Medical history kept in the dark

Michael Gray believes adoption laws need further amendments to give adopted people medical information.
Michael Gray believes adoption laws need further amendments to give adopted people medical information. Max Fleet

FOR decades Kepnock man Michael Gray's family medical history has been a complete mystery.

After recent changes to legislation the adopted man thought he was a step closer to finding out what secrets were hidden in his family line.

But documents Mr Gray was provided with in recent weeks had no such impact.

“I was given my birth mother's name, my sister's name and the location and date of my birth,” he said.

“There is not information which provides any kind of medical history.”

But because Mr Gray's biological mother has placed an objection on the file, Mr Gray faces up to two years jail if he uses the information to contact his family.

“For most people who are adopted it is the medical information which is the big thing,” he said.

“I've got a little bub on the way and you start to think what is going to happen if there is some disease hidden in the birth line.”

The current law means that any person who was adopted prior to 1991 has limited access to their biological family history.

Those who were given access to documents had to sign a declaration to say they would not seek their family before the information was provided.

Mr Gray said he would continue to fight for more changes so he was able to find out more about himself, which would benefit his children.

“Despite changes, the law is still a terrible law,” Mr Gray said.

“It means there are important things about my medical history which I'm just not going to know.”

Member for Bundaberg and opposition spokesperson for Child Safety Jack Dempsey said cases like Mr Gray's were all too common.

“It's all about openness and transparency,” he said.

“Like most, it's his medical history which is in Mr Gray's interest and it should not be too difficult to provide that.”

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