Monday, December 20, 2010

Evelyn Robinson

From Rick Boas:

Hee Jung and I have had the pleasure of "meeting" Evelyn Robinson via email.

Born and raised in Scotland, she gave up her son for adoption in 1970. She moved to Australia in 1982, and reunited with her son when he was 21 years old. Evelyn has been involved with post-adoption support services in Australia as a social worker and educator since 1989, and currently provides training for professionals through the government-funded Post Adoption Support Service (PASS). She has written and published four books about adoption. Her most recent, Adoption Separation - Then and now, will be available in early 2011.

In Evelyn’s first book, Adoption and Loss - The Hidden Grief, she proposed that the grief associated with adoption loss is disenfranchised. This approach is now widely accepted in the adoption community.

Evelyn frequently trains and lectures on adoption separation around the globe, and has presented with her son. She has never charged a fee for these engagements. More information about Evelyn and her work is available from

Evelyn kindly forwarded the full text of the apology to birthmothers and their children by the Parliament of Western Australia (in October), and accompanying articles--all of which are riveting--via the Australian Journal of Adoption:

What really moved me was the following, beautifully written--and not requested by me! Thank you Evelyn!:

I was contacted recently by the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network. Please visit their web site at I hope that you'll read the inspiring story of how the network was founded by an adoptive father.

Expectant mothers in Korea who are unmarried and not supported by their families or the fathers of their children are being pressured into agreeing for their children to be adopted. Their situation is very similar to the situation in countries like Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Canada and the US in the middle to late twentieth century. This is causing heartbreaking and unnecessary family separations.

More than 200,000 Korean children have already been adopted out to other countries in the last forty years or so and some have also been lost to domestic adoption in that period. This means that there are several hundred thousand mothers in Korea who are mourning the loss of their children, as well as fathers, grandparents, siblings and other family members.

Groups such as KUMSN are trying to change the social and financial climate to allow unmarried mothers to raise their children.

Anything we can do to help them would be much appreciated. They are not asking for financial support, but it would be great for them to know that people around the world are concerned about this situation.

If you feel inclined, you can follow them on Facebook, you can contribute to their newsletter or you can contact them via their web site and offer messages of encouragement and support.

Also, in my opinion, every country which accepts children from Korea for adoption is supporting these painful and unnecessary family breakdowns and so you may want to make your feelings known to politicians and policy-makers in your own country and ask them to consider the plight of unmarried mothers in Korea and refuse to support the removal of their children.

I am sure that change will come in Korea and anything that we can do to make that happen sooner rather than later will mean that we are contributing to the establishment of social justice for families in Korea.

Many thanks for considering this.

Please feel free to distribute this information.