Having provided search and support services for over 30 years, VANISH is well positioned to provide expert policy advice and recommendations regarding how to assist individuals affected by adoption, separation from a child, donor conception and state wardship. VANISH is passionately committed to their truth being told, their rights being upheld and their support needs being met.  

Much of our advocacy work is undertaken by VANISH’s Committee of Management members who are volunteers with a relevant lived experience. Through working together with staff members, independent experts including academics and specialists, Committee members develop policy positions on a range of issues that affect our community. Over the past three decades, VANISH has contributed to several significant government inquiries and law reform reviews regarding adoption, out of home care and donor conception. Examples of state and federal inquiries and reviews VANISH has made submissions to are listed below, conveying the breadth and depth of our advocacy:  

  • 2011 Senate Community Affairs References Committee’s Inquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices  
  • 2014 Australian Citizenship Amendment (Intercountry Adoption) Bill 
  • 2015 Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act Amendment 
  • 2016 Victorian Law Reform Commission’s review of the Adoption Act (Vic) 1984  
  • 2016 Victorian Commission for Children and Young People’s Permanency Amendments Inquiry   
  • 2018 House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs National Inquiry into Local Adoption 
  • 2019 Victorian Proposed Adoption Regulations  
  • 2019 Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health 
  • 2021 Aotearoa NZ Adoption Act Review 
  • 2021 VIC Inquiry into responses to historical forced adoptions  

VANISH also advocates through the media and public education. By providing interviews on the radio, television, in print and online, VANISH provides insight into past practices, the impacts and the needs of people affected and dispels the many myths that continue to exist.  

Our members and service users regularly participate in advocacy on matters that are important to them. This is usually through making individual submissions to inquiries, writing letters to their local and federal MPs, and starting or signing petitions. Adding their voice can be empowering and rewarding, as well as making a difference to whether an issue is heard and addressed. 

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