My Ausie colleagues are battling over the governmental apology that has been offered and REFUSED by Origins NSW as reported here on Oct. 9.
Seems that Origins NSW has put up a news alert about Professor Jones apology to ALAS back dated it to 2007 apparently "trying to give the impression to the international audience that they are in some way responsible for getting the apology." My source felt this: "Very strange when you think they are fighting tooth and nail to stop us from getting one." You can go here to read ALAS' version which is that they not OUSA deserves the credit...if you care. If you want more, download the PDF October newsletter at this link and read the Australian Apology article on page 3.
I was asked to get Origins-USA involved in this melodrama. [UPDATE 10/21/09: Specifically I was asked if Origins-USA would support the apology.]
I am not currently on the board of Origins-USA and so can only reply in a personal manner and this was/is my reply:
Without knowing the full details this does not seem necessarily to be a contradiction. They may well have spearheaded efforts to obtain an apology and at the same time feel the one given does not go far enough.
As for getting any US support one way or the other, most here see it all as a non-issue either way. Myself for one - I am much more focused on the present and future than the past.
I understand full well the concept that an apology brings attention to the pain of loss, however it also enables most to see such adoption coercion and uanessacry losses as historic issues when dates are put on it.
An apology that ONLY applies to mothers who lost children between this year and that year is something I would never support inasmuch as mothers are STILL being coerced. Why put limitations, time constraints and restrictions on it? Such time limits ignore and further victimize people who have suffered the exact same losses before and after. It is also geographically limiting. What effect does a governmental apology for what what was done to a segment of its society in a contained time period do for mother in Korea or elsewhere whose babies were also taken from them during that very same time period?
Some contend that there were practices in the past related to labor and delivery, for instance, that no longer exist. This is true. But it also true that many of those practices applied to all mothers, not just mothers in maternity homes. Childbirth practices have changed over time, becoming more gentle and more humane. In the 1950's it was common practice not to allow a mother whose child had died to see that child and say goodbye. It was the commonly held belief that it was easier that way - less painful. And so that belief and practice was carried over into adoption. Nuns were cruel to mothers in their charge. yes, and they were also cruel to school kids - using rulers across knuckles and other forms of corporal punishment no longer permitted in classrooms.
An apology for all that was wrong with maternity homes, labor and delivery, and adoption during a specific period, complicates, clouds and defuses the major issue of coercive adoptions. Most importantly, an apology for practices such as those which have virtually disappeared from use anyway, simply dodges the main issue of coercion and exploitation to obtain a child as a commodity and not necessarily in that child's best interest. I prefer to stick closer to the issues I see as the root of the problem and seek to stop the current and future insanity.