November 04, 2019
Closed adoptions a deliberate assimilation policy
One of the submitters to the Royal Commission on Historical Abuse in State and Religious Care has highlighted the damage done around policies of closed adoptions.
Dr Alison Green shared her own situation and linked it to similar policies in Canada.
She says it was a deliberate strategy to take Māori babies out of their home communities and place them with Pākeha families, without allowing them to know who their original families were.
“A common phrase used by social workers in the 1950s and 60s was that Māori babies placed with Pākeha families would have better social and economic outcomes. There’s absolutely no evidence for that. And of course from a Treaty point of view, this should never have happened,” Dr Green says.
She says it is the right of whānau, hapū and iwi to raise their own children.
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