History of Within These Walls









What is Adoption?




It was considered to be the answer for those that are unable to have children, the real truth is to bring up children with falsified birth certificates so they never know their true roots.

The adoption industry does not operate in a manner that is compassionate to all those involved parents of the adoptee or the adopter who when they face with the horror of what happen to the mothers and fathers of the adoptee that they were told were given away and that not the truths!





For us adoptees who are told “We know that losing your family and identity is hard.

”You should be grateful. And this leaves you with fear that no one should live with!

You don’t deserve to be treated the same as non-adoptees.”





My fears and insecurities with being adopted were put to the back of my mind, in my life as I was growing up and then getting married where I hoped to be just like any other human being….not an Alien. (When I became a “Mrs” I had a historical starting point in my life; before this point my world was another world - a black world of no light.)

Until I had my first child and then all hell broke loose and my fears came to the surface again.

What had I done… could I have married my brother, my cousin???

By law not related, but by blood we had no way of knowing.





So with words of encouragement from Bruce my husband I started on the path, writing to government departments and getting nowhere! The same old story: non adoptees could do their genealogy tree but not me, an adoptee!

I then came across the internet. Thank goodness that was invented ….

I looked and found a book on DNA genealogy.





This was about 2006-7 and from there my journey began on this new thing called DNA testing, with all it could and couldn’t do. With each year, new ways of using it were being developed, but the cost was way over my pennies: about $6,000. All I could do was wait and watch, reading every bit of information I could get my hands on, and finding still more as the science of DNA testing evolved.





Eventually, the technology of DNA testing had become sufficiently advanced that the cost dropped into the reach of ordinary people, and the development of specialised algorithms devoted to family research meant that the possibility of finding DNA matches within the growing databases was now a reality. I submitted my first DNA sample to be matched.





And then there was Facebook. I found through other groups people that became good friends. I was asked by a few to open a group, as for the name all I could think of was a poem I had partly written and as we all were affected by adoption I called this group “Within These Walls”.





As we talked I found myself telling my new friends what I had found out about DNA testing and how for the first time in my life I had light coming into my life. It was empowering me to overcome the barriers. Instead of the insecurities that are repeatedly given in this day and age by the adoption agency representatives and government departments across Australia, I am now in control!





Of my family history as told by my own DNA I was not an Alien I am human and I had a past!

A few fellow adoptees encouraged me to put what I had learned to the “Senate Committee on Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.” I send it on 17/12/2011 and four days later 21/12/2012 it was up on the Government website as Submission N0 391.





On the 26.12.2011 I opened the Facebook DNA site “Australians Affected By Adoption Reconnecting By DNA,” with a few of my DNA matches and friends from “Within These Walls.” My new dear cousins both in the USA, Canada, UK and here in Australia were very welcoming, sharing what they had in terms of information.

But there is more to my background: my Mum was also an adoptee and by the looks of things so is my Dad. So much wrong information coming from the department. Mum’s sister, my true aunt (she is only eight years older than me) did a DNA test, to help confirm she is a half-sister to my Mum. (More on this later)





One of my friends was looking at my list of DNA family matches I had on Facebook and said to me “you have cousin named Vowles in England; that’s my father’s mother’s surname”. It is not a particularly common surname and my friend’s father was from England, so he did the DNA test and yep he’s a match to me, so my dear friend became a cousin and soon I had more friends doing the test and more cousins!

I was starting to feel like I belonged somewhere. I was home!





Then we had a meeting where we decided that this was just too good to keep to ourselves. Plans were put in place to become a Non-Profit Organisation, which happened in December 2012.

We are in the process of applying for government funding so others could get their DNA testing done and get programmes up and running to assist people with this.





(At this point in time most costs have been covered by my husband Bruce Small and I, with some of the cost of printing our information booklets covered by membership fees).

Membership forms and our Constitution are available from our two Facebook groups as well as from this website.






 Kerri Small