Shane copy

Still celebrating reunion.

Still celebrating reunion.

About Us

In April 2016 he found me with the help of JigSaw Queensland. I read his letter to me on the evening of 1st May 2016, and we finally reunited on 3rd May 2016.

He was 44 years old, and we have been in constant daily communication ever since.

Two days before Christmas 2016 he finally told his adoptive parents that he had found me. He had been building up the strength to tell them for a long time. They initially acted happy for him, but just before New Year they disowned him… twice. Early in 2017 they threatened to sue him … apparently for writing an anonymous blog which was about his feelings and not anything about them.

We are “lucky” in that we’ve found each other. Unfortunately there was no luck involved in the rest of the story. We cannot change the past, but forgive/forget??? Not in this lifetime. Too many things need to be changed before I can even start that process. Far too many lives have been ruined beyond comprehension. Move forward? Yes definitely. Nothing will stop me from continuing to tell his and my truth. People need to know about these atrocities, so it never happens again. My son deserves recognition for his trauma and loss, and he’s going to get it.


Hello, my name is Shane Bouel,

What we need from you! 

The general public has no comprehension of the level of trauma that adoption causes, only adoptees and birth mothers know. We stand united against the fairy tale narrative of adoption. Public awareness and access to information is sparse, poorly distributed and often relied on chance. Misperceptions about adoption and resulting stereotypes were common across the globe and still are today. We hope the articles and interviews linked below inform you of the truth behind adoption.

Seek to actively increase your understanding.
If you are reading this and have an issue with how or why adoptees or mothers search for their truth.

Ethics in adoption is an oxymoron. The proof is in society’s inability to support the truth of adoptee posts.

When adoptees challenge the idea of the perfect scenario because of the trauma we suffer far out-ways the promise of a better life. 

We are used as plot thickeners and villains in our own story!

People fight against the will of the very thing that they “should” have sworn to “love and protect”! The child! Us! It’s quite psychotic and at the very least pathetic!

Go look in the mirror and ask yourself why YOU have a problem with it. You may just stand to grow in personal understanding and acceptance once you face your own demons and beliefs. Don’t inflict them onto someone else that not only does not deserve it but did not ask to be put in this situation called adoption!


We've now been in reunion for 6 Years!


531 Months. OR 2312 Weeks. OR 16187 Days. OR 1398553200 Seconds.

Cut Off Genes Podcast Interviews

About Cut Off Genes: Ever wondered what consumer DNA testing can do for you- beyond telling you your ethnicity? Are you an adoptee- or someone who has an unknown parent or relative? Do you love Genealogy? You’re in the right place. Join Julie DIxon Jackson and Renee Colvert as they attempt to guide you through what it takes to use DNA to break down brick walls, solve mysteries- or find your “people”!

That's Live Interview

Our Reunion

Interview by Rebecca Levingston ABC Radio Brisbane

Courier-Mail - 9 July 2022

And we were also interviewed for an article in the Courier-Mail

Queenslanders are still feeling the pain of forced adoptions

Michael Madigan, The Courier-Mail

EVERY evening Lesley Mitchell relishes the chance to say “’good night son’’ to the little boy she was forced to give up for adoption 47 years ago.

“We chat almost every day, and at least reach out every night just to say good night,’’ Mitchell said this week as she prepared to mark the seventh anniversary of the Queensland Government’s Apology for Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.

“That’s something I never thought I’d have the privilege of doing. Just a simple ‘good night son’ makes all the difference to me.’’

The seventh anniversary will be marked this Wednesday with a special ceremony and morning tea event starting at 9.30am at the Forced Adoption Apology Memorial Site in the Roma Street Parkland.

Lesley Mitchell and son Shane who were forced apart by adoption but are now reunited.

The event is being co-ordinated by the Queensland Post Adoption Working Committee comprising of The Benevolent Society’s Post Adoption Support Queensland (PASQ), ALAS Adoption Loss Adult Support Inc, the Association for Adoptees Inc, Jigsaw Queensland, Origins Queensland and Adoption and Permanent Care Services Queensland.

It was on November 27, 2012 that the then Queensland premier, Campbell Newman, delivered a powerful apology to the mothers who suffered under forced adoption policies.

“To the mothers whose babies were taken and hidden from them, and who were misled, deceived, threatened or forced to relinquish their babies, we say sorry,’’ Newman told the Queensland Parliament.

“You were denied a voice, dignity and care and, in many cases, the fulfilment of your pregnancy was turned into anguish.

“We regret the untruths that were told to you and about you, and any illegal acts that were perpetrated upon you.

Lesley Mitchell, who was a victim of forced adoption.

“Today we say that you need not suffer in silence any more.’’

The silence may have ended but, for many, the suffering continues.

It is difficult for many in 2019 to believe, but until the Supporting Mother’s Benefit was introduced in Australia in 1973 it was common for unwed mothers to be forced to adopt out their child.

