Saturday, November 27, 2010

Demanding Justice.Christine Cole's daughter was taken in 1969

Demanding justice ... Christine Cole's daughter was taken in 1969.

Pellegrini Source: The Sunday Telegraph

MOTHERS who were bullied into forcibly giving up their newborns before many had even cradled or seen them are demanding an apology from the NSW Government.

Unethical and unlawful adoption practices were rife in Sydney hospitals, peaking between 1965 and 1975 when more than 36,000 children were taken from their single mothers under duress.

The women were heavily drugged and bullied into signing adoption papers by doctors, matrons and welfare officers.

Most mothers were refused the chance to see or touch their babies, the women's faces covered with pillows by nurses. Others were told incorrectly their babies had died.

The practices that inflicted lifelong trauma and mental illness for mother and child were endorsed by successive governments, and carried out by hospitals and church groups to stamp out illegitimacy by assimilating babies into middle-class society.

Christine Cole, whose daughter was taken from her in 1969, has been working with other mothers to get an apology from the NSW Government. "These practices were illegal and inherent in the system, that has already been established," Ms Cole said.

"The NSW Government has ignored the recommendations made by its own inquiry. They are hoping we [will] all die off."Last month, Western Australia became the first state to apologise to the women of the "white stolen generation", and last week the Senate agreed to hold an inquiry into the Commonwealth's role in forced adoptions.

However, despite a parliamentary inquiry a decade ago into past adoption practices recommending an apology be made, the NSW Government has still failed to say sorry.

"Mothers did not have a choice. If you are a victim of trauma, as we are, you cannot begin to heal unless your experience has been validated. An apology is long, long overdue," Ms Cole said.

More than 200 women from around the country travelled to Perth to hear WA's Parliament "unequivocally and sincerely apologise for fundamentally flawed government policies" on October 19.

Former MP Pat Rogan, who spearheaded the NSW inquiry, said he was "not just disappointed, but angry" that the Government had swept this under the carpet for so long.

"I was delighted to see the [federal] apology to the stolen Aboriginal children, and some Aboriginal mothers said to me it was only right and proper the white stolen babies and their mothers be given a similar apology. The time has come."

Psychiatrist Dr Geoffrey Rickarby, who has treated mothers whose babies were forcibly removed, said most Australians didn't realise the enormity of what happened.

"[The now-closed] Crown Street Women's Hospital [in Surry Hills] had a machine going to take these babies," Dr Rickarby said. "Such serious things were done to these girls by the thousands. They were drugged silly and, immediately after the birth, the baby was taken. The mothers had their faces covered so they could not form a bond with the child.

"At some hospitals the girls were tied to the bed. Most women never quite came to terms with what happened."

He said people working within the authorities often "ordered" babies for themselves and friends, and adoptive parents were poorly screened and rarely rejected.

"All sorts of people were adopting the babies, including mentally ill people, alcoholics and people with gross expectations about what the baby should be," Dr Rickarby said.

The Government had much to apologise for, he said.

"If these women get an apology, they will feel more socially included, and feel that people have compassion for them," he said. "Children will see the circumstances of their adoption, as many believe they were given up by somebody who did not want them, when that is incredibly untrue.

"The Government has a lot to apologise for."

Hospital staff lied and told Robin Turner, 60, her son had died days after his 1967 birth.

Her baby was taken to another hospital, without her permission, and she was told later he had passed away.

"In 1980, I fell pregnant again, and I high-tailed it straight to the pre-term clinic," Ms Turner said. "I could not go through it again. I never married because I am not worthwhile - it has affected every area of my life."

NSW Community Services Minister Linda Burney told The Sunday Telegraph: "The majority of the recommendations from the inquiry into adoption have been implemented.

One of those recommendations was that the NSW Government should 'issue a statement of public acknowledgement that past adoption practices were misguided and that, on occasions, unethical or unlawful practices may have occurred causing lasting suffering for many'.

Thanks to Apology Alliance for this article.

Christmas Party

We would like to invite you to join us at our Christmas Lunch to be held at "The Ox," Oxley Ave., Margate.
Date; Saturday 11th December 2010.
Time; 12 o'clock.
RSVP by 10th December.
Contact Trish; 0417 077 159 or Marg;0402 336 480.
We look forward to seeing everyone.


In 1966 when I was born my mother named me Paul.
Five days after my birth, I was stolen from my mother by forced adoption practices in Queensland.
At 12 days old I was given to strangers by Social Workers employed by the Government.

These strangers gave me a new identity and a new name and called me, son.

The government Department, Births/ Deaths/and Marriages then compounded this false identity by issuing a Schedule Birth Certificate which was a legal document consisting of lies.

I then had to live with this false identity.

When I reached the legal age of 18 years, I wondered, “Where were the Social Workers who deemed this to be, in my best interest, where were they to check if this was indeed, “For the best interest of the child”.

