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Inner and Outer Journeys


No matter how self-sufficient we think we are, it is a good idea to have a range of supports in place before undertaking an adoption-related search and reunion. In addition to your spouse and family (parents, children and siblings), long-term friends who have been supportive before, Jigsaw Queensland offers peer and professional support and support groups. You can contact us on (07) 3358 6666.


When undertaking a search and reunion it is important to remember that there are two journeys in progress - the inner and outer journey.



The Outer Journey - The Search


The mechanics of the search (as described on the Search Basics page), applying for identifying information, compiling paperwork, searching electoral roles and applying for Births, Deaths and Marriage Certificates. The outer journey can present many challenges such as: 

  • how much information is provided by the department

  • a different name

  • information about the delay between birth and adoption

  • obtaining an original birth certificate

  • a veto/contact statement

  • limited or no information about the birth father

  • limited or no medical information

  • no indications the adoption was forced


The outer journey can often act as a distraction for the inner journey.

The Inner Journey - While You Wait


The inner journey is the emotional journey you will undertake during the search and reunion process. You will experience a range of emotions during this time and it is important to read, talk and seek support and guidance. It’s usual for people to feel anxious and fearful of rejection as they move closer to contact. For many parents the decision to search may bring traumatic memories to the surface. Adoptees may experience a mix of emotions including anger and resentment.


While you wait:

  • make contact with Jigsaw for support, knowledge and guidance

  • read as much as you can about search and reunion, especially personal stories

  • keep reading

  • talk about your feelings

  • ask questions

  • moderate your expectations

  • look at different perspectives, especially from the found person's viewpoint

  • be aware of the impact on those around you

  • prepare yourself for possible reunion

  • take your time

  • consider the other person's situation.


Those affected by adoption can contact our Forced Adoption Support Service on 1800 21 03 13. 

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