Adoption Policy


The Child Protection Party is currently reviewing its adoption policy. If you were adopted and would like to offer your suggestions on what the policy should look like, please leave your comments below.

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11 comments


  • Sharyn White

    When all of the supposed protections provided by adoption are available without adoption, and so much is lost, it is time to examine what and how best interests are really served when someone is adopted.
    Adoption is supposedly in the adoptee’s best interests, but the Adoption Act originated in SA in 1925 as the formalisation of informal child transfer or indentured servitude, and evolved as a service to adopters under the guise of hiding illegitimacy.
    The concept of the paramountcy of best interests has been cobbled onto an original Act that had nothing of the kind as its foundation. Adoptees have never had a say, and what adoption does to our rights and actual interests has never been examined.
    1. The human right to a true birth certificate and to remain related to your family, ancestry and culture:
    • How is it in your best interests that on the making of an adoption order, your true Birth Certificate is cancelled and therefore not deemed to be a legal document and a new “birth” certificate is produced with the names of your new carers as having given birth to you?
    • How is it in your best interests that this new fabricated “birth” certificate is what you must use as the basis of your identity for your lifetime and for any future generations?
    • How is it in your best interests that in the making of the adoption order you will be considered by law to be no more related to your family, ancestry and culture than to that of any stranger on the street?
    • How is it in your best interests that this severance will not only include your parents, but your sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-great grandparents etc. who you will heretofore not be considered not related to?
    • How is it in your best interests that your descent, ancestry, kin and culture will be obliterated and then replaced with the extended family, ancestry and culture of those who adopt you?

    2. Your rights to be told the adoption happened, who you used to be, and who you used to be related to:
    • How is it in your best interests that if you are too young to be verbally aware of the adoption, you will have no legal right to be advised by a certain time – or ever – that you are an adopted person?
    • How is it in your best interests that you will have no right to be notified of the deaths of any of the previous members of your family that you now have no next of kin relationship to because of the adoption order?
    • How is it in your best interests that you will have no right to be included on the death certificates of any of the previous members of your family that you now have no recognised relationship to because of the adoption order?
    • How is it in your best interests that on the adoption, any rights you had to know the name of the person who gave birth to you, and what is written on your birth certificate, and access to your information and birth certificate like any other citizen are overridden by the Information Provisions contained in Section 27 the SA Adoption Act (1988)?
    • How is it in your best interests that because of the adoption, the Department can reserve the right to deny you that information or parts of it on a purely discretionary basis, for which they need give you no reason, and which you will have no legislative ground to challenge?

    3. What the “Permanency” of adoption really means for your best interests:
    • How is it in your best interests that you are dependent on the opinion and perceptions of people who – because of your adoption to an unrelated family – often do not consider you to be a true part of your own family, nor that you have any rights to any family photos or handed down heirlooms, or access to your family’s history?
    • How is it in your best interests that the extended family of the adopters very often does not consider you to really be a part of “their” family?
    • How is it in your best interests to not be considered a part of either family? – a common outcome in adoption.
    • How can it be in your best interests that the adopters can write you out of their wills at any time? This often happens due to the dysfunctional nature of many adoptive relationships, nullifying any supposed “permanent” benefit the adoption might be expected by society to provide you (except in very limited Family Provision claims).
    • How is it in your best interests that on the adoption order being made, you will be excluded from any rights you might have to your real parent’s estate? This exclusion is only applied to adoptees like yourself, and people who murder their parents.
    • How can it be in your best interests that the adopter (who has gone willingly into the adoption process) can apply to discharge themselves from their adoption of you at any time, including while you are still a child on the grounds that it is in your best interests for them to do so? If your adopters wish to discharge the adoption while you are a child, then it will usually be found to be in your best interests for the adoption to be discharged. Adoption is only permanent if the adopter wants it to be.

