Talk:Forced adoption in Australia

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Start Page[edit]

This is a start page, so if anyone can help add info to this or pictures it will be much appreciated thanks!!


I have wikified the text and removed some repetition (the article seemed to have two ledes). I would be more comfortable if there was a clear explanation of why the practice was illegal- which laws were broken?  Tigerboy1966  06:44, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

This is a very complex field and the literature is not clear about legality. There are many allegations of illegal conduct at the time of adoptions, and some of those allegations, if proved, would appear to represent illegal acts. However, there have been no successful cases to my knowledge, for a number of reasons. hamiltonstone (talk) 06:48, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Foreshadowing a move to Forced adoption in Australia[edit]

I'm copying some text here from a post I made at Talk:History of Australia, regarding the name of the article. First, it is contentious for it to be the title of an encyclopedia article. It is not a term used by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the Tasmanian Palriamentary Inquiry, the New South Wales Parliamentary Inquiry, the Australian Senate Inquiry, the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department, the Australian Capital Territory government, the Monash University research project, and so on and so on. The encyclopedia term would almost certainly be either "forced adoption" or "forced adoption in Australia". I will eventually get around to looking at a requested move for the page White Stolen Generation. The article could have within it text and references regarding the comparisons to the Stolen Generations. The term is also contentious amongst stakeholders for a number of reasons, but mainly because Aboriginal children were taken under the forced adoptions process, and calling it a white stolen generation suggests they are excluded from being recognised. There is also concern that it can undermine recognition of the stolen generation, or to put a racial dimension on an issue that is not racial in nature (forced adoption). I'm sorry, I can't identifty references around that point. Anyway, the main issue is that it is not the preferred encyclopedia term. Cheers, hamiltonstone (talk) 03:56, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

  • But what about Stolen Generations? Would that title need to be changed as well? Would both articles be subsumed into the proposed "Forced Adoption in Australia" article?  Tigerboy1966  06:08, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
    • No, for two reasons. First, the term "stolen generations" is widely used in reliable third-party sources - including those that are critical of the concept. Second, what happened to the stolen generations was not forced adoption. hamiltonstone (talk) 06:19, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Thanks for clearing that up. I'm really quite ignorant on these issues, I only chipped in to the discussion because I made some improvements to the article. From an outsider's viewpoint I find the titles of both articles unsatisfactory from a NPOV standpoint, but, as you point out, one is is enshrined in popular usage and the other isn't.  Tigerboy1966  18:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

But getting rid of the white stolen generation but keeping the stolen generations name is extremely hypocritical. The only reason the Aboriginal stolen generation is widely used is because it is widely known. Very few people know about the white stolen generations, that doesn't mean it is less valid it just means it is less known in the mainstream public.

The "Stolen Generations" was where Aboriginal children were taken from their families and put into foster care or adopted. The "White Stolen Generations" was where white children were taken from their families and put into "slave camps" or adopted.

Now you tell me how the white stolen generations is any less valid than the Stolen Generations? They were exactly the same, why can't you accept that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Collingwood26 (talkcontribs) 10:46, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I understand some of your points, and you are right that there are some similarities between the cases. But there are issues that mean there isn't equivalence. Maybe one day, some years from now, "white stolen generation" is a term that will be widely accepted and used in reliable sources. But right now it isn't. We aren't a crystal ball. There is also some evidence that it probably won't be. When the Prime Minister made the formal apology to Aboriginal people separated from their families, the term "stolen generation" was accepted, and used by him. The term being used in the current analogous discussions is "forced adoption". And as I have already pointed out, the "white stolen generations" were NOT only white. They were of all races. In almost all cases, the thing they had in common was birth to a single mother. I certainly understand the reasons why people sometimes use the term "white stolen generations" to draw attention to the issue using an existing concept in Australian culture (ie. "stolen generation"). But it is rarely done, it is not accurate (the policy was not conducted according to race), and it is not generally used by reliable sources. I am not disputing the events, Collingwood, I am only disputing the terminology. hamiltonstone (talk) 11:55, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Hmm maybe your right Hamilton, I would agree then to have the article's name changed to "forced adoption", however the article should also mention that it is sometimes known as the "white stolen generations" as it does have some validity to it.--Collingwood26 (talk) 13:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree with the move proposal; 'forced adoption' and similar is the common name from what I've seen in media reports, research papers and government documents. The nature, extent and goals of what took place here was quite different to what happened to Indigenous Australians. Nick-D (talk) 10:55, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Silly title, and massive POV[edit]

The language used here is confusing and deceptive. The use of the word "forced" needs to be explained and clarified. To start with, "forced adoption" is poor English. It reads as if someone was forced to adopt a child. Even when we get to the intended meaning, I'm not sure who was forced to do what, by whom, and how.