A 2010 report to the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs found forced adoption had lifelong consequences for women, their children and extended family members.

Yet, with national statistics only compiled from 1969-70 onwards, it is difficult to reliably calculate the total number of adoptions which have occurred across Australia.

Since 1969, rates of adoption of Australian-born children by non-related persons was highest in 1970-71 with a rapid decline through to the early 1990s before stabilising.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies now reports that one in 15 Australians are affected in some way by the past practices of closed adoption.

“We know that many past adoption policies and practices continue to impact people’s lives today,” said Katharine McLean, The Benevolent Society’s Team Leader of Child and Family Services Brisbane North.

Premier Campbell Newman signs the official apology at parliament house. Picture: Jono Searle

“Acknowledging these mothers, fathers, adopted people, and other family members is important.

“Our event offers them an opportunity to commemorate the State Government Apology and continue their journey towards wholeness and healing.”

Mitchell, who became pregnant in 1971 and gave birth to Shane in early 1972, had just turned 19 when she learnt she was to become a mother.

“I had just turned 19, and my mother was already struggling to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table,’’ she recalled.

Through her pregnancy there was never the slightest hint she could keep her baby but there was also no offer of assistance or support.

“Friends donated food, and literally on a regular basis another piece of furniture was sold including my mother’s beloved piano.’’

After her baby Shane was taken away she was told he was ill, leaving her to wonder if he had lived or died.

She preferred to believe he was living the “perfect life out there, with a mother and father who could provide him with so much more than I could.’’

“I never searched for Shane,’’ she said.

The Benevolent Society’s Post Adoption Support Queensland team leader Katharine McLean.

“Mothers had been told that we had no right to search for our children, and no right to upset their perfect lives.’’

Mitchell was ordered to sign “relinquishment papers’’ but not asked to read them, nor asked if she understood them.

She actually found out 70 days after the birth that she had 30 days to change her mind, but that was never properly explained.

“I never received copies of any of those papers, no lawyer was present, nor was I advised of my legal rights to sign or not to sign.

“I did not willingly ‘surrender’, ‘relinquish’ or ‘give away’ my son.

“I received no counselling, advocacy or alternative choices.’’


Her son, Shane Bouel, contacted Jigsaw Queensland in 2016 in an attempt to find his mum.

“Once I had an address I wrote a letter and couldn’t wait for a posted letter to arrive so my partner Tracy and I hand-delivered it,’’ Bouel recalls.

“Lesley was not home at the time and she contacted me on messenger a day or two later. ‘’

It was an early morning Monday of a long weekend when the message came through and he was a “raging mess.’’

Report of the Forced Adoptions Inquiry press conference at Parliament House in Canberra.

“I couldn’t operate my device I was in such a state. Tracy read the message to me, there were tears everywhere followed by lots of jumping up and down on the bed.

“We met the next day – I couldn’t wait. We drove up to the Grand View Hotel in Cleveland after work.

“When we first made eye contact there were instant tears, we held each other without a word for probably 15 to 20 minutes before we
could speak.’’

Bouel readily acknowledges reunions of those separated by adoption are not always plain sailing, and he and Mitchell must work actively on the relationship.

“Truthfully it was hard, but we made a pact early on to be open and discuss things through, helping each other heal is a priority.

“There is no preparation, no playbook for how to handle these situations.’’

Openness and determination for both parties is essential and Bouel suspects more troubled reunions might stem from a failure to “come together at the right time with the right mindset.’’

The pair now contact each other daily, and work through the grieving process.

“Society, in general, has no idea of the loss that is experienced from adoption,’’ says Bouel.

“When people lose their way in the process the ensuing psychological and emotional upheaval can be too much to bear, leaving people unprepared, unsupported and out in the cold once again.’’

PM Julia Gillard is mobbed as she leaves the Great Hall after delivering a National Apology on Forced Adoption at Parliament House in Canberra.

Organisations like The Benevolent Society’s Post Adoption Support Queensland are now a point of reference for those people who want to reconnect with those separated by adoption.

As the then-premier Campbell Newman said seven years ago, “you have been heard, you are believed and you are not to blame.’’

“We will continue to listen to, work with, and support you to heal and we are committed to ensuring these policies and practices are not forgotten and are never repeated.’’


Post Adoption Support Queensland can be contacted via 07 3170 4600 or email

Benevolent Society - Post Adoption Services Queensland

On Wednesday the 27th of November 2019. Post Adoption Support Queensland conducted a wonderful gathering to mark a significant event. The 7th anniversary of the Queensland Government Apology for past forced adoption policies and practices.

My natural Mother and I had the honour of speaking at the event to share our story of reunion.

