At the Association of Relinquishing Mothers (Victoria), we believe that there is a better way to handle relinquishment of a child or children.
We believe that other options such as guardianship (or access adoption) must replace (traditional) adoption as a means of caring for children unable to be parented by their natural parents.
Guardianship is a preferred legal alternative because, unlike adoption, it continues to recognise the natural parents as having given birth to the child.
Ideally, the child has the right to continue his/her relationship with his/her natural parents and the natural parents have the right of relationship with their child/children.
Societal standards and adoption practice have made victims of natural mothers, and as survivors we must reclaim our dignity and our rights in the following ways:
We believe that by:
- supporting each other as natural mothers,
- being aware of and exercising our rights,
- refusing to be victimised,
- obtaining the name, address and information about the welfare of our children and ultimately contacting if that is wished,
- sharing knowledge, skills and information with each other,
- lobbying for equal rights for natural mothers with adopted persons by actively working towards political and policy changes in adoption legislation,
- monitoring and reviewing policy and practice in the permanent care field,
- educating the community on the issues and concerns we have about adoption and why guaradianship must replace adoption,
- mothers should have legal representation at the signing of any documents and legal recourse to ensure they have ongoing contact with their child.
… we can reclaim our dignity and rights.