Head Of Forced Adoption Inquiry Faces Mounting Pressure To Step Down

The chair of a parliamentary committee looking into past forced adoption practices in WA is facing calls from a group of adoptee campaigners to step down from the inquiry.

It’s been revealed Peter Foster – a WA politician who chairs the state’s Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs – used an overseas commercial surrogate to have a child.

Forced adoption survivor Jen McRae believes it presents a conflict of interest, as similar issues can be faced by children who were forcibly adopted and children born via commercial surrogacy.

LiSTNR News has spoken with Ms McRae, and other adoptees who claim both children of forced adoption and commercial surrogacy can experience issues around trauma, attachment and identity.

Commercial surrogacy is illegal across Australia.

“The inquiry must be free of any personal influences or perspectives which are in direct conflict with the parliamentary investigation,” says Ms McRae.

“If the leader of that inquiry is comfortable with newborn removals within the modern context, we have a major conflict of interest.”

The group also believes adoptees might not feel comfortable speaking in person given Mr Foster’s personal connection to such a similar issue, which could draw the integrity of the inquiry into question.

LiSTNR News does not suggest Mr Foster has broken any rules.

A new original audio docuseries from the LiSTNR News team Secrets We Keep: Shame, Lies & Family will delve into past forced adoption practices in Australia. The first three episodes of the nine-part season are available now on LiSTNR.

Mr Foster was contacted yesterday for comment and did not respond before deadline.