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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not into groups. Can you still help me?
Yes, we can provide phone support. Feel free to call us when you need to talk. We can also meet you privately for a chat. We can also provide you with helpful information.

What do I say to my son or daughter when we meet?

That is a tricky one. Just be polite and considerate of their feelings as you would like them to be of yours. There is no strict rule. Some hug and cry and are immediately comfortable sharing while others are more reserved and take time to get to know each other. It can depend on where each of you is in your journey and how much support you have had. You will be a little fearful. Don't expect your child to be able to fulfil all of your needs or take away all of your pain. Read everything you can to prepare yourself. ARMS has a great library that you are welcome to borrow from.

Who do I contact regarding birth details of my child?

In Victoria FIND is the Government agency assisting with searches. Family Information Networks and Discovery, they are at Level 20 570 Burke Street Melbourne. Phone numbers: 03 8608 5700,  1300 769 926, 1800 130 225 email: findduty@dhs.vic.gov.au

How do I receive my records?

The hospital that delivered your baby is a good place to begin for birth records. They may not still have them but redirect you to where they are now. Some records have unfortunately been lost or destroyed. Also FIND may be able to help you to get these.

I want to commence attending your support groups, I'm nervous. How do I go about this?

Everyone who attends our support groups has had a first day and understands your nervousness. Some come along and say nothing until they feel comfortable, others may cry quietly through their first meeting and yet others may find their voice and need to just get it all out. Everything is normal. We have all been though this experience of loss and shame and secrecy so we understand. If it helps you can call our phone and talk it through before you attend.

I need someone to talk to , I have never told my family, can you help me?

We understand. We are here to listen with no judgement. We are simply here to support women like you. Women like ourselves. Call our phone number. Attend our meetings. Everything said at our meetings is treated with privacy and respect. You can subscribe to our newsletter or have it sent in plain wrapping by mail.

What can I expect to happen if I have a reunion with my child?

If you reread the second answer that also applies here. You can expect anything really, in fact try not to have expectations. A lot depends on where your child is in his or her journey of dealing with adoption, also, where you are in dealing with the trauma that you lived through at the time of this loss and after. All of us go into reunion with fear including your child. Mutual respect is very important. It is also important to give it time. This is your child and you are his/her mother but you are also strangers. It is a good idea to read up on the topic and get support before you have to deal with reunion. Do not expect it to be as shown on TV with music in the background and happily ever after fairy story...reunion often brings up very powerful issues for all of those involved.

How can I explain my secret child to my other children?

We are usually our own harshest judges. So the first words will be the hardest. It can be difficult to work out how to explain the times and the lack of choice we had back then when in today's world many couples have children before marriage. Keep the explanation simple and age appropriate to begin.   Encourage your children to read and see materials set back in those times.  Frequent discussions and updates can help. Educate yourself to educate your children. Remember when the choice is actually no other choice then it wasn't yours to make.

I cannot remember the birth of my child or the dates: where can I get help?

Memory loss around trauma is quite common. Contact FIND (details above) as they may be able to find your records which could clear up some of the blanks. A counsellor with a true understanding of adoption issues is gold. Call us and talk or come to our meetings and maybe being in a safe place may help.

I'm pregnant and alone where can I get help?

 It is quite traumatic to realise you are alone and pregnant. Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem that will leave both you and your child damaged. Reach out to people that you trust.

There are several organisations that will help including

 Council of Single Mothers and their Children website: csmc.org.au  thier phone numbers are :03 9654 0622, 1300 552 511.

  Brave Foundation is another organization who can help , email: info@bravefoundation.org.au. website: bravefoundation.org.au  phone number: 1800 827 441

Beware of people who promote adoption offering you support as they have ulterior motives.

Call us for support.

 

I'm childless and want to adopt a baby: can you help me?

We do not provide babies for adoption. If you are considering any kind of adoption please read our entire page and other material such as "The Primal Wound" by Nancy Verrier (an adoptive mother herself) and please educate yourself to the realities of adoption. Adoption is based on loss and pain for all parties and not the fairy story promoted by certain sectors in our society.

My child is in an open adoption but I haven't been able to have any contact. Can I do anything about it?

Contact the agency/department that handled your adoption and let them know that the deal is not being kept. If necessary contact a lawyer to get your rights asserted. You may be able to get legal financial help with legal aid or other groups . Try google. You have rights and you will need to dig deep and be strong enough to help yourself. Get some support to help you be strong. You are welcome to come to us or call us for moral support and advice.

My child is in an open adoption but I find it really difficult to see him/her and then leave again. Can you help me?

Open adoption is still loss and trauma. Loss is difficult to cope with. You had a physiological connection to your child and when that is broken it is painful. Your child will always need to know who you are. You will always be part of his/her identity and nothing can change that. You are welcome to attend our meetings for support. Talking to others dealing with the same issues as you can often help to normalise a situation.

Is it normal for me to feel angry about what has happened to me?

Anger is a normal and healthy reaction to pain and loss. Sometimes we can get stuck in our anger and have difficulty moving on with our lives. Support and empathy from your peers can help. Good quality counselling from a counsellor who understands the issues that you are dealing with is essential. ARMS can offer you peer support.

Is There a Contact Register ?

Yes Jigsaw have a contact register. Here is the direct link: http://www.jigsaw.org.au/contact-register/pay-with-paypal/contactregister-success/  or contact Jigsaw at: http:www.jigsaw.org.au  This is a means to let another person know that you are interested in some information, have some information or interested in contact.

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