem like forcing her because it was pressure she could not resist," he said.

"Please forgive me for my insensitivity.

"I know better now."

Experts say that between the 1940s and the early 1980s an estimated 150,000 babies were taken by government and church authorities when unmarried women were prevented from seeing, touching, naming or bonding with their children immediately after birth.

Ms Hendriksen said yesterday that, though Archbishop Hickey's July comments had "re-traumatised a lot of women", she respected him for seeking forgiveness.

Christine Cole, convenor of the NSW-based Apology Alliance which lobbies on the issue, said that Mr Laverty's apology would have international significance.
Ms Cole said that WA had led the nation in addressing the issue after the State Government apologised a year ago to unmarried mothers and their children and families for past adoption practices that separated them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Catholic Church to Apologise for forced adoptions

July 25, 20119:18AM
Telegraph.com.au

THE head of the healthcare arm of the Catholic Church says he is prepared to apologise to the victims of forced adoption practices dating back 50 years.

The flagged apology follows an admission by Catholic Health Australia that "a small number" of church-run hospitals and women's homes maintained unwanted adoption practices from the 1950s to the 1970s.

CEO Martin Laverty says he is prepared to front a Senate inquiry to make an expression of sorrow and regret if such an apology brought healing and comfort to the several women who had their new-born babies forcibly removed.

"These practices of the past are no longer tolerated, nor by today's laws, and are deeply regrettable," he said in a submission to a Senate committee investigating the Commonwealth's contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices.

Mr Laverty said his organisation only became aware of the women's experiences in June.

"We acknowledge the pain of separation and loss felt then and now for the mothers, fathers, children, families and others involved in the practices of the time," Mr Laverty said in the submission to the Senate inquiry.

"For the pain that arises from practices of the past, we are genuinely sorry."

In some cases, the adoption practices had "devastating and ongoing impacts" on families.

"There are likely to be people in our community who continue to live with pain and grief as a result of adoption practices of the past," Mr Laverty said.

Catholic Health Australia is prepared to support the setting up of a framework that would allow the victims of forced adoption to get access to personal medical or social work records to help contact lost family members.

It would also support a fund for "remedying established wrongs".

At least 150,000 Australian women reportedly had their babies taken against their will by some churches and adoption agencies.

Juliette Clough said she was just 16 when she was forced to give up her baby boy at a Catholic-run hospital in Newcastle in 1970.

"They just snatched away the baby," she told ABC Radio, adding at the time her ankles were strapped to the bed and she had been "gassed".

"You weren't allowed to see him or touch him, anything like that, or hold him and it was just like a piece of my soul had died, and it's still dead."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Victorias Trade in Babies


This is the link to the ABC interview.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-16/victorias-trade-in-babies/2903552

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

OUR NEXT MEETING 13th August

Our next meeting will be held at;
4 Mile Creek Hotel,
Gympie Rd.,
Strathpine.
It is opposite Westfield Strathpine.
Starting time ;12o'clock.
Lunch menu available.
All welcome.
Contact Trish; 0417 077 159 for more details.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Catholic Church Apology - as seen on 6.30 with George Negus 26/7/11

Margaret Hamilton (ALAS - Adoption Loss Adult Support) and Kerri Saint (WASH - White Australian Stolen Heritage) were interviewed by Channel Ten's 6.30 with George Negus. To watch the segment please click on the link: http://ten.com.au/630pm-with-george-negus.htm?movideo_m=120422

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Our Next Meeting 23rd July 2011


We have changed our next meeting from the Shorncliffe Hotel to a Northside member's home.
Starting at 12 0'clock onwards.
Please ring Trish; 0417 077 159 or
Marg; 0402 336 480 for details.

New members welcome.
Please bring a plate to share.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Submissions Received for the Senate Inquiry into Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices

If you would like to read the submissions for the Senate Inquiry, here is the link:
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/comm_contrib_former_forced_adoption/submissions.htm

Australian Birth Certificates.

AUSTRALIAN BIRTH CERTIFICATES
Paper prepared by Janice Benson (Kashin) 24th September 1993.

Every Australian born in this country: is issued with a BIRTH CERTIFICATE. It is the most important document to be issued by the Government to a person, and states the most fundamental information about the person
-
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Mother
Father

It is worth 40 Points if one wishes to open a Bank Account. If applying for a Passport it is an essential prerequisite. Its validity is not questioned.
To date, approximately 250,000 Birth Certificates, issued by the Department of the Registrar General, simply are false.