As someone old enough to remember, I know that a single pregnant woman in the 1950s and 60s had no hope of anything resembling a normal life, with any financial security at all, if she kept her baby. Virtually none did. Society didn't allow it. It was expected BY SOCIETY that such women would put their babies up for adoption. Governments facilitated what society, and hence the single mothers, actually asked for. This article wants to blame governments today for the sins of the whole of society back then. It's very dishonest in its present form.

I know it's a very emotional issue for some, but Wikipedia articles can't be written on the basis of feelings. HiLo48 (talk) 06:06, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

As you can see, I am working on the article. However, the key point is that "forced adoption" is the term used in the reliable sources. You are welcome to your point of view, but the article will be drafted based on the sources. Regards, hamiltonstone (talk) 06:09, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
I still think it's a silly name, as explained above. Even it is is used in some (very recent) sources, everyone is just copying each other with that name, without thinking about it. My questions still stand. Who was forced to do what, by whom, and how? That must be explained in the article. And when will we get some balance based on truth and reality, not just current hype? HiLo48 (talk) 06:14, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
You're welcome to your view, as I said. The term has been used by parliaments, governments and news reports. Whatever we think of the grammar or clarity, it stands. Yes, of course the nature of force etc has to be explained in the article. I am sure some editors will assist. Not all adoptions were forced, and I recently edited out some words that implied otherwise. Anything else? hamiltonstone (talk) 06:27, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Don't keep telling me I'm welcome to my view. Of course I am. I approve of the improvements you're making to the article, but stop treating me like an ignorant child! I am somewhat the opposite. I'll admit that a lot of my frustration is with all the recent media coverage, which makes up most of our sources. And the government press releases aren't much better. All about keeping the current voters happy. Very little attempt to look at what really happened.
I have massive sympathy for those single mothers whose babies were adopted out. Society was very cruel in those days. Unlike the stolen generations among Aboriginal people, what was done with the babies of single mothers had the approval of just about everybody else in society at the time, including the families of the single mothers, who would send their pregnant teenage daughter "away" to have the baby and have it adopted. Many hoped that the pregnancy could be concealed from the rest of society forever. I sorely await the publication of a better perspective of who did what to whom, and why. It was extremely nasty, but what's being written today is a lousy description of what happened. HiLo48 (talk) 06:37, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Sorry about that. Have had some testy exchanges on this topic in the past. You are right about the role of families. The Senate committee report (and one of the relevant historical sources) indicates that the professionals were divided on the subject of adoption of the children of single mothers, particularly in the 1960s. Ditto government representatives. hamiltonstone (talk) 07:01, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I've had a thought about that naming issue. Why don't we use the name of the first section in the article, "Adoption practices in twentieth century Australia", as the article title? The way it's used within the article covers the whole topic anyway, and takes all the emotion out of it. HiLo48 (talk) 07:05, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I understand your point, but I think the top level article here is Adoption in Australia, and that covers a range of topics, of which this is just one. So, that article (which is effectively about all adoption practices in twentieth century Australia (and a bit on the 21st C!)) talks about adoption policy, Stolen Generations, changing attitudes, inter-country adoption, known child adoption, etc. Ultimately, I expect one section of that article would have a hatnote referring to this one. Forced adoption is a subset of domestic adoption of unknown size, but has distinctive attributes, hence the separate article. I don't deny it's emotive (including its title), but it's a topic we can hopefully generate a NPOV article on. hamiltonstone (talk) 07:21, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it's a very loaded and misleading title. I'd love to hear the thoughts of others on it. (And not just "It's what the sources say".) HiLo48 (talk) 10:58, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
What other term is commonly used to refer to this issue in reliable sources? In the little reading I have done on the subject I have seen "Forced Adoption" and "The White Stolen Generation". Of the two, "Forced Adoption" is clearly the less charged one. -- LWG talk 23:28, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Maybe it's an OK title, so long as we end up making it clear who was really doing the forcing. See the next thread for clarification on that. It was neither government nor some anonymous authorities. It was the parents of the unmarried mothers (i.e. the grandparents of the adopted kids), under massive pressure from the rest of society. HiLo48 (talk) 04:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
That sounds very plausible, but it isn't really present in the sources to the extent you are describing. There's certainly mention that unwed mothers were considered shameful, but that's only part of the picture as presented by the sources. To say it was entirely instigated by parents would be a misrepresentation of the sources. The article could stand to mention to social pressures involved, but the current content is not inaccurate per the sources. -- LWG talk 02:51, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it's interesting watching this as an example of badly recorded history. Those who sent their unmarried teenage daughters away in the period up to say 1970 would now be at least in their 80s, or obviously deceased in many cases. The embarrassment surrounding firstly their their daughters' pregnancies, and secondly, what they did about them, meant that they didn't talk about it, to anybody. And they won't be talking now. But the community knew. We knew why some girls disappeared from our school. They rarely came back to school. If they returned to the same community they would go and get a job. All part of breaking the connection with the shameful past. Those left to tell the tale are those unmarried mums, who had no say in the matter, and the children who were adopted out. Both groups have a view that's all on one side of the story. It's no surprise that the sources aren't telling the whole story. It's a difficult area for Wikipedia. HiLo48 (talk) 03:38, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

