Good and bad experiences searching for origins

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Margaret Graham  

Victoria, Kedesh, Kew

My searsh for information began after the law regarding access to information changed in 1984. I still encountered '....it's better kot to know...' attitudes from family and peers, but I assure you it is better to search. I was helped by a lovely mature social worker from the Mission of St James and St John, who treated me well, with both compassion, and empathy. I was advised how to approach contact and she made initial moves on my behalf. Sadly, my birth mother had died about 12 years prior - I did have regrets I couldn't tell her it all worked well... I know this would have been important to her. I subsequently met other siblings of my mother, and peers of hers in a tiny country town in NSW. All helped me consolidate and understand the reasons and attitudes of the time (1946) of my adoption. While my adoption was possibly not 'forced' in the true meaning of the word, it was surrounded by much shame and secrecy - my adoptive parents were advised '...don't tell her...' and indeed, they and I lived with this lie until I was 40 and accidently found out the truth! I am so glad I had many years to resolve things with them both, and do acknowledge them as my true parents in all ways. I was keen to know a little of my birth, weight, delivery, etc. My GP applied for this information on my behalf as was told '...records have bee destroyed...' by Monash Medical Centre who had the records from the 1946 QVH records. Subsequently I made a FOI request, and got the 'destroyed' records!!! Again secrets and lies. I have met many other adoptees and seen the damage done to their lives by secrets and lies. I consider myself so fortunate to have had the education and the fortitude to stick with my personal quest for as much knowledge as I could get about the circumstances of both my birth and my adoption. Had I not accessed the information I have, things would have been very different for me. While some aspects of my life have been difficult, generally, from 70 years in, I've had a fortunate life and I do encourage anyone involved in the adoption triangle to seek resolution and understanding... it is well worth the journey!

 

Seek the truth of your origins , partucularly if you are an adoptee... the journey is well worth it. There are still difficulties and societal barriers to overcome, even today, but the arrival (resolution) is well worth the journey).