The Birth Certificate lie, pertaining to the documentation record of Mother and Father, is ignored by State and Federal Governments, who perpetuate the 'myth', decided on by our Colonial forebears, that adoptive parents are the Birth Parents of the people they adopt.

This lie is ratified by lack of interference of successive Federal Governments, unwilling to deal with the untruths of Birth Certificates of adopted people.
The woman who gave birth to the person has been legalistically annihilated.

Her name does not appear anywhere on the Birth Certificate.

She is nullified.

The person, who was not even at the birth, is credited with having been the Birth Mother.

The 'system' perpetuates the lie.
The woman who carried the foetus, and subsequently gave birth, is discriminated against, and the woman whom the State Dep't of Family Services has selected to nurture the child, is, unbelievably, credited with the birth of the child as well!

The original assumptions when this practice began in 1911, are unclear. Possibly Australia was still under the influence of Victorian thinking. But four generations have passed since then.

Mary Daly in 'Pure Lust' says the worst laws are those that pit woman against woman; favour one class of woman over another; discriminate against one woman in favour of another. These laws are designed to keep women unreconciled, and therefore powerless.

JUSTIFIED AND UNJUSTIFIED DISTINCTIONS

3.22 Harmful DISTINCTIONS are DISCRIMINATORY

By leaving the issuing of Birth Certificates to the States the Federal Government turns a blind eye to the interpretation of the word 'mother. 'Mother', on a Birth Certificate, should mean 'that which is the origin of something'.
The law hinders women in achieving their basic human right.
It hinders and prevents women's enjoyment of rights.

3.20 Discrimination is a DENIAL of EQUALITY

Discrimination against the woman who gave birth is a denial of equal enjoyment of rights for all women.

3.19 Discrimination is a DENIAL of HUMAN RIGHTS

The practice of eliminating the names of the birth mother and father from BIRTH CERTIFICATES, denies women and men full enjoyment of human rights.
This practice denies the recipient of the BIRTH CERTIFICATE, the truth. The BIRTH CERTIFICATE deliberately misleads the adopted persons to think the adopted parents actually gave them birth.

3.11 Approaches to EQUALITY

As there is no comparable male experience to pregnancy and birth, and , as men made the original laws, it is understandable that males were legislating, in areas of which they had no experience, by virtue of their gender.
It is now up to women to demand the truth and eradicate past injustices and current discriminatory practices.

FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

3.8 FEDERAL and STATE Powers
As the Constitution provides that in areas of joint responsibility a Federal Law will override an inconsistent State Law I request, most urgently, that the AUSTRALIAN LAW REFORM COMMISSION

a) Examine current practices in the compilation of BIRTH CERTIFICATES in Australia -

FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

b) Eradicate inconsistencies that currently allow the compilation of untrue entries being made on BIRTH CERTIFICATES.

C) Demand the re-instatement of names of the women who gave birth, to be on the BIRTH CERTIFICATE used for OFFICIAL PURPOSES.

d) Demand that in States where Surrogacy is permitted, names of the actual BIRTH PARENTS and DONORS must be on the OFFICIAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
Doctors may destroy files after seven years, so the genetic forebears must be recorded on an OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT, 'for all time'.

e) Demand that in cases of I.V.F. Births
Doctors must, by law, provide the names of donors progenitors, and Birth Mothers, to be recorded officially on the BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
Doctors may destroy files after seven years, so the genetic forebears must be recorded on an OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT, 'for all time'.

All BIRTH CERTIFICATES of adopted people are untrue in two, and sometimes more, fundamental items of information.

I have seen BIRTH CERTIFICATES without a name next to the MOTHER Section; though how aperson was born fifty years ago without a mother one cannot even imagine.
Should the Commission require any further input from myself I am happy to provide examples and any extra information as requested.

Yours faithfully,

Member Adoption Loss Adult Support, Bris.,Q'l'd.
Janice Benson Founder Adoption Triangle ,
Q'l'd Association for Relinquishing Mothers , Q'l'd
Adoption Contact Information
Service , Q'l'd

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Next Meeting 25th June 2011.

