LABOR REPEALS CRUEL ADOPTION PENALTIES

Laws that discriminate against natural parents who attempt to contact their adult adopted children will be repealed by the Andrews Labor Government under changes to the Adoption Act 1984 that were introduced into Parliament today.

Shortly after making an apology to those who were impacted by the forced adoption practices of the past, the previous Liberal Government introduced ‘contact statements’ that restricted natural parents from contacting their adult adopted children, if the child lodged a statement specifying ‘no contact’.

But the statements are only available to adult adoptees, not natural parents. And it is a criminal offence to breach a no contact statement.

Natural parents, particularly women who had their children forcibly removed, regarded the contact statements as hurtful and discriminatory as they only targeted parents.

Under the changes introduced to Parliament today, adult adoptees, natural parents and other parties will still be able to express their wishes regarding contact and the sharing of personal information, and have those wishes recorded on the Adoption Information Register.

People affected by adoption who wish to access personal and family information, records and support about past wardship and adoption can contact Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND) on 1300 769 926.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos

“Natural parents, mothers in particular, have told me how hurt they have been by contact vetoes and I am proud to deliver on Labor’s commitment to amend the Adoption Act to get rid of the vetoes and criminal penalties.”

“It was cruel of the previous government to make it an offence for mothers to contact their adult adopted children.”

“We’ve listened to people’s trauma and anguish over past adoptive practises. This week, we’re standing up in Parliament and repeal this hurtful provision of the Adoption Act.”