    4. Your right to Welfare Checks and accountability when you are a child in care, and your right to be treated as an adult when you reach adulthood:
    • How is it in your best interests for your adopters to be under no obligation to provide you with support once you reach the age of 18 or even less – let alone the 21 posited for other children in care? Often support is withdrawn at this age or earlier due to the dysfunctional nature of many adoptive relationships, and adoptees – who are not considered to “age out” due to the “permanence” of adoption, spin out into adulthood, traumatised and completely alone.
    • How is it in your best interests as a non-biological child (and therefore more vulnerable and at higher risk of abuse), to be treated as someone who is a biological child?
    • How is it in your best interests that you are excluded from any future inquiries into institutional child sexual abuse or similar, merely because a Judge has decreed that you are the biological child of your non-biological carers, preventing you from being considered to be or have been a child in care.
    • How is it in your best interests that once you are adopted, the Department dispenses with any accountability towards any outcomes for you over and above any other child that actually, in reality, was never in their care?
    • How can it be in your best interests that the Department that placed you doesn’t follow up your welfare and placement, as they never do welfare checks once the adoption is finalised?
    • Conversely, how is it in your best interests that the same Department that will never check on your welfare as a vulnerable, non-biological child in care, later claims concern for your welfare as an adult to prevent you finding out information about your origins, or to justify invasive reports as to whether you are deemed capable of coping with life if you dare to apply for an adoption discharge?

    5. Your right to decisions about your care being Evidence Based:
    • Even though the Department might decide that being adopted is in your best interests, this is not evidence-based, as minimal research has been done on the long-term outcomes of adoption over the lifespan for adopted people, and what there is points to overall negative outcomes, and higher all cause death rates, with the highest being from alcohol related deaths and suicide.

    6. Getting out of this “contract” you never agreed to but are considered a “party” to:
    • How is it in your best interests that if you identify as the person you were when you were born, with the ancestry and kin you had when you were born, this will be treated as abnormal by the Adoption Act, and by the policies and procedures of the Department which administers the Act?
    • How is it in your best interests that if you wish to discharge the adoption (that you did not consent to) and restore your identity and severed kin and ancestral ties as an adult, you will need to initiate a long and time consuming court case?
    • How is it in your best interests that if you want to undo this contract as an adult, there will be no clearly legislated simple process (as with no fault divorces) but instead you will be pathologised by reports, and the opinions of social workers, case workers, and public servants with the Department?
    • How is it in your best interests to be considered fit to be able to choose to be adopted as a minor – even though discharging the adoption is harder than discharging a marriage, whereas you do not have the assessed capacity as a minor to choose to be married, or vote or drink? (And if you wish to choose to not be adopted as an adult, you are not considered fit to do this?)
    • How is it in your best interests that anyone with an “interest” will be able to weigh in and influence a Judge’s decision about a discharge as an adult, when this imposition on the right of an adult to make decisions would be met with outrage in the discharge of similar contracts like divorce?

    7. Best Interests of who?
    • How is it in your best interests that on becoming adopted, you are bound by the Adoption Act in SA, and if the Adoption Act is varied or replaced, you will remain bound by that Act, no matter how different it is to the one in place on your adoption?
    • How is it in your best interests that your advocacy on any services or changes which affect you as an adopted person, or as someone with lived experience as an adopted person, will not be provided a place in any discussions about adoption policy and services, unlike the voices of those of any other minority or vulnerable group?
    • How is it in your best interests that the service funded to give the minimal support provided to adoptees in SA is also funded to support potential and current adopters?
    • How is it in your best interests to be subject to legislation supposedly about children which excludes welfare checks while a child, but by virtue of extending the definition of child to adulthood, results in unjustified and unjustifiable state interference in normal family rights and relationship rights during adulthood and beyond death?
    These are just some of the outcomes, implications and unforeseen consequences of adoption. How are they in anyone’s best interests?
    When the reality and consequences of adoption are examined, it’s clear that the best interests of the child-then-adult and their human rights are compromised by the practice of adoption. If someone either cannot (or won’t) parent then this should be an issue about the care of the child, not an issue about the identity of a child. Changing someone’s identity is an unnecessary, cruel, outdated and clumsy way of enabling parental care and bestowing parental rights, and we should be able to do better in this day and age.
    When best interests are being assessed, these are best served by permanent care up to 18 (now extended to 21) and beyond, with a commitment to a child for who they are, not by the falsification of birth certificates, the replacement of identity, culture and ancestry, and the enforced trade of basic human and civil rights in exchange for care.


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