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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3260

Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (13:56): Just after the last session of parliament I was at the South Ballajura shops when I was approached by Michael Tittensor. Mr Tittensor asked me about the Prime Minister's apology to those forcibly adopted and to the parents of those children forcibly adopted in past decades. Mr Tittensor is 70 years old and when he first engaged me in conversation on the subject of the apology I did not know that he had a personal involvement. At the time of the apology, I believed that the only person that could offer a personal view on the issue was my friend the member for Swan, the only one I knew who was himself adopted. He did not even know his brother until well into his adult life. His was a moving, tragic and terrible story.

Another reality and something that we should also keep in mind is that there are three parties to this story: there are those who were forcibly adopted and those who lost a child or children; there are those who created and implemented the policy; and there are also those who adopted the children, such as Michael and Suzanne Tittensor. The perception of Mr Tittensor is that he and those who adopted children stand accused or even guilty in this matter. But that is not true. We should be very careful in making false assumptions. The contrast is that he provided a good and nurturing home for the children he adopted and that he and those like him are not the guilty party.

I take this opportunity to thank Michael and Suzanne Tittensor and those who adopted children, providing safe, secure and healthy homes. While we have heard many negatives and injustices involved in this policy, there were also good intentions, high motives, love and, yes, even success stories. I encourage all of us to consider every side of each story. There are too many simplistic viewpoints on these sort of matters and we should be very careful about generalising and heaping good people in with a now discredited policy. (Time expired)