History of adoption in Australia

Past Event

We welcome Wendy Brown to talk about adoption in mid-20th Century Australia.

Wendy will discuss the historical context of adoption in Australia in the decades before and after WW2 and how changing social circumstances and attitudes, reflected in government policies and practices, deeply affected the lives of those touched by adoption, particularly the mothers whose babies were adopted in the 1950s to early 1970s.

Wendy is currently putting together an anthology of reflections on their adoption experience by women who lost babies to adoption during those years. These "Moments of Memory" throw light on the practices of the time, and the repercussions of the secrecy and stigma they continue to live with. This is a complex and sensitive issue and Wendy feels strongly that these women deserve to be heard and acknowledged, and that they have the opportunity to speak.

The anthology will be launched next year on the fifth anniversary of the 2013 National Apology for Forced Adoptions made by the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard on behalf of the Australian Government, for the policies and practices that forced the separation of mothers from their babies.

 Wendy is the chairperson of Adoption Jigsaw, which provides information, counselling, search and intermediary services to people separated from family by adoption and other practices.


Come and listen to Wendy open a window on adoption, originally intended to provide permanent alternative care for a child deprived of his own family, but which resulted in depriving the child of his own family.


Presenter: Wendy Brown.


Cost: Free

Bookings Preferred

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Event Details

Time: 10 am to 12 noon

Venue: Local History Centre, 99 Loftus Street, Leederville


Position: Librarian Local History

Phone: 9273 6534

Email: local.history@vincent.wa.gov.au

Event Date(s)

  • Wednesday 30th August 2017