History of Adoption—Stories of Australian Adoption

The collection includes written stories and sound files posted on the History of Adoption website by people whose lives have been changed by adoption: members of families who chose to adopt babies and children; people adopted both locally and under the system of Inter-Country Adoption; and mothers and fathers separated from their children by adoption. We asked people to tell their adoption stories in their own words. Some chose to be interviewed by oral historians, and these are posted as sound files. In these cases we asked the interviewers to encourage their subjects to give their testimonies with as little direct questioning as possible. The form and content of the stories vary considerably, but most are driven by at least one of these themes: a search for identity; a search for family members separated by adoption; an end to secrecy; an account of pain and suffering caused by forced separation; a denial of motherhood; a condemnation of adoption as failed policy; and an affirmation of the value of adoption for children without other family support.