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    The arrival in Sydney of an influential young American social worker in 1946 led to a new direction in Australian social welfare. Lecturing at Sydney University, and travelling extensively as a Federal government consultant, she was to bring contemporary American adoption values to Australia and the implied message was to take the side of the adopting couple. This attitude to social control became systemic and gave credence to those organising private adoptions.

    When it came to money, the professionals being paid for organising the adoptions of the 50’s had hidden their paper trail well and it is often only in their obvious inexplicable wealth that we see the financial rewards available through placing unwanted children. An example is my American doctor’s grand mansion in Middle Park’s St. Vincent’s Place. It still stands in all its opulence.

    And the women who lost their children didn’t speak out. Many of these women, still in their teens, were made well-aware by Church staff that sacrificing the child was the road to redemption and were told that charges of adultery for her, and carnal knowledge for the lover, may be brought should the pregnancy be reported. Government monies that were available to help support the new mother weren’t mentioned and it was only if the child was born with a defect, such as a cleft palate, that resources would materialise.

    Most of this counselling would be unconscionable exaggeration with lies of omission. However such deception should be of no surprise as adoption is based in fantasy and steeped in self-interest. Absolute truth is beyond all of us, but honesty would have been a good place for my adopting couple, and our society, to start.


    'I am not a liar. I just enjoy inventing romantic
    and elaborate alternatives as to
    what actually happens and
    pretending that these scenarios are true'

    Telling Little Lies
    Life Matters, ABC Radio, Jan. 2014