You are here

When the adoption records opened in the late 1980s to 90s, Qld was the only State to bring in Lifetime Vetoes. It was an attempt to silence us once again.
Most other States brought in 5-8 year vetoes so adoptees, adoptive parents and mothers could adjust to the idea of reunion after decades of secrecy and lies.
The Qld Lifetime Veto has now been sanitised with a name change to a Contact Statement or an Objection to Contact. Mothers and adoptees can be fined $8,000 or jailed for breaking a veto.
Initially many fraudulent vetoes were placed by adoptive parents who had never told their child they were adopted. Many of these vetoes could still be in place and some adoptees only find out when they search and are told there is a veto in place. Some adoptees wait in vain for their mothers to find them believeing that if she really loved them, then she'd find them.

Adoption always was supposed to be about providing homes for genuinely orphaned babies, not taking babies off living mothers. Five decades ago when the bulk of these forced adoptions took place, people were much harder to trace as there was only snail mail and landlines, but there has been a revolution in technology with the internet, emails, social media, Facebook and i phones. People can be found much more easily, so adoption as we know it today will become obsolete.

The placing of Vetoes or Contact Statements is extremely distressing for adoptees and mothers. They can and have destroyed lives.
When the adoption records opened in 1991, I sent my son a whole photo album of myself and my family in good faith, because I felt he needed to know where he came from and who he looked like. I didn't get any photos in return, so I don't know what any of his family look like. This has been very distressing for me because he has placed a veto on me, so I could be jailed or fined if I contact him. I live in a regional area where his adoptive parents and extended family live, and because I gave him photos of myself I know I have been recognised several times when I've been out and about.
I've had 3 distinct incidents where I've been stared at, scrutinised and talked about. I've been told by many people that my son resembles me, and I've almost been dissected by some of his extended adoptive family, as they keep looking at me and then discussing me right in front of me. It makes me feel like I'm a freak show, a disposable mother or an incubator. They don't introduce themselves or smile at me or acknowledge me in any way. They just stare at me. I'm the invisible mother, I don't exist except as a novelty. It's highly insulting and I feel humiliated. It triggers depression and I start having nightmares again, with feelings of worthlessness and marginalisation.
In light of the National and State apologies all vetoes or Contact Statements should be decriminalised and removed.