Forced adoption: a blot on Australia’s history

Monash Law School is one of the largest and most prestigious law schools in Australia and was recently ranked number 15 in the QS World University rankings.

Legal experts will discuss forced adoption in Australia.

A panel of experts will gather at Monash University to discuss the pitfalls and promises of surrogacy and forced adoption in Australia at an upcoming seminar.

Monash University’s Faculty of Law is hosting the seminar, moderated by Monash University’s Dr Adiva Sifris with speakers Chief Judge John Pascoe, Monash University’s Professor the Honourable Nahum Mushin, and RMIT’s Professor Denise Cuthbert.

Professor Mushin is a former Family Court Judge and the Chair of the Australian Government’s Past Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group, which is charged with helping deliver on the Australian Government’s commitments to provide better support for Australian’s impacted by past forced adoption practices.

The Working Group was established following former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s National Apology for Forced Adoptions in March 2013.

Professor Mushin will discuss the national apology for people affected by forced adoptions and the implementation of the concrete measures flowing from it.

“Forced adoption is a blot on the nation’s history. At this event I’m going to highlight the damage that's been done to the tens of thousands of Australian’s affected by forced adoptions,” Professor Mushin said.

“I’m going to ask questions about what is the future of adoption and express the view that the community needs to start discussing some of these issues in light of our past experiences.”

Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, John Pascoe, has a particular interest in the elimination of human trafficking in all forms and has developed considerable expertise in the issue of trafficking newly born children working with relevant United Nations agencies.

At this seminar, Chief Judge Pascoe will discuss the rapid advance of international commercial surrogacy (ICS). ICS raises complex legal, ethical and moral questions. He argues that, apart from the question of parentage, one of the greatest problems with ICS is how to protect the rights of vulnerable surrogate mothers.

Professor Cuthbert is the Dean of the School of Graduate Research at RMIT. Her research interests focus on gender, race and family, adoption and children and children’s rights and family law.

She will look at tensions in the understandings of inter-country adoption as a service for adults seeking children for family formation as distinct from a service for children in need of family-based care and asks how we as a community can reconcile these tensions.

Surrogacy and adoption: Pitfalls and promises’ will be held from 6-7.30pm on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at the Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale St, Melbourne. Register your attendance by emailing or calling +61 3 9905 2630.