July 22nd 2006

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Costello stays on ... for the time being

EDITORIAL: China: let the truth be told

ECONOMY: ABS report card on Australia's economy

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Liberals turning to Whitlam-style centralism

AGRICULTURE: Tax breaks for wealthy hurting agriculture

INTERNET FILTERING: Coonan's cash buys a dud

STRAWS IN THE WIND: In days of old, when knights were bold / Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings / When the music stopped / The never-ending blood feud / Keeping the lid on our schools

CULTURE WARS: Is it too late to save our civilisation?

SCHOOLS: Time to teach proper history

OPINION: The Muslim problem facing Australia

MEDICAL SCIENCE: Media hype over cloning and embryo stem cells

MEDIA: Time to evict Channel Ten's 'Big Brothel'

Adoption fears (letter)

Aboriginal tragedy (letter)

Sexual integrity and Big Brother (letter)

BOOKS: Laurence Rees, AUSCHWITZ: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution' / THE NAZIS: A Warning from History


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Adoption fears (letter)

by Maria Mannion

News Weekly, July 22, 2006

I agree wholeheartedly with the tenor of David Perrin's article, "Should lesbians be allowed artificial insemination?" (News Weekly, July 8, 2006).

However, there is one point he makes about artificial reproduction technology (ART) which I cannot let go unchallenged, and this is the issue of identity theft.

Perrin alleges that ART-produced children suffer psychologically from "lacking knowledge of the anonymous fathers who abandoned them".

The adoption experience has shown that the vast majority of adopted people have formed their identities and sense of identity within the structure of the adoptive family. Despite the monotonous mantra of the anti-adoptionists about psychological damage caused by deprivation of genealogical identity - a view quoted by Perrin - the statistics on searching for biological parents have been disappointingly low from the point of view of the anti-adoptionists.

This vocal minority has succeeded in creating a public perception that all adoption is bad for the children and that all adopted people are in some way disturbed or emotionally crippled.

The fact is that, since the adoption records have been opened in all Australia states, it has become quite clear that most adopted people are too busy getting on with their lives, are happy to accept the family in which they have been raised, or simply don't care about their biological forebears. That is not to say there is not an element of curiosity, but usually not strong enough to go searching.

As one who has worked in the field for 15 years, I have met very few who are not leading relatively fulfilled and satisfactory lives.

There has always been a facility within the legislation for the government department or agency which arranged the adoption to outreach to the birth family for updated medical information. Surely this has been built in to ART legislation as well?

Maria Mannion,
Coorparoo, Qld.

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