History of Within These Walls

 

What is Adoption?

It was considered to be the answer for those that are unable to have children; the real truth is to bring up children with falsified birth certificates so they never know their true roots.

The adoption industry does not operate in a manner that is compassionate to all those involved. Even adopters, when faced with the reality of the way many biological parents were treated, are often disturbed by the consequences.

My fears and insecurities with being adopted were put to the back of my mind as I was growing up and then getting married, where I hoped to be just like any other human being….not an Alien. (When I became a “Mrs” I had a historical starting point in my life; before this point, my world was another world - a black world of no light).

Until I had my first child and then all hell broke loose and my fears came to the surface again.

What had I done… could I have married my brother, my cousin???

By law not related, but by blood, we had no way of knowing.

The law says no to you looking for your real roots. You don’t deserve to be treated the same as non-adoptees.

I then came across the internet. Thank goodness that was invented …. This was about 2006-7 and from there my journey began on this new thing called DNA Testing and DNA links to my past.

 

"The technology of DNA testing has become sufficiently advanced and in the reach of ordinary people..."

Eventually, the technology of DNA testing had become sufficiently advanced that the cost dropped into the reach of ordinary people, and the development of specialised algorithms devoted to family research meant that the possibility of finding DNA matches within the growing databases was now a reality.

And then there was Facebook. I found other groups of people who were on a similar search for family; many of these became good friends. I was asked by a few to open a group. For the name of this group, all I could think of was a poem I had partly written and as we all were affected by adoption, I called this group “Within These Walls”.

As we talked, I found myself telling my new friends what I had found out about DNA testing and how for the first time I had light coming into my life. It was empowering me to overcome the barriers. Instead of the insecurities that are repeatedly given in this day and age by the adoption agency representatives and government departments across Australia, I am now in control!

A few fellow adoptees encouraged me to put what I had learned to the “Senate Committee on Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.” I sent it on 17/12/2011 and four days later 21/12/2012 it was posted on the Government website as Submission No 391.

On the 26.12.2011 I opened the Facebook DNA site “Australians Affected By Adoption Reconnecting By DNA,” with a few of my DNA matches and friends from “Within These Walls.” My new dear cousins in the USA, Canada, UK and here in Australia were very welcoming, sharing what they had in terms of information.

My Mum was also an adoptee and by the looks of things so is my Dad. So much wrong information coming from the department. Mum’s sister, my true aunt (she is only eight years older than me) did a DNA test, to help confirm she is a half-sister to my Mum. 

I decided that this was just too good to keep to myself, so I announced to the Within These Walls Facebook social group my idea of forming a Non-Profit Organisation to provide awareness, education and support for people affected by adoption who are searching for family. This finally happened in December 2012, funded by both Bruce and myself.

We continue to seek government funding so others can get help with getting their DNA testing done and get programmes up and running to assist people with this.

(At this point in time most costs have been covered by my husband Bruce and I, with some of the cost of printing our information booklets covered by subscriber fees and the sale of the book “Cornerstone”, my story of over forty years of looking for my own roots and what DNA found for me and others. See the Cornerstone Tab for more details).

Government funding has been accessed for very small grants for DNA workshops etc but not for funding kits or running the organisation.

From 2012 to current we have been helping adoptees across Australia and overseas with their DNA test results.

Those that subscribe to our Website help fund DNA kits for others affected by adoption when all other sources of information have been non-helpful in finding their true roots.

 Kerri Small

  Owner/ Founder/ President 2018.

On the 26.12.2011, opened the Facebook DNA Site "Australians Affected by Adoption Reconnecting by DNA"

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