Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1980

Volume 5 Issue 1-2

Treating Adoptees as Persons

Graeme Gregory

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Graeme Gregory


1 Children's Bureau of Australia, and Victorian Adoption Agency

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The number of children placed for adoption in Australia (and in virtually all other countries) in the 1970's was infinitesimal compared with the number placed in the 1960's. Nevertheless, we enter the 1980's with adoption remaining a major subject for public scrutiny and discussion. Several factors contribute to this interest. Adoption in the one “welfare” activity that touches the lives of the “non-welfare” public, in that it is still seen (unrealistically) as the first alternative for childless couples wanting a family. The decrease in babies needing adoption reduces the number of couples who can look to adoption as a means of having a family and increases the public interest in this “rare commodity”. Two Australian Conferences on Adoption (1976 &; 1978) brought together for the first time in this country the various parties involved in the adoption process, generating intense and ongoing examination, discussion and debate. The secrecy of the adoption process has been called into question, particularly by adult adoptees deprived of any information at all concerning their origins.

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