No one came to inquire if I was ok, or if I had good adoptive parents.

No one asked me if I wanted or consented to being adopted!

I have lived this false life for over 40 years now.

By taking my identity from me, I have been deprived of;

My name, my true self.
The special bond that exists between a mother and child.
My mother’s love and caring from my birth onwards.
My siblings and my extended family.
The right to my birth name and to enjoy my heritage and for my blood line to remain unbroken.
My children to continue with my heritage and to know who they truly are.
The best and honest interest of the child would have been to stay with his mother.


No one in my lifetime has ever asked me, “Was this ok for you?”

I have lived my life as a lie.

Paul’s birth certificate states, Son of Margaret.

These two people, can never officially celebrate Birthdays, Mother’s day, Marriages, Birth of Grandchildren or even Deaths as Mother and Son.

These two people can only be joined on a piece of paper that is the first true Birth Certificate.

Even in death we will not be recognised as mother and son.

I am two people with two birth certificates which both say different things.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Comment on "Were These Our Babies"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WERE THESE OUR BABIES?":

Health authorities have stressed there was no proven link between SV40
and cancer and have also reassured the public that polio vaccines still
routinely given to all babies were safe and free from the virus and
other known contaminants.

I was received at St Joseph's in 1961, leaving in 1962 and would like
to have this link between SV40 and cancer. I now have cancer

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Polio vaccine tested at orphanages By Gary Hughes
October 25, 2004
The Age.

Vaccine is prepared in 1956.

A Federal Government agency used babies in Victorian orphanages and children's homes to test a new quadruple antigen vaccination, which included polio vaccine possibly contaminated with a monkey virus since linked to cancer.

Commonwealth Serum Laboratory records show the trials were conducted on babies as young as three months in five institutions between December 1959 and early 1961.

Quadruple antigen, containing Salk polio vaccine, was not publicly released until November 1960.

The Age revealed on Saturday that millions of doses of Salk vaccine produced by the then government-owned CSL between 1956-62 were contaminated with a monkey virus called SV40. Researchers have found traces of the virus in a range of human cancer cells, including mesothelioma lung disease.

It is not clear from the CSL records whether polio vaccine used to produce quadruple antigen used in the tests came from contaminated batches.

Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has ordered a departmental inquiry into CSL's decision to release contaminated vaccines.

The National Health and Medical Research Council said it would work with federal health authorities to assess the need for more research into possible links between SV40 and cancer.

Health authorities have stressed there was no proven link between SV40 and cancer and have also reassured the public that polio vaccines still routinely given to all babies were safe and free from the virus and other known contaminants.

But a national support group for victims of contaminated medical products yesterday called for a royal commission into CSL.

"The track record of CSL demonstrates the need for a royal commission into all their operations," said Independent Blood Council president Charles MacKenzie.

CSL research records in the National Archives show that 56 babies under the age of 12 months were used in the Victorian vaccine trials.

One baby died of meningitis in August 1960, less than three months after completing a course of three quadruple antigen injections.

The records list the names of the institutions, the names and ages of the babies, the doses given and the results of blood tests done before and after the vaccinations to measure polio antibodies.

The institutions used in the trials were St Joseph's Home in Broadmeadows, Berry Street Foundling Home, Bethany Babies Home in Geelong, Methodist Babies Home and the Children's Welfare Department at Turana, run by the Victorian government.

There is no indication of who gave formal consent for the babies to be used in the trials, which were carried out by CSL's virus research department.

Further development and use of the quadruple antigen, which also provided vaccination against whooping cough, diptheria and tetanus, appeared to have been abandoned during 1962-63. Salk vaccine was replaced with Sabin oral polio vaccine by 1965.

The Age has revealed that in 1997 Victorian children's homes and orphanages had been used by a number of medical and research organisations, including CSL, for trials of a range of experimental vaccines.

The reports led to inquiries by the state and federal health departments, which concluded there was no evidence of any other similar medical trials. Neither report referred to the quadruple antigen trials.

The State Government report, a copy of which has been obtained under freedom of information by Melbourne researcher Brenda Coughlan, found no record of the Department of Human Services providing formal consent for state wards to be used in trials.

The Age's revelations were examined by the Senate's inquiry into mistreatment of state wards, which said in its report in August that it was unclear who was legally responsible for allowing the children to be used. It concluded that any long-term health effects on children used in the experiments were unknown.

The experimental use of quadruple antigen was investigated by a commission of inquiry in 2003.

Rachel David, director of public affairs at CSL, said community attitudes at the time of the quadruple antigen trials in Melbourne were very different.

She said it would have been a logical decision to trial the new vaccinations in such institutions because "lots of kids died of communicable and vaccine preventable disease" in them.

