Imbil's Kerri Saint will receive the apology she's been waiting for.
Imbil's Kerri Saint will receive the apology she's been waiting for. Renee Pilcher

'Kidnap' victim waits for justice

WITH three suicides since Christmas, Imbil forced-adoption victim Kerri Saint hopes vindication comes soon enough to save other members of Australia's "other stolen generation".

Ms Saint says a Senate inquiry is due to report at the end of this month on the plight of mothers and children, separated by "bullying government and hospital officials".

She battles every day with her own story of abuse and slavery as a child stolen from her mother, whose only crime was to be poor.

Meanwhile, she says, the Queensland Government declined to pass on federal money which had been intended to allow people like her mother to keep their children.

She tells a modern day horror story, worse than anything depicted by Charles Dickens and says it happened right here in Queensland in the 1960s, '70s and into the '80s.

She says the season of good cheer was just too lonely for some people, deprived forever of their families by an apparently heartless society which does not seem to have learned from its mistakes.

Ms Saint advocates for people she says are victims of state-sponsored kidnapping, innocent children given to strangers as sex and work slaves, cruelly beaten, neglected if they were lucky and driven to madness and, as happened this Christmas, suicide.

"The day after Christmas, a mother took her life. And since then a mother and an adoptee have taken their lives.

"I just feel so overwhelmed sometimes, living in a world with no family to help or to just be there.

"As an adoptee you don't know the suicide victims personally, but you wonder at your own ability to cope. You wonder if you are going to make it, when is the day going to come when it breaks me and I just can't take it anymore?"

Ms Saint is angry at people, including actor Hugh Jackman, who want liberalised adoption laws.

"They say it's better now, but it isn't," she said.

While other young Australians went to parties, travelled the world and built their futures, kids like Kerri (and their mothers) suffered unspeakably beneath the surface of affluent and liberated Australia.

Her experience is the dark side of the adoption debate, which she says overemphasises the rights of adults.

"It's sad that some people cannot have children, but that does not imply an inalienable right to get a child from somewhere else.

"Unless the child has no natural family whatsoever, there is a fair chance they will be the next stolen generation," she says.

She has no problem with the apology given to the Aboriginal stolen generation and welcomes the support of indigenous elder Max Dulumunmun Harrison, of the Yuin people, who wrote in 2009: "I applaud the Prime Minister's apology to our mob, but what about the white stolen generation that suffered the same fate?

"I know many white people who went through the same pain. So why can't this government do its healing again and apologise to the white stolen generation to bring closure to all this suffering?"

Ms Saint says many mothers were lied to and tricked into signing forms said to be needed to allow them to check out of hospital, but which turned out to be adoption consent forms.

In Kerri Saint's case, working in charcoal pits at Inala from the age of five, rejected and punished for not doing her homework, she was told constantly how lucky she was, while left to the mercy of a violent alcoholic man and a woman with significant mental health issues. Now a social worker, Kerri has raised her children and helps others through her group, White Australian Stolen Generation.

Gympie Times


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