Forced Adoption: My brother was taken away from my parents. Now I want to find it

I was an only child. It was lonely and I used to mess around the place. I often read to pass the time. There were two books in particular that we had in the house – Each man and Every woman. These books were classified as a puberty book for men and women, but they were old copies published years before I was born. I remember being around eight or nine years old flipping through the books, which to me were fascinating due to the nature of the content.
At the back of the Every woman book there was handwritten information;


Length = 53cm

I always wondered what the date was because it wasn’t my birthday or my mom’s or dad’s.

I was about 10 when I remembered asking Mom what the date was on the back of the book. Over the years, I continued to inquire about it. There was always a response like “Oh, it’s a book I was given and the date was already there”, or the response would change to “It’s just a special date, it didn’t not important”.

I don’t know why I was so curious, but I just couldn’t let go. I just knew it had to mean something.

I remember my mother always had a little shandy [beer mixed with soft drink] on that date (my mother never drank normally) and she was still sad.
Over the years, my curiosity for the date has never wavered. I don’t know why I was so curious, but I just couldn’t let go. I just knew it had to mean something.
Then, when I was a teenager, my father was diagnosed with bowel cancer and passed away. It was a difficult time for our family. But even with this sadness, something about that date stuck with me.

I was 16 or 17 when I had a big fight with my mom. I think I was in a rebellious phase of life, trying to find my bearings in the big world and adjusting to the knowledge that I would never have my dad around. It was tough as a teenager, especially knowing he wouldn’t be around for the big milestones in my life. It was during this argument that I brought up the date again and in the heat of the moment mom told me I had a brother. Not only that I had a brother, but that he was a full brother of my mother and my father.

This was huge news to process and I was so mad at my mom for hiding this from me. For what I had missed. I wondered if he had tried to find us, if he was alive, how he was, if I could be an aunt.
I was given more information over the next few days. I was told mom and dad were in their late teens when they found out mom was pregnant. They wanted to get married, but my mother was sent to live with her older brother and his wife for the duration of her pregnancy. She was basically sent into hiding in a small rural town in Tasmania. Once the baby was born at Launceston General Hospital on July 11, 1970, the little boy, my brother, was taken in for adoption. Although it was not the will of either of my parents, the forced adoption took place. My mom said she never got to see it and the only details she got were the details written on the back of the book.

My parents stayed together and ended up having me, which seemed all the more cruel because they weren’t allowed to keep their son.

I want to know if he had a good life, if he had a family, and I want to see what he looks like.

I immediately wanted to find him, but I didn’t really know how to do it because I was a teenager. I was excited but also nervous not knowing who he was. I called and sent an application requesting more information. They sent me the adoption certificate, including the name the adoptive parents had given him, and that he lived on the west coast of Tasmania. This information did not lead to much and Adoptions Tasmania was unable to locate him at the time. It appears he spent some time in Western Australia.
I have since reconnected with adoption services and am now aware of a support group for children and families of forced adoptions run by .
Mom and I have always talked about finding him. As she gets older, she is curious about his whereabouts and if he may be back in Tasmania. We both feel nervous about finding him because we don’t know what kind of man he has become and if he is a good person.

Despite the uncertainties, for my part, I would like to know that he is safe and sound. I want to know if he had a good life, if he had a family, and I want to see what he looks like. My emotions are still mixed as I fear he doesn’t even know about his adoption so I’m still torn by the realities of finding him but I know just like the date in the book I can never let this go go until I know more.

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