We would like to thank everyone who came along to our Celebration Luncheon in the Function Room at the Sea View Hotel, Shorncliffe. We shared friendship,good food and a most enjoyable afternoon.

Our June meeting will be in the Function Room,
Sea View Hotel,
Pier St Shorncliffe.

Starting time; 12 O'clock onwards.
RSVP by; Friday 24th June.
(We need to know numbers for our booking)
Phone Trish;0417 077 159 or
Marg; 0402 336 480.
OR
Email; alasqld@alasqld.com

$10 Menu available.
All welcome.

Final Hansard Transcripts

ALAS has been advised that Hansard publishes final transcript with all changes incorporated approximately 8-10 weeks after a hearing.

Submissions Received but not as yet Published.

ALAS has contacted the Senate Committee to inquiry about submissions that have not been published as yet.
We have been informed that there is currently a backlog in processing submissions. We are assured that all information that has been received to date will be scrutinised by the committee and published as resources will allow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Clarifying of What the Western Australian Apology Meant to Most Mothers and Adoptees

SUPPLEMENTARY TO SUBMISSION 129
SUE MACDONALD

I had the privilege to listen to the Victorian hearing last week, however, I was rather perturbed about statements concerning the disappointment of Western Australian mothers with the W.A. Parliamentary apology.
I feel compelled to enlighten a few people who have negatively commented.

This disappointment is simply not true! This opinion was borne out of a report by the Australian Newspaper with the headline W.A. Mothers Disappointed with Barnett’s Apology.
I WAS THE MOTHER INTERVIEWED BY THIS NATIONAL NEWSPAPER ON THE STEPS OF PARLIAMENT HOUSE the day of the apology. I was asked whether the apology met my expectations. I said that I was disappointed initially with Mr. Barnett’s words but as the apology unfolded in its bi-partisan approach, the apology blossomed and created immense satisfaction and emotional healing for all. Wanting to report the sensationalist aspect of that statement, the reporter honed in on the slight negative and did not report the enormous positives.

I have been in touch with Past Adoption Services on many occasions and been told that the women now approaching them were absolutely thrilled.
The apology had empowered them to come forward and address that part of their lives. This apology has gone a long way in helping them step out of their shadows of toxic shame.
This shame belongs and rightly so, to the perpetrators of the torture endured by them all those years ago. Imagine the healing of the doubts which haunt our children’s’ minds and hearts – living with the idea that they were not wanted and just given away.

I have remained removed from the apology/inquiry debate deliberately since I embarked on this journey two years ago. As a matter of fact, when I first appeared on television I called for both. I believed that both were necessary. I assessed that an apology first with all the publicity it would bring, would give immediate acknowledgement of the wrong that was done to the women and their babies. An apology from such a high place would help our children understand, acknowledge the wrongdoing/suffering, which is the first step in healing trauma, draw Commonwealth Government attention to the issue and finally rebalance the scales of a very one sided public view.

Two years ago I was admonished by the anti-apology campaigners and despite deliberate attempts by them to sabotage THIS POWERFUL HISTORICAL EVENT, myself and a group of wonderful dedicated and courageous women ignored this sabotage and fought on. What came out of this apology is acknowledgement of the TRUTH AND AN ADMISSION BY GOVERNMENT THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO US WAS WRONG.

The W.A. apology was A GIANT LEAP FORWARD in exposing a very dark part of this nation’s history and will serve as a constant reminder not to do this again to women and their children. To undermine its significance with absolute nonsense is to undermine the confidence and belief of the beautiful women and children who SUFFERED AND SURVIVED the torture of being separated at birth.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Proof CommitteeHansard Transcripts

Proof Committee Hansard Transcripts are all on line now.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS ONLY THE PROOF TRANSCRIPTS AND THERE ARE MISTAKES IN THESE PROOFS. http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/clac_ctte/comm_contrib_former_forced_adoption/hearings/index.htm

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CELEBRATION MEETING, WEDNESDAY 1st JUNE 2011.

COME AND JOIN US TO CELEBRATE 21 YEARS OF ADOPTION LAWS CHANGES.

IN 1990, after a long, hard fight over many years, we won our rights to have our ADOPTION INFORMATION.

This gave many of us the chance to reunite with our lost ones.

PLACE; Seaview Hotel
Pier Ave.,
Shorncliffe.
TIME; 11 45 am.