It's time for some honesty[edit]

When will some sanity come to this article, and the story as a whole. All the blame is being laid at the feet of anonymous "authorities", when all the time the adoptions were actually being demanded by society, all the way down to the families of the unmarried mothers. They WANTED the kids to be taken away. The authorities were just doing what the families wanted. These kids weren't stolen at all. Any "forcing" was being done by the families of the teenage mums, because society wouldn't support them. It's time for us all to be honest here. HiLo48 (talk) 03:53, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

I've finally found an article that touches on the truth. Note the sentences saying "She said unmarried mothers spent time at Hartnett House from the turn of the century until 1973. Many were from the country and had been sent away by their families due to the stigma associated with being pregnant and unmarried." And "I am sure some young women were sad but satisfied they had made the right choice for their child." I'm going to work on including this more truthful perspective into the article. HiLo48 (talk) 04:49, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
It's really sad. I've been attacked on my User page as being insensitive for discussing this more accurate view of history, but the attacker won't discuss the matter publicly here. I suspect that the possibly well intentioned misinformation campaign in much of the media recently is really doing more harm than good. HiLo48 (talk) 20:37, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Oh my god, not only were YOU extremely offensive to me, but now you lie to make yourself look like the victim. Wth is wrong with you.--Collingwood26 (talk) 01:59, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

What do you think of that quote and source in my post of 04:49, 10 November 2012 (UTC)? HiLo48 (talk) 02:24, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Here is another article that discusses what really happened. (talk) 06:48, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Against their will?[edit]

An editor removed the phrase "against their wil" from the lede, on the grounds that not all adoptions were against the mother's will. This is a common view in discussing forced adoption but forgets that this WP article is only about those cases where removal was against mothers' wills. It is a definitional term, not an opinion about adoption in the period (though there are certainly such opinions among stakeholders). hamiltonstone (talk) 09:13, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Then you need proof that every adoption referred to or even hinted at in the article was against the mother's will at the time. Such proof does not exist. I can assure you that most of them weren't against the mother's will at the time. The mothers were conforming to society's demands. You will certainly have to remove the figure of 250,000. (talk) 20:03, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure what your trying to say. This article is about a subcategory of adoption: that which was coerced in some way. The title of the article, taken literally, is not perfect but as per previous discussion reflects the prevailing nomenclature. Unless I have misread the article text, it states that there were 250000 approx adoptions in the mid 20th century, or which an unknown proportion involved coercion. This is what the sources (eg. Senate inquiry report; Aust institute of Family Studies) say. Why would one remove this expression of the facts? hamiltonstone (talk) 02:31, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Because it's not a very helpful or precise fact. The 250,000 figure is still in the text anyway, in the section on Adoption practices. It's couched in language that emphasises its uncertainty - "with estimates of around 250,000 being feasible". With an unknown lesser proportion of that guesstimate being the number of the adoptions this article is about, the figure doesn't belong in the lead. HiLo48 (talk) 04:30, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Rabbit Proof Fence[edit]

