Forced Adoptions Support Service
You can access the Forced Adoptions Support Service at Wattle Place if you are:
- a mother who lost a child through forced adoption
- a person forcibly removed and adopted
- a father who lost a child through forced adoption
- a close family member of one of the above.
We know the history of forced adoptions and understand that they affected people in many different ways. We acknowledge the continuing impacts of forced adoptions on so many of those affected.
Please see below for the list of services we provide.
The Forced Adoption Support Service is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
How we help
Face-to-face, phone or online counselling
Counselling might not be something you have ever considered, but it can be useful in many different ways. For example, a counsellor might provide moral support through a current challenge you are facing, a counsellor might give you practical strategies to use if you feel overwhelmed, or you might be ready to tell someone, for the very first time, about your experience of adoption. But we understand if you choose not to have counselling. We will always be guided by you. Whatever you request from us, please be assured, your wellbeing, safety and confidentiality are our highest priorities.
Assistance and support to access personal and adoption records
The Forced Adoption Support Service applies on your behalf to Government agencies and former adoption agencies for identification documents and records of the adoption. Finding these records can be incredibly significant, but can have both positive and negative impacts. We not only help to find records but also provide support, when needed, to deal with those impacts. We obtain all records at no cost to you.
Please note that the Forced Adoption Support Service does not hold adoption records and did not participate in past adoption practices. Our role is to help you find and access that information through the relevant institutions and government departments.
Assistance and support with family tracing
The Forced Adoption Support Service can apply on your behalf for records relating to your family history. Finding out information about your family can help to fill in gaps about your identity and origins. There is no cost to you for any records.
Assistance to re-connect with family and support through these processes
If you choose, we can try to locate family members and, if possible, attempt to reconnect with them. This process can be extremely emotional for all involved and has potential to be either very positive or very negative. We facilitate connection safely and sensitively for all involved, and support you throughout the process, regardless of the outcome.
Assistance to connect with support groups and networks of others with shared experiences
Some people will benefit from regular contact with others who have similar experiences and really understand what you are going through. If you would like to join a group or network, we can help you find one.
Apology commemoration events
Since the Apology for Forced Adoptions, given by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2013, we have had an annual commemoration. We believe that commemorating the acknowledgment, and the hard work which led to the apology, can contribute positively to the lives of those affected.
Casework and Advocacy
Your caseworker can work with you and support you to set and achieve certain goals, face certain challenges, develop strategies and connect with people or services who are best placed to assist you.
Small Grants program
We can work with you to get funding for projects not offered by the Forced Adoption Support Service that enhance peer connection for, share information with, or in some other ways benefit, people impacted by past forced adoptions.
Read the booklet
About the booklet
We produced this booklet for people impacted by forced adoptions to understand how we can assist them, and to understand they are not alone. The booklet also summarises the past experiences and continuing impacts of forced adoptions, for service providers, family members and others to better understand.