Better support to re-connect families separated by forced adoptions, improving access to historical records and information and better counselling and psychological support are among the recommendations Uniting Vic.Tas made to a Victorian Parliamentary hearing into historical forced adoptions.
The recommendations were made as part of a submission by Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike and Uniting Heritage Service manager Catriona Milne to the Victorian Government’s Historical Forced Adoptions in Victoria Inquiry hearings in Melbourne on Wednesday 24 February.
The inquiry is hearing how individuals and organisations, such as Uniting Vic.Tas, have responded to historical forced adoptions and the support being provided by organisations to both those who were adopted and to their families.
Uniting Vic.Tas takes the issue of forced adoption very seriously and we acknowledge they caused significant grief, pain and trauma over many years.
We are committed to ensuring every person who was adopted and their families have full and complete access to their records and information from that time and to provide all the support they need through this often difficult and very emotional process.
We fully support the Inquiry as an opportunity for everyone to better understand the enduring and long-lasting impacts of forced adoption and the ways support services and responses to forced adoptions can be further strengthened.
As part of our submission, we told the Inquiry about our Uniting Heritage Service, which provides support to people, who as children, spent time in out-of-home care, foster care or who went through adoption through the former Presbyterian, Methodist and Uniting churches and our predecessor organisations.
The Uniting Heritage Service has become a national leader in providing both those who went through forced adoptions and their families with access to their information and records and providing them with support and care.
Through this free service families can access historical information, photos, records and documents dating back to 1890.
As part of our submission to the Inquiry, we also commended the Victorian Government’s 2012 apology to people affected by forced adoptions in Victoria.