An editor inserted a link and text relating this subject to rabbit proof fence. As I explained here, removal to institutional care is not the same thing as adoption (or forced adoption) and does not belong in this article. If anyone can point to a reliable source that describes removal into institutional care as forced adoption, can they please identify it here? Thanks. hamiltonstone (talk) 09:38, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

The perils of single newpaper sources[edit]

The text currently states "Babies born to unmarried women were taken from them and adopted by married, usually childless couples". The source states "babies born to unwed women were forcibly taken from them and illegally adopted to infertile couples". This presents a dilemma. On the one hand, the source does not qualify the statement as the WP text does (ie. "usually" childless couples). However, both are wrong. I am not aware of any evidence in the research done on the issue that indicates that the adopting parents were usually infertile or childless. We do not know. If one examines the cases that came before the Senate committee, in those cases where sibling status was known, there are regular stories of people being adopted by parents who also had other children, both adopted and biological. The problem with improving the accuracy and sourcing of the text is that sources don't often include negative statements (eg. adoption was not only by childless couples). So I'm not sure how to improve this, even though I know the unqualified statement in the Calligeros article is incorrect. If anyone else has suggestions, happy to hear. hamiltonstone (talk) 09:48, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

I put that sentence into its current form. It was partly based on my personal knowledge of some cases (yes, OR, for which I don't apologise in this case because, as you say, the sources are poor), but I'll admit to not having read all of the Senate Committee report, and am happy for my wording to be corrected. So, "childless" can go. I am extremely confident that adopting couples would have been married. That was another social requirement of the times. (Just like the necessity to hide pregnant, single teenage daughters.) HiLo48 (talk) 10:04, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the sources agree re married. It was the "childless" and "infertile" (the latter in the source article) that concerned me. We can agree to ditch that, then. hamiltonstone (talk) 00:01, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Best interests?[edit]

Another recent insertion is the following, with a citiation to an opinion piece by conservative social commentator Bettina Arndt: "Because of the stigma attached to being born out of wedlock, and the absence of any financial support for single mothers, the practice of adopting out the babies of unmarried mothers was seen by society at the time as being in the best interests of both them and the children." This is partly true, but presents the subject as though those views about the best interests of the mothers and children - which were indeed held by some - were held by all society at that time. The Senate committee report states "The committee is not convinced that this was the case. Certainly, those attitudes were prominent and expressed in public. However, as is the case today, societal views were divided and the remedies to problems of adoption arrangements identified by bureaucrats and legislators represented a single solution, not the only solution, to those issues...ministers and officials did want to ensure that such coercion did not take place." The divided views within society at the time are starkly illustrated by the conversation amongst attorneys-general and recorded in the Senate report (chapter 7, para 7.55). Elsewhere, the report documents the dissenting views of professional social workers, and others. Arndt is one of a number of contemporary conservatives (others include Jeremy Sammut and possibly MP Bronwyn Bishop) who push a particular, minority, view regarding current events, and who do so largely by avoiding making reference to the current research. At some point I will try and come up with an alternative formulation that does relay the points made in the Arndt piece, but in a way more closely reflecting the sources. hamiltonstone (talk) 10:20, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

