Past Adoption Experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices Pauline Kenny, Daryl Higgins, Carol Soloff and Reem Sweid

This report presents the findings of the National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices.

The aim of the study was to strengthen the evidence available to governments to address the current service needs of individuals affected by past adoption practices, including the need for information, counselling and reunion services.

In particular, the study has targeted a wide group of those affected by past practices, including mothers, fathers, adoptees, adoptive parents (and wider family members); and professionals currently working with affected individuals.

Findings from the Senate Inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices were also taken into account.

Full publication

Key messages

The key needs identified by the study included:

Please note

Some of the content in this report contains information that may cause distress to the reader.

We advise that those who have been affected by past adoptions or are sensitive to trauma issues may wish to avoid reading sections 5.3 and 7.6 in particular, or ensure that appropriate support is available.

If distressed, please call LIFELINE on 13 11 14.

Adoption support organisations

Acknowledgements

The research team wish to acknowledge the following individuals and groups, without whom this study would not have been possible:

But above all, our thanks and gratitude go to the participants of this study. The authors would like to acknowledge all the people who responded to the survey. We would particularly like to thank the large number of people who gave their time and energy to attend the focus group discussions around the country; for meeting with us in unconventional locations; for being open to sharing their stories with other participants and listening respectfully to perspectives that may not have been in line with their own; and, most especially, for opening their lives and hearts to us. We are more than understanding of the huge effect that even just participating has had on some people, and for this, we thank you. You have allowed us to come on a little bit of the journey with you, and this has been an absolute privilege. We hope we have been able to do your stories justice and that you will be satisfied that your participation has been worth it.

Authors

Pauline Kenny is a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Daryl Higgins is Deputy Director (Research) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Carol Soloff is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Reem Sweid is a Research Officer at the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

This work was commissioned and funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Views expressed in this publication are those of individual authors and may not reflect those of the Australian Government or the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Publishing details

AIFS Research Report 21, 2012
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, August 2012, 257 pp. ISBN 978-1-922038-05-0, ISSN 1477-1477 (online)

Suggested citation:

Kenny, P., Higgins, D., Soloff, C., & Sweid, R. (2012). Past adoption experiences: National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Practices (Research Report No. 21). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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