Everyone welcome.

Please wear a happy face, bright happy colours and,LETS BE HAPPY!
This hotel does a $10.00 lunch.
R.S.V.P.; 30th May 2011.
Trish;0417 077 159
Marg; 0402 336 480.
Or email ALAS.

Along with this celebration, we will include, 2 years since our Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital Apology.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The senate Inquiry has been extended

AUSTRALIAN SENATE
COMMUNITY AFFAIRS REFERENCES COMMITTEE
12 May 2011
Media release
Inquiry into former forced adoption practices
The Senate today extended the Senate Community Affairs committee inquiry into the Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies because of the extent and nature of the evidence received and complexity of the issues involved.

"The committee has already received over 300 submissions, but we know there are others who still want to contribute to the inquiry", said committee chair Senator Rachel Siewert.

"This inquiry is very complex, involving many legal, historical and policy issues, and the committee wants to get it right.
The committee simply didn’t have enough time with the June deadline to collect and thoroughly review the evidence".
The committee has received over 300 submissions. Many of these are very detailed, including a large number of accounts that suggest babies were taken for adoption against their mothers' will.
The accounts include reports that women were pressured, deceived or threatened in order to secure signatures on adoption consent forms, actions that may have been in breach of the policies and laws of the time.
The accounts received by the committee date from the 1950s to as recently as 1987.

The committee wants to ensure that everyone who believes they have been affected by past adoption policies and who wants to make a submission to the inquiry will have time to do so.

If you have not previously submitted, but would like to, the committee continues to welcome evidence from new submitters. Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the submissions and potential privacy issues there may be delays in processing and uploading those submissions to the website.

The committee also wants to obtain evidence from institutions and agencies involved in adoption, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s.

The committee will also be seeking detailed evidence from Commonwealth agencies.

The committee is now due to report on 21 November 2011.

ENDS – contact details and inquiry terms of reference follow:
PO Box 6100, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6277 3515 Fax: (02) 6277 5706
Email: community.affairs@aph.gov.au Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/clac_ctte
For comment: Senator Rachel Siewert, Chair
Ph 02 6277 3587
For inquiry information: Senate Community Affairs Committee secretariat
Ph 02 6277 3515
Terms of Reference of the inquiry
That the following matters be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 21 November 2011:

a) the role, if any, of the Commonwealth Government, its policies and practices in contributing to forced adoptions; and
b) the potential role of the Commonwealth in developing a national framework to assist states and territories to address the consequences for the mothers, their families and children who were subject to forced adoption policies.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our next Meeting Saturday 7th May 2011.

Our next meeting will be held at;
Cannon Hill Tavern ( formally Cafe 1117)
Southgate Rd,
Cannon Hill.
Time; 12 o'clock.
RSVP Trish; 0417 077 159 by 6th May 2011.

The June Meeting will be Wednesday 1st June at Sea View Shorncliffe for lunch to celebrate the 2nd year of our Royan Brisbane Women's Hospital Apology and also the changes to the law regarding accessing information to adoptions.

More information will be available closser to the date.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Senate Public Hearing Sydney 29th April 2011

Senate Community Affairs Committees
Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices
Public hearing - Sydney, Friday 29 April 2011
Jubilee Room,
Parliament House
6 Macquarie St
Sydney

9.00 am - 5.15 pm

Time Witness
9.00 am - 9.30 am
Mr Erik Spinney (Submission 133)

9.30 am - 10.00 am
Mrs Gabrielle McGuire (Submission 198)

10.00 am - 10.30 am
International Social Service Australia (Submission 181)

10.30 am - 10.45 am
Break

10.45 am - 11.15 am
Benevolent Society NSW (Submission 191)

11.15 am - 12.15 pm
Origins SPSA Inc (Submission 170)

12.15 pm - 1.15 pm
Lunch

1.15 pm - 2.00 pm
DES Action Australia – NSW (Submission 21)

2.00 pm - 3.00 pm
Apology Alliance

3.00 pm - 3.15 pm Break

3.15 pm - 3.45 pm
Family Inclusion Network of NSW (Submission 70)

3.45 pm - 5.15 pm
Community Forum

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brisbane Senate Inquiry Public Hearing