I think it's a mistake to dismiss Arndt's views as those of a conservative commentator. On this matter I see her, as someone close to my own age, writing more as a contemporary observer of events at the time of the "forced" adoptions. (Oooh, I hate that word "forced".) I cannot recall anybody saying that it was the wrong thing to do at the time. I wasn't paying attention to attorneys-general, and doubt that they represented the broader view of society much at all. (Do they now?) As for social workers, I be interested in how many existed back then. Most of the unmarried pregnant teenagers wouldn't have had one come near them. Guidance, such as it was, came from family, priests, and family friends. HiLo48 (talk) 21:54, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't dismiss her because of her conservatism, rather her conservatism may explain her position, which she takes by avoiding the published analysis of the policies of the period. You may not recall anyone saying it was the wrong thing to do, nor may she - the whole point, though, is that the reliable sources document that there were people saying it, and those sources should prevail over Arndt's personal opinion or memory. No-one disputes that the stigma, advice of priests, pressure from parents etc was prevalent - it was: but it was not universal, and we should avoid turns of phrase that imply that it was. hamiltonstone (talk) 11:56, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I would suggest that for many unmarried pregnant teenage girls, the ONLY influences were "the stigma, advice of priests, pressure from parents etc". While there may have been broader debate in some circles, it didn't deliver real alternatives to most of the "victims". As for "No-one disputes...", a read of some comments up above might suggest that some do. HiLo48 (talk) 21:01, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

"See also" link to "Rabbit-proof fence" book and film[edit]

<Quote>Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence — a novel and film about the kidnapping and forced adoption, as wards of the state, of mixed-blood aborigine children in Western Australia<Unquote>.

  • The book and film both describe quite clearly how the children were kidnapped against the wishes of both parents; Molly was kidnapped a second time—(the Wikipedia article says this was) nine years later, when she was aged 23, i.e. an adult, and apparently married and with two young daughters—and forcibly relocated, but walked the 1,500 miles back home a second time. This second kidnapping would not have been possible had she not been treated as a ward of the state—i.e. treated as mentally incompetent, and with no relatives to look after her, and so adopted by the state. I recall the film as saying that this kidnapping and forced relocation of mixed-blood children continued in Western Australia until about 1960—about the same time as the forced or pressured adoption of children of unmarried (white) mothers also ended. The ward article explains that a ward is someone placed under the legal protection of a guardian, essentially the same as adoption (but even worse than adoption, because "ward" status—not permitted to decide to marry, vote, or buy/sell property, etc.—can sometimes still apply when the ward reaches adult age).
  • The book "Professional Savages" (ISBN 978-0300102475) (mentioned here) gives another fascinating earlier story of an extended family of aborigines (about 14 in all) who were kidnapped by an American circus and exhibited as "fierce boomerang-throwing cannibals" (I recall) in Europe and America. Apparently, when the circus returned to Australia, two of the (four?) survivors escaped. The circus asked the police to capture and return "their" aborigines. The book's author, anthropologist Roslyn Poignant, was awarded an honorary Ph.D for her work. She dedicated this book to her husband; (she wrote it after his death). LittleBen (talk) 13:19, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
All true, but these are not case(s) of "forced adoption". To include them here you would need to show either that the children were adopted out to families and/or that the literature on forced adoption made reference to the case as one of forced adoption. If you can find such examples, please do introduce them. But being made a ward of the state against the parents' will does not fall within the definitino of forced adoption. Regards, hamiltonstone (talk) 23:59, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • To repeat yet again, "ward" is defined as "placed under the protection of a legal guardian", and the legal guardian was the state governor. The parents have no further say, the legal guardian is essentially the new "parent". Forced adoption is essentially the same as forced removal of the child from its parent(s) and adoption—only by the state, in this case. Let's get a third opinion, shall we? I think that this is appropriate for a "See also" because of the similarities (government and church initiated removal of child from its parent(s)). You could also look at Adoption in Australia#Stolen generations, which this article should surely be linked to, or merged with. Also this and this (Rudd apology at bottom of article included because of similarity of topics). LittleBen (talk) 01:59, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't adoption, of any kind. HiLo48 (talk) 06:25, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
LittleBen, you are avoiding one of the central points here: none of the sources make this link. You have an opinion of your own, and argue the case, that these things are related. I understand those parallels. But they are defined differently, and the reliable sources define them differently, so they are not relevant. I have no objection to a 'see also' link from the point of view of common aspects to the apologies or the concept of forcible removal. hamiltonstone (talk) 12:39, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Searchtool-80%.png Response to Third Opinion Request:
Disclaimers: I am responding to a third opinion request made at WP:3O. I have made no previous edits on Forced adoption in Australia and have no known association with the editors involved in this discussion. The third opinion process (FAQ) is informal and I have no special powers or authority apart from being a fresh pair of eyes. Third opinions are not tiebreakers and should not be "counted" in determining whether or not consensus has been reached. My personal standards for issuing third opinions can be viewed here.

