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The Market in Babies: Stories of Australian Adoption


This book is the summation of five years of research, and we have had a lot of help along the way. The Australian Research Council provided the Discovery Grant that has been the project’s life-blood. The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia gave support for a workshop on the policy implications of our research.

Kate Murphy, Kathy Lothian, Nell Musgrove, Margaret Taft and Kay Dreyfus have all given invaluable assistance as research fellows. Amy Pollard’s PhD research has enlightened us about the movement for adoption reform. A number of people have helped us with particular projects, both as researchers and as organisers; these have included Jill Cox, Ana Kailis, Sally Newman, Sarah Pinto, Ceridwen Spark, and Sam Cavarra and his team from the Victorian Department of Human Services. Our work has also been enriched by collaborations and assistance from other adoption researchers, including Karen Balcom, Joshua Forkert, Patricia Fronek, Jessica Walton and Indigo Willing. Oral historians who have collected adoption stories for us include Jeannine Baker, Patricia Curthoys, Karen Downing, Rosemary Francis, Jennifer Hamilton-McKenzie, Naomi Parry, Pauline Payne, and Dominic Golding who did all the interviews of intercountry adoptees.

Building and maintaining the History of Adoption website has involved the efforts of a wide range of IT experts from Monash University. We thank especially Anthony Beitz and Nicholas McPhee from the Monash e-Research Centre, and Joanne Sullivan from the Arts Online Presence Team, without whom the project could not have been carried through. Keeping the project ticking over financially was made possible through the efforts of Tommy Fung and Alice Davies at Monash. At ACU our thanks go to colleagues in the School of Arts and Sciences (Victoria), and in particular to Sylvia Herlihy, whose quiet efficiency ensured that this collaborative project went smoothly.

Many participants in the history of Australian adoption have shared memories and documents with us, too many to name. Our understanding has been immeasurably enriched by their willingness to provide information, to answer queries and to critique our work.

Above all we are grateful to the storytellers, named and unnamed, who posted their stories on our website. This book is dedicated to them.

The Market in Babies: Stories of Australian Adoption

   by Marian Quartly, Shurlee Swain, Denise Cuthbert