Adoption Connections Meeting in Wollongong

Wollongong Connections flyer September 2015

I thought I would turn to the medium of my blog to spread the word among my local followers about the upcoming Adoption Connections Meeting in Wollongong, NSW.

Hosted by The Benevolent Society’s Post Adoption Resource Centre, the meeting is open to all people affected by adoption – parents, adopted people and family members – and is a chance to find out more about search and reunion.

I will be joining with other speakers to talk about our personal adoption experiences.

 

 

 

The purpose of the meeting is best explained in this article written by Desiree Savage, of the Illawarra Mercury newspaper (Wollongong author to speak on effects of adoption, 23 August 2015):

Quote:

More and more people are turning to the Post Adoption Resource Centre, to help deal with wrongs of the past.

Marg Watson, of Kiama, has worked with the not-for-profit service since it opened in 1991, and estimated one in 15 Australians were affected by adoption in some way. She will be on hand at the Fairy Meadow Community Centre on Tuesday evening, for a counselling and information session.

She said many parents were still searching for their lost children or vice versa, due to past legislation forcing many babies to be unwillingly adopted out.

‘‘Just in the last couple of months, a 65-year-old lady has come to us only learning about her adoption at Christmas last year,’’ said Ms Watson. With the temptation to use Google or social media to track someone down, she said PARC cautions against this as it was often an emotional union and distressing to ‘‘barge in’’ on someone’s life.

Instead Ms Watson advises parents, siblings, or adoptees to use the service as a buffer with support offered to both parties.

Wollongong author Gwen Wilson will speak at the meeting about her personal experience of finding her adult son decades after being made to give him up when she fell pregnant as a teenager. Her connection was through change to legislation, that lifted the lid on what was previously kept secret.

‘‘One of the features of the forced adoption era was that the records were sealed. So the relinquishing parents didn’t know where the child had gone, the adoptive parents didn’t know where their baby had come from, and the child themselves was meant to never know who their [biological] parents were.’’

Unquote.

The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday 25th August, and had to be postponed due to the flooding and storms that lashed the Illawarra region. It will now take place on Tuesday 22nd September. if you would like to attend, PLS RSVP before THUR 17 SEPTEMBER – by calling (within Australia) 1300 659 814 or email parc@benevolent.org.au.

18 thoughts on “Adoption Connections Meeting in Wollongong

    • We are lucky here in NSW, Lauren, that there are many avenues for locating “lost” relatives before people need to turn to the internet. Of course, it can be a great tool, yet increasingly now I am seeing desperate people, especially in America where many States have not opened their records, posting notices on Facebook. That can be a minefield, as often the people on the other side have kept their secret even from immediate family. I even addressed one of these meetings where two ladies attended independently, and they turned out to be next-door neighbours! Neither had confided their experience to the other. You can imagine the shock they received – although they have since gone on to be great support for each other. Thanks so much for your best wishes for this upcoming talk.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are right, social sites can be very dangerous when trying to find people or discover more about relatives. A few friends of mine who were born abroad have suffered greatly as people stole their identities and then contacted their friends and family back home to extort money from them (claiming that “life in Britain isn’t going to well, can you send me some money…”). I myself have appealed for information about my grandfather, and I have had a disturbing number of people contact me to say “oh yes, I think I know him, but could you send me his date of birth and his mother’s maiden name just so I can be sure?”… everything they would need to set up a bank account in his name in Britain!

        Liked by 1 person

    • It certainly is a reinvention of self, although this particular gathering is something I originally spoke at twenty years ago when our local State laws around adoption secrecy changed. I haven’t had much time for blogging recently, otherwise I would have shared more of my recent experiences, including being an anchor person for an internet TV programme! I recorded last week and it will be launched in a month. I saw your recent article on Petra – just divine, and I love the vignetted stories of the people you meet along the way. Like being there with you, and shucking aside the standard tourist view.

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