SENATE COMMUNITY AFFAIRS REFERENCES COMMITTEE
PUBLIC HEARING PROGRAM

Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Undumbi Room, 5th Floor Parliamentary Annexe
Parliament House, Cnr George and Alice Sts, Brisbane
INQUIRY INTO COMMONWEALTH CONTRIBUTION TO FORMER FORCED ADOPTION POLICIES AND PRACTICES

9.00 am - 9.30 am Ms Kathryn Rendell (Submission 184)
9.30 am - 10.00 am Mrs Bernadette Wallman (Submission 175)
10.00am - 10.15 am Break
10.15 am - 11.00 am Link-Up Queensland (Submission 193)
11.00 am - 11.45 am Stolen Generations Alliance (Submission 227)
11.45 am - 12.45 pm Adoption, Loss, Adult, Support (Submission 226)
White Australian Stolen Heritage (Submission 172)
12.45 pm - 1.45 pm Lunch
1.45 pm - 2.45 pm ORIGINS Supporting People Separated by Adoption Inc Queensland (Submission 222)
2.45 pm - 3.30 pm Jigsaw QLD Inc (Submission 188)
3.30 pm 3.45 pm Break
3.45 pm - 5.15pm Community Forum


This can also he heard live streaming by the same link as below.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Public Hearing 20th April 2011 will be streamed live from Melbourne.

Inquiry into Commonwealth Contribution into Former Forced Adoption
Policies and Practices


Tomorrow's public hearing, 20 April 2011 (Melbourne), will be streamed
live. Please follow the link:

http://webcast.aph.gov.au/livebroadcasting/

Further hearings will also be streamed live via this link.

Please note that if you are not able to receive the live streaming, the
transcript of the hearing will be available (usual turnaround of 3-5
days) via the Hansard website:

http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/committee_transcript



9.00 am - 9.45 am
VANISH Inc (Submission 160)

9.45 am - 10.45 am
ORIGINS Supporting People Separated by Adoption Inc Victoria (Submission 166)

10.45 am - 11.00 am
Break

11.00 am - 11.45 am
Apology Alliance

11.45 am - 12.15 pm
Mr Michael O'Meara (Submission 137)
Mr Michael Bamfield (Submission 52)

12.15 pm - 1.15 pm
Lunch

1.15 pm - 2.00 pm
Monash University & Australian Catholic University
(Submission 37)

2.00 pm - 2.45 pm
MacKillop Family Services (Submission 86)

2.45 pm - 3.15 pm
Ms Brenda Coughlan (Submission 19)

3.15 pm - 3.30 pm
Break

3.30 pm - 4.00 pm Women's Electoral Lobby Australia (WELA) (Submission 224)

4.00 pm - 5.30 pm
Community Forum

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our Meeting 9th April 2011 is Postponed to 16th April.

Our southside meeting has been changed to 16th April 2011.
Due to ill health we have changed the meeting date to 16th April 2011.
It wil be at Trish's home.
The same details as the previous post.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Submissions close 31st March 2011.

This is the last day before submissions close.
For all the submissions that are published, well done to all that have contributed!

Our next meeting, 9th April 2011

Our next meeting is a south side meeting.
Place; trish's place.
Time 12 o'clock onwards.
Please bring a plate to share.
All welcome.
Please phone Trish for details; 0417 077 159

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our Next Meeting, 5th May 2011.

Our next meeting will be a social meeting for lunch.
We have booked the Sea View Hotel, Pier St Shorncliffe.
Time; 11 30am onwards.
For numbers,please phone Trish; 0417 077 159.
All Welcome.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Senate Inquiry has extended the time frame for submissions to 31st March 2011.

Senate Inquiry into commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.
This is an opportunity that I and others believe will be a great chance to get
Commonwealth Government action, and interest in our struggle for recognition
of what has been done to us, and many thousands of others; mothers, fathers,
children, siblings, grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins who were separated
unlawfully, unnecessarily and forever from their families.

Some time ago the 'Australian Apology Alliance' requested Jenny Macklin to raise
past adoption practices with her state counterparts after calls for an apology
or inquiry from women coerced into giving up their babies. This was followed by
an AIFS report generally considered to be utterly inadequate, and encouraged the
Alliance to align with several W.A. mothers who approached Labor politician
David Templeman for support, who together with Dr. Kim Hames, the Deputy Premier
of W.A., brought about the now historical apology.
This West Australian Government Apology has created much interest around the
world; the very first government to ever take such an historical and momentous
action to raise public tolerance and understanding of regret for a cruel social
injustice suffered silently for so long, by so many.