Opinion: The "See also" link to the book and novel seem appropriate to me. The relevant Wikipedia rule is set out in the WP:SEEALSO section of the Wikipedia Manual of Style. "The links in the 'See also' section do not have to be directly related to the topic of the article, because one purpose of 'See also' links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics." Both subject matters involve governmental mucking about with the natural parent-child relationship in Australia in the mid-20th Century. That's certainly enough to be at least tangential. If there were a plethora of see also links such that the tail of see also's was about to wag the article-text dog perhaps some winnowing-out of tangential vs direct or more-tangential vs less-tangential would be needed, but at this point that's not even close to being an issue, so the link should stay.

What's next: Once you've considered this opinion click here to see what happens next.—TransporterMan (TALK) 15:29, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

We're not telling the whole story[edit]

It's good that we now have a definitional paragraph telling everyone what forced adoption is. However, I wonder if we're really telling the whole story here.

The article says "Forced adoption refers to instances of adoption where a child was taken from a mother against the mother's will..." I am certain that in many equally unfortunate cases another description applied. It's those cases where the mother's opinion was never sought, nor expressed. Typically, if a 15 year old girl got pregnant, she was simply told by parents, priest, nuns, aunties, older sisters, etc. what was going to happen. She would be sent away to another area to have her baby, which would then be adopted out. Unlike today, 15 year old girls back then were far less likely to object to what they were told was going to happen. So the adoptions were not against the mothers' will at the time. The mothers would have simply had no say. Because they too wanted the problem (pregnancy) "solved", they just went along with society's expectations. It was later that they realised they were missing something valuable. Our definition excludes this group. HiLo48 (talk) 04:02, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Agree with that description, except that it was not necessarily later - everything you have said could have been the case, but they might (not always) have realised at the time there was a problem but not communicated that at the time - for the exact reasons you correctly describe. I have made a revision in response to your point. hamiltonstone (talk) 04:19, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Excellent. HiLo48 (talk) 04:24, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Article lead[edit]

I have removed a great string of references from the lead. The lead is supposed to be a summary of the body of the article. Any references should be in the body and there should be nothing in the lead that is not mentioned in the body. - Nick Thorne talk 09:06, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Additionally, the lead badly needs to be re-written and content not contained elsewhere in the article moved out of the lead into the main body. Actually, this entire article would benefit from a re-write. - Nick Thorne talk 09:13, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

I know but HiLo wanted lots of links in there at the beginning if your going to blame anyone blame him. I will reinstate my edit but you can add the links to wherever you see fit.--Empire of War (talk) 09:52, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

No, I didn't want lots of links in there at the beginning. And without a quality, reliable source for that content later in the article, it doesn't belong at all. HiLo48 (talk) 11:11, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
EoW, firstly they are not "links" they are references. Refs do not belong in the lead which is supposed to be a summary of the articles main body. Any references should be in that body. <Secondly, there should never be anything mentioned in the lead that is not covered in the article main body - remember it is a summary. Thirdly, you should not have a great long list of references at one point. Generally one is enough, two sometimes, usually when you need to provide a reference for different things in the same sentence, three is probably the limit. Never ten in a row like you had before.

Also you need to stop edit warring over this - beware 3RR. - Nick Thorne talk 13:04, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

The white stolen generations is mentioned in the "body", in fact its what the whole article is about. Its just another name for forced adoption in Australia, therefore it doesn't need anything written about "it" as it covers the same thing.--Empire of War (talk) 13:11, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm not edit warring, HiLo asked for references and I gave them, he then undid my edit on the basis that they are not "credible" enough despite several being in major newspapers and Australian government sources. If anything HiLo is edit warring on his supposed bias.--Empire of War (talk) 13:14, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

The first sentence read very oddly. Forced adoption is a practice, not a description for a set of people. --NeilN talk to me 21:51, 7 March 2014 (UTC)