"When are the victims of Family Law going to get an apology?"

justice4childrenWhen will the silence be broken and the truth be told?

Children are being abused and damaged by Family Law decisions NOW and every day. They are living without the parent they love and want to be with.

In many cases they are forbidden to see or contact the mother who brought them up since they were born and who they love and want to be with.

The recognition that horrendous damage and wrongs were committed - on mothers and children in particular - because of the practices of forced adoption is well overdue.

But when are Senators and the general public going to recognise and talk about the equally horrendous and cruel effects of decisions being handed down in the name of Family Law in Australia every day?

The women and kids who were affected by the forced adoption processes of times gone by have got some advocates in the Senate and senators are considering a government apology.

Justice for Children Australia wants an apology to all those kids who are being brutalised by being forcibly removed from their mothers by Family Law and so-called child protection processes and to all the protective caring mothers who have been labelled and vilified by those same systems.

To quote from Senator Rachel Siewert's speech recorded in Hansard 29/02/12 - "I would like to start by quoting Ms Charlotte Smith, who we quote in our report.  She said: A mother whose child has been stolen does not only remember in her mind, she remembers with every fibre of her being".

Children also remember and suffer huge and traumatic grief and loss when they are separated from the person who has been their loving primary carer since birth and who has done them no harm.

This abuse of children and mothers is NOT a thing of the past.

All of the issues below are sickeningly relevant to what happens in Family Law and 'child protection' NOW! In Australia! EVERY day.

Senator Siewert continued: "... I would also like to quote from a mother who wanted her name withheld. She said:

I'd lie in bed every night with my arms wrapped around my baby inside of me knowing that I would never hold him after birth. I'd feel his feet and hands through my own stomach as he moved around, knowing that I wasn't ever going to feel them after he was born. ... I'd pray to God every night for him to send [someone] to get me out of there and show me a way to keep my baby, but no one did. I'd think of running away, but where would I run to, who would I run to."

You could be like Melinda Stratton and many other protective Mums. Go overseas. Go bush. But eventually they'll track you down and take your child away.

Because this system is psychopathic. It has no empathy for children but only for those who it understands. Other psychopaths and – if you prefer the polite term – sociopaths.

It exists to feed itself.

Senator Siewert continues: "That typifies so many of the stories that we heard from women who thought they could do nothing else but not consent. People did not always consent, but nothing else was going to happen than having their baby taken...

To the adoptees I would like to say: we know that your mothers did not abandon you. You were not thrown away. This is what we have received evidence about as well: the babies who were adopted, who are now adults, felt that they had been abandoned. Mothers have told us that they do not want their now adult children to feel that. I quote from the report:

Overwhelmingly, these women alleged that laws were broken or that there was unethical behaviour on the part of staff in those institutions. The common failings included applying pressure to women to sign consents, seeking consent earlier than permitted by the legislation, failing to get a consent signature or obtaining it by fraudulent means, and denial of reasonable requests, particularly for a mother to have access to her child. As explained—in our report. Certainly after new laws were enacted in the mid-1960s, actions of these types would in some cases have been illegal. Other experiences that reflected unethical practices included failure to provide information, and failure to take a professional approach to a woman's care. It is time for governments and institutions involved to accept that such actions were wrong not merely by today's values, but by the values and laws of the time. Formal apologies must acknowledge this and not equivocate.

What's changed?

What has society learned about taking kids from their mothers?

Absolutely nothing!

Do kids feel less abandoned because a judge ruled they can't be with their Mum?

So it's not her fault?

Does anyone tell them that?

"Today's values"?

Let's look at how these values are represented in the Family Law system.

Quotes from some well –known and 'reputable' judges and court appointed 'experts' who have pronounced on women who tried to protect their children from abuse and violence:

"delusional obsessive emotionally. Hallucinates, psychotic, paranoid, schizophrenic, enmeshed with children. PAS. No signs of abuse

(the Magistrate in this case was suspended last year and the Chief Magistrate actually issued an apology to the mother. The children stayed with her but only because they were old enough and strong enough to physically resist being forced to leave her. The Magistrate is of course back on the bench because – apart from Pat O'Shane – judicial officers almost never get 'done' although they demonstrate daily their bias, mental health problems, Dementia, ignorance and prejudice. Among other talents.

SO – it's possible for the system to get it wrong.

And it does. EVERY day.

But who judges the judges?

Who quality controls the 'experts?

Who reviews whether the children are flourishing in their new 'home'?

Who cares if they die of neglect and abuse or are so damaged that their lives are ruined?"

Not the government.

Not the legal system.

Not the Human Rights Commission.

Not the 'child protection'/ agencies.

Not the media.

There is a deathly silence. If we don't speak out, we are all complicit.  *Author

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