A lot of work, time, tears and frustration have gone into this labour of love
for our stolen children, but due to the other states of Australia's apathy,
this Senate Inquiry will be our chance to right the wrongs of this
blot on Australia's history. But, we need more mothers and everyone affected by
the punitive practices of the past to speak up, tell their stories of the pain
and trauma, but if not for themselves, tell for those who are no longer with
us; the mothers who could not take the pain any more, and all those children
who believed that life was not worth living because their mothers "supposedly
gave them away".

Please encourage all your contacts to put some words together, even if only a
couple of paragraphs - remain anonymous or reveal as much as you want. If
everyone wrote a small submission it would take them years to read there were so
many of us, but sadly many won't or can't, but we can encourage, and help those
who feel they do no know how to, and make this last chance a resounding success
and maybe an 'Australia Wide Apology' might come out of this wonderful
opportunity.


Barbara Maison

Apology Alliance

Monday, January 31, 2011

Special Meeting, Wednesday, 9th Feb 2011.

Our next meeting will be held om Wednesday 9th February.

It is a northside meeting.

This is for anyone needing help with their submissions for the Senate Inquiry as well as our general meeting.

Submissions can be posted to;
Senate Inquiry into Forced Adoption Policies and Practices,
Department of the Senate,
PO Box,6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/inquiries/index.htm


The submissions need to be received by 28th February, 2011.

Time; 11 o'clock
Please bring a plate to share for lunch.
Contact; Trish, 0417 077 159 for details.
All welcome.

Special Meeting, Wednesday, 9th Feb 2011.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Do You need Help With a Submission For the Senate Inquire and National Research Study?

ALAS will hold a special meeting on 22nd Jan 2011 to provide information to Mothers, Children and their Families and to help anyone who wishes to prepare submissions for both the Senate Inquiry and National Research Study.

These submissions are very important and need to be received by 28th February 2011, so we do not have too much time to get our submissions in.

Please bring along some writing material.
Starting time; 12 Mid-day.
Please bring a plate to share.
All Welcome.
Contact Trish;0417 077 159 or
Marg; 0402 336 480 for address details.

Letter to ALAS from the Office of the Hon Jenny Macklin re Senate Inquiry.

4th Jan 2011.
Please be assured that the Australian Government recognises past adoption practices have longstanding painful consequences for many parents and children. The feeling of grief and loss can last over a lifetime and many women continue to suffer trauma and distress regarding the children they were parted from and the lives they missed.

You may be aware that in August 2009, the Government announced that it would begin an ongoing dialogue with mothers and children affected by past adoption practices.The Government's initial engagement with a number of support groups and affected individuals highlighted that there was no consensus about the way ahead, particulary as the evidence base around issues relating to past adoption practices is contested and the public record is scant.

To address this deficit and provide Government with a stronger evidence base to better understand the issues associated with past adoption practices, the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) undertook a review of exsisting literature and research about past adoption practices. A copy of the review can be found at
www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/families/pubs/Pages/default.aspx.

The Minister attended the Community and Disability Services Ministers Conference in June 2010 where she discussed the AIFS Review, along with the possible next steps. At this meeting, Ministers agreed to a joint National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices to be conducted by AIFS over 18 months. AIFS will consult widely in conducting the study.

For further information on the National Research Study, including the Terms of Reference, and to register your interest, please visit the AIFS website at
www.aifs.gov.au/pastadoptionpractices/index.php.

You might also be interested to know that on 15th November 2010, the Senate announced it would be conducting a Senate Inquiry on the Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices, with a report due on 30th April 2011.
For further information regarding the Senate Inquiry, including how to prepare a submission should you wish to do so, please visit;

www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/comm_contrib_former_forced_adoption/info.htm.
The government will consider the outcome of the National Research Study on the Past Adoption Practices, together with the Senate Inquiry, to determine the next steps.

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is managing a dedicated mailbox, pastadoptionpractices@fahcsia.gov.au. where organisations and individuals can provide information or express an interest in being kept informed on further developments on past adoption practices.

Senior Advisor.