Saturday, October 23, 2010

WA Apology for Past Adoption Practices

Evelyn Robinson writes:

I've just watched the apology and, even though I was there and experienced it in person, I found it very moving to watch it again. I highly recommend it to anyone who is at all interested. If you are unsure about whether or not an apology is appropriate, or what exactly the Western Australian government was apologising for, then I suggest that you watch it here. The speakers made it very clear and it truly was a momentous occasion. You will hear us applauding from the gallery. We gave David Templeman a standing ovation. Someone asked him afterwards if applause from the public gallery was allowed and he replied, "No, but it was very welcome." You will see that many of the politicians looked up at us as they spoke and some wept.

It runs for about two hours. The first hour is question time and you will most likely want to skip that. I was unable to fast forward and so you may have to do what I did ie let it run for about 55 minutes and then you will be there for the beginning of the apology part of the session, which runs for about an hour. Again, the link to is is here.

I've been told that the transcript of the apology is now available on line, which is great. You can read all the speeches if you want to here.

This apology is a world first and has provided hope for so many around the world. I hope that you will watch it and feel uplifted by it. Of course, everyone's experience of adoption is unique, but this speaks to so many whose lives have been affected by adoption separation. It's a tribute to the dedication and determination of those who made it happen.

Please feel free to share this with others.
Being an American, I find this whole apology - and forthcoming inquiry - business very depressing.  

It depresses me (and angers me too a bit) that the coercive practices being apologized for, and which have stopped in Australia, still go on here...

I am angry, depressed and embarrassed to live in a nation that in the the 21st century is still coercing mothers, lying to them about "open adoption" - or at not being totally honest (is there really a difference?), not providing separate legal counsel for relinquishing mothers, enmeshing them with couples who want their children and creating indebtedness by allowing prospective adopters to pay their living and medical expenses in direct violation of the intent of laws that prohibit pre-birth contracts as baby buying and selling.
AND...every adoption begins with a lie that receives government legitimacy and prevents adopted separated people from knowing their truth in 44 of 50 states!


Von said...

Thanks to Evelyn for her report of the event.My sister was there to witness this momentous occassion on behalf of me,my mother, our father and her family.It was of great significance for our family.In order to move on there has to be a mark of significance when events are in the past and we move into the future.It worked for us and clearly for many others.
An apology does not compensate, wipe out or make us forget, nothing can do that and neither can public inquiries, bringing dead people to justice and punishing institutions for past practice we now know to be damaging which some practitioners and mothers knew at the time.Adoptees live their lives with the effects of those wrongs every day.Personally I'd rather have the apology than not!I too urge you all to watch it.
As for practice in America I've made my views known elsewhere many times.I believe adoption practice in America to be beyond reform and redemption.A clean slate may be needed!!

Mirah Riben said...

There isn't even recognition that aything is wrong here! Adoption is promoted and encourages, including with tax credit to adopters that are increased every year! Up to $13,000 cask back!!

THIS was increased in '09 and '10 - even as there are not enough funds for COL increases for social security for the aged and infirm!!

Von said...

No wonder the adopter of 27 can buy a new farm!!That lack of recognition is very bothering but I do see some signs from adopters the tide is turning and awareness is arriving.Of course when we hear pre-adopters changing their minds due to the lack of ethics things might begin to look really hopeful.

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