Thanks to Apology Alliance for this information.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Give us back our Baby Story.Weekend Australian Magazine October 30-31, 2010.

Story by Caroline Overington.
Weekend Australian Magazine, October 30-31, 2010.
On March 31st 2005, a girl was born at a Sydney hospital. Her head was
considered larger than normal. The girl was born with hydrocephalus, or
fluid on the brain. She would need an operation. The parents, Chinese born
Australian citizens held great store in traditional Chinese remedies. They
were suspicious of the western system of medicine. They were suspicious of authorities, after all they had escaped here because of Tiananmen Square!

“Mr Lee” went to the public library to look up hydrocephalus and he was
spooked by what he had read. The website made it plain that his daughter’s
head would have to be cut open and a shunt inserted to drain fluid from
the brain into the abdomen. Mr Lee was full of doubt about the procedure.
He asked the neurosurgeon if his daughter would die if he did not operate.
The surgeon said no but she could suffer from serious complications. As
his daughter was only one day old and her head had already shrunk from
53cm to 48cm he didn’t want the operation on the first day, he wanted to
wait a week.

What happened next was extraordinary.
State welfare services stepped in and took the baby into state care and wheeled her away for surgery.
Her parents never saw her again, but not because she had died.


This child was removed from her Chinese parents because they did not
consent to an operation on her brain on the first day.

The child was given to foster parents who five years later, 2010, wanted
to call this child their own; but she still had biological parents who had
been fighting to get her back.
An adoption order was placed before Judge George Palmer of the Supreme Court. He is a Father, Grandfather and a devout Catholic.

The adoption of the child was granted to the foster parents.

This is only the outline of the story.
Mr Lee and his wife have three children.
It seems Mr Lee has to prove he is a good parent instead of the court
having to prove he is not!

Here is a reply to “Give us Back Our Baby.”
by Jan Kashin from Apology alliance.

In NSW again we have the State acting as “parents and guardian of newborns.”
At the hospital where the mother gave birth, we have security guards
stopping Mr Lee from taking his daughter home. And do I hear the NSW
Department of Community Services saying, “Everything we have done
has been with the little girl’s “best interest at heart”?

Where have I heard this story before?

Out of the mouths of thousands of young women from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s,
70’s and 80’s who had been marginalised because they were giving birth and
were not yet married.
They were told the police would be sent after them if they ran away;
shackled to labour ward beds or tied their arms with bandages to the side
of the bed lest they try to see or touch their newborns, hounded them from
nursery windows while they tried to glimpse their babies.

I thought these practices were done with but had a rude awakening on Saturday
morning as I read the plight of Mr Lee, his wife and their three children.

I believe Justice George Palmer has condemned the child to a life of
genealogical bewilderment and anger. Her parents, her brother, sister
and herself are destined for a life of anguish, unresolved grief, loss,
pain, suffering and emotional trauma.

In a word they are all condemned to despair.

To take a person’s baby and to then expect them to rationally appear
before a court while in a state of enraged trauma is part of the adoption
game. Traumatise the parents so they will not be able to think straight
while grief overwhelms them.

“The new marginalized” can now include those not proficient in the
language and laws of their new country- so look out “boat people “asylum
seekers of all nationalities, immigrants of all description, mothers in
detention centres, and those who practice Chinese medicine, you are on
Could Linda Burney’s Department have your infant in her sights to pick up the shortfall in numbers of newborns for adoption in the State of NSW? We hear complaints about the adoption numbers being so low, but no-one states the reason – we are no longer stealing thousands of newborns from their single mothers.

So will this be the new baby grab? Will this be legalised by the courts; facilitated by the hospitals and enforced by the police? Many unanswered questions!
Why was the baby not returned to her parents five years ago after the operation? She had competent parents who wanted her. The foster parents wanted to adopt her, well her real parents wanted to keep her, what about their rights?
To say the child has got used to her new parents, what a travesty - that should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.
One last point there are many children who grow up with a set of parents who separate, how would the community feel if one parent said to the other parent and family you can no longer have contact with your child because it would disturb him or her.
I believe the taken baby and her family, that is five new Australians, will end up costing the Federal Government heavily in medical assistance for the psychological damage it has caused by forcibly separating them, once again with that worn old justification ‘in the child’s best interest’

It is my opinion that Justice Palmer’s ignorance of the damage caused by adoption has created a preventable tragedy.
An immoral practice such as this is NEVER in the victim’s best interest.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Our Next Meeting 13th November 2010.

Our next meeting will be a northside meeting.
We will have viewing of WA Apologies.
There will also be the written copies of the WA apology available.
Starting time 12 o'clock onwards.
All welcome.
Please bring a plate.
Contact; Trish 0417 077 159 or Marg; 0402 336 480.
Our apologies for cancelling the southside meeting.