All posts by Faye Burnham

A New Play..we would like to see it showing.

Stainless: A Cry from the Heart

Multi award winning actor Maggie Millar is coming out of semi-retirement, where she has concentrated on her painting and occasional readings, to appear in a play specially written for her by her friend author Jane Hyde.
The inspiration for the work comes from Millar’s own extraordinary life.
The play entitled Stainless is a heart rending story of the ongoing repercussions of the premature and permanent separation of mother and child in the adoption process and the pitiless and cruel treatment of women who transgressed the strict sexual mores of what Hyde has called the age of shame.
Hyde however is too good a writer to concentrate only on the tragic elements inherent in the story. In describing the first performance of the play she said “there was laughter among the tears, but overall the audience were deeply moved.”
Millar will be known to theatre lovers for her appearances with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse and La Mama. She has also appeared in a number of Television Series including The Sullivans, Bellbird, All The Way, Prisoner and Neighbours.
An award winning student and Honours Graduate of the prestigious royal Academy of Dramatic At in London, she has appeared with Vivien Leigh, Patrick Stewart, Meryl Streep, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jacki Weaver among many other well known performers.
There will be a reading of Stainless on Sunday 23rd July at La Mama’s Courthouse Theatre in Carlton at 2pm. Theatre lovers, those affected by the adoption process, and those working as therapists among the adoption community should not miss this rare opportunity to see an award winning actor performing in a stunning and insightful piece of theatre

New book to be written about Surrogacy seeking Contributors

New Book on Surrogacy Seeking Contributors

A New Book on Surrogacy by Melinda Tankard Reist and Jennifer Lahl
Melinda Tankard Reist and Jennifer Lahl are Seeking Contributors for A New Book on SurrogacyWe are seeking contributions for a new global collection of first-person accounts by women who were surrogate mothers. The book will be edited by Melinda Tankard Reist (Australia) and Jennifer Lahl (US), and will be published by Spinifex Press for release in late 2017. We would be grateful if you could share this invitation through your networks.


The issue of surrogacy has received heightened interest in the media globally, following a number of high profile cases including ‘Baby Gammy,’ the baby boy with Down syndrome abandoned by his Australian commissioning parents who left him behind in Thailand, returning home with his healthy twin sister. In the face of an expanding reproductive marketplace, facilitating and driving reproductive tourism around the world, debate has fueled over commercialization and regulation of the baby-making industry, with vested interests, primarily commissioning couples and fertility businesses, capturing and dominating the discourse.

Surrogate mothers have been seen as providing a community service, delivering babies to desperate couples around the world. Reduced to ‘carriers,’ ‘ovens,’ and ‘suitcases,’ the surrogate mother has been treated as a means to an end. Surrogacy has even been promoted as a way for poor women to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Time Magazine has labeled pregnancy as one of the ‘10 Best Chores to Outsource.’ Forbes Magazine said India’s baby factories were “a big win for everyone involved.” “You’d rent a nanny or a house painter. Why not rent a uterus?”

The physical and emotional costs of surrogacy, the exploitation of underprivileged women, the coercion, the physical, psychological and emotional harms of the procedures to women, the devastating consequences of severing the well-established and unique bond between mother and child, and the bioengineering of children who will never know their biological origins have been played down or dismissed by the global surrogacy industry.

Our new book seeks to change this narrative by bringing surrogate mothers’ stories out into the open, thus providing them with a platform to speak in their own voices. To be published by the award winning feminist publisher Spinifex Press, this collection will be co-edited by Australian feminist author, speaker, and activist Melinda Tankard Reist, and American founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, Jennifer Lahl, best known for her work and award winning documentary films to protect women and children wronged by the practices of third party reproduction.

This collection of 20 first-person accounts aims to work with social justice movements in Australia, the US, UK, across the European continent, Asia, and Africa so that this expanding industry can be stopped, and women and children are no longer exploited for commercial or personal gain.

Publication Details

Publisher: Spinifex Press
Publication Date: September 2017
Editors: Melinda Tankard Reist and Jennifer Lahl
Guidelines for Submissions

Length: 2,000-3,000 words. (Authors can use real names or use a pseudonym and change identifying details where necessary. If preferred, contributors can be interviewed or record their stories for transcription.)
Submission Deadline: January 15, 2017
Contact: Melinda Tankard Reist: or Jennifer Lahl: