Donor kids must not be forgotten

Melinda Tankard Reist – Herald Sun 31 Mar 2013
When Lau­ren Burns lis­tened to the Prime Min­is­ter’s na­tional apol­ogy to those who suf­fered forcible adop­tion, she wanted to ask: what about me? It wasn’t that the 29-year-old Mel­bourne woman didn’t find the speech mov­ing. She be­lieves the moth­ers and chil­dren so cru­elly sep­a­rated de­served the apol­ogy.

But she, and so many like her, felt left out. Lau­ren is one of thou­sands of chil­dren (ex­act fig­ures are not known — in the be­gin­ning records weren’t kept) born as the re­sult of donor sperm or eggs, who be­lieve they too have been de­nied an op­por­tu­nity to know their bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents.

It was these words which most af­fected her: ‘‘To each of you who were . . . de­nied the op­por­tu­nity to grow up with your fam­ily and com­mu­nity of ori­gin, we say sorry. We ac­knowl­edge that many of you still ex­pe­ri­ence a con­stant strug­gle with iden­tity, un­cer­tainty and loss and feel a per­sis­tent ten­sion be­tween loy­alty to one fam­ily and yearn­ing for an­other.’’

‘‘I found it in­cred­i­ble that the Govern­ment was apol­o­gis­ing to adopted peo­ple for the very things that are still hap­pen­ing via donor con­cep­tion and sur­ro­gacy,’’ Lau­ren says. ‘‘It was frus­trat­ing that al­most no­body ex­cept us could see that by sim­ply in­sert­ing ‘donor con­cep­tion’ for ‘adop­tion’, the PM could have been speak­ing to us. She promised no gen­er­a­tion of Aus­tralians would suf­fer the same pain and trauma they did. But it’s not true.’’
http://melindatankardreist.com/2013/04/donor-kids-must-not-be-forgotten-mtr-in-sunday-herald-sun/