We would both like to thank all involved – PASQ in particular for thinking of us in the first place, giving us the opportunities to tell different parts of our stories.
Special mention for their support – Chris Mundy, Cathy Clancy, Katharine McLean


Apology for Forced Adoption Policies and Practices

27 November 2012

Today this Legislative Assembly acknowledges the wrongs that have been inflicted by past forced adoption policies and practices in Queensland. We acknowledge those who were denied the choice of parenthood, especially the mothers, as well as the fathers and other generations of their families.

To the mothers whose babies were taken and hidden from them, and who were misled, deceived, threatened or forced to relinquish their babies, we say sorry. You were denied a voice, dignity and care and, in many cases, the fulfilment of your pregnancy was turned into anguish. We regret the untruths that were told to you and about you, and any illegal acts that were perpetrated upon you. Today we say that you need not suffer in silence any more.

To the sons and daughters taken from their mothers, we also say sorry and express our deep regret for the trauma that many of you have suffered. We acknowledge that you were denied the right to experience the bonds between you and your natural mother, father, siblings and other family members because of the practices that took place at the time of your birth. We know that for many of you this has caused immeasurable pain.

We acknowledge that this experience has impacted on the lives of fathers, siblings and other family members and to them we are sorry. We acknowledge also the partners, children and others who have supported their loved ones over the years in coping with the grief they endure.

This Legislative Assembly offers its unreserved and sincere apology to all those families forcibly and unlawfully broken apart by these past practices and we acknowledge that your pain and suffering continues. We acknowledge the shame, guilt and secrecy carried by many for too long in silence, and that when it was expressed often it has not been believed.

Today, in this Legislative Assembly, we place on the record for future generations and say to all those affected, you have been heard, you are believed and you are not to blame. We will continue to listen to, work with, and support you to heal and we are committed to ensuring these policies and practices are not forgotten and are never repeated.

To all those affected we say sorry.

Julia Gillard  – 27th Prime Minister of Australia

Audio Submission for - opportunities to improve mental health outcomes for Queenslanders

Dear Ministers

My Name is Shane Bouel

Adopted as Roger Shane Blackwell

Born Paul Alan Morley

And separated from my biological mother on Friday the 7th January 1972 through Australia’s Forced Adoption Practices.

Research indicates that infant separation impacts babies developing brains in many ways. The brain adapts to this constant fear and focuses strictly on survival. Subsequently, the brain overly develops the systems and pathways that anticipate and respond to that specific threat and creates an extremely adverse template that affects all future development.

Adoption is like being hit over the head really really really hard and then being emotionally concussed for life.

The normal person doesn’t have to fight a corrupt social construct believed to be true by the masses for access to their basic human rights and records.

If adoption is so beautiful, then why is there a suicide statistic associated? Adoption is a celebration of loss, and no long term robust research has been ever attempted.

I have been diagnosed with C-Ptsd, Anxiety and Depression.

Even with various treatments over the last 10 years, I’m yet to see any significant development in treatments or experience of practitioners that adequately meets the needs of people affected by adoption. 
 Adoptees have a poor sense of identity and lack of a previously developed “normal” baseline which clouds their way to recovery and healing if this is at all in fact possible, given the magnitude of trauma experienced.

Experience is said to be the architect of the brain, and neurons that fire together wire together. Statistics show that Adoptees are overrepresented in treatment.

The human brain is a reflective organ, so a life-threatening experience at birth hardwires the brain for ongoing negative experiences for life. The trauma cannot be recalled but is remembered in implicit limbic memory systems. Frontal cortex based CBT therapy simply does not work. There is no pre-trauma personality. There is yet to be a category of developmental PTSD. There are usually more than 6 various types of relinquishments throughout an adoptee’s life, sometimes more.

The emotional stability of the human child is 75 per cent dependent on the mother being able to know herself. An emotionally coherent story directly affects connection, directly affects the emotional development of the biological child. For instance, womb bonding, womb hearing, and smell preferences kick in within the first 24 hours of birth.

People who are adopted present to treatment with a front of having it all together. Love addiction is the need to regulate mood by having the positive regard of significant others. This is contradicted with the slow loss of self and the belief that I can’t be myself in relationships because the first time was disastrous living hyper-vigilant on red alert always. Adoptees who talk about their trauma in sessions, instantly forget what was discussed as soon as they leave the session. Somewhere there’s a link between the preverbal wound and the inability to recall a therapy session.

Everything is played out with anxiety and shame and fear with real catastrophic thinking that the next thing that goes wrong will be the end of the world. The adopted population have real difficulties making a decision because decisions are seen as life-threatening. If you’ve had an attachment wound one of the things you haven’t managed to do is to become a separate person.

I cannot stress enough the need for immediate access to psychedelic-assisted therapies, there is absolutely no time to waste. To address the absolute destruction of lack of identity and connection. There must be a dedicated focus on repairing and reinstating a foundation for both. To reset the limbic system using some form of Model for Psychedelic-Assisted Re-Parenting. Including reconnection to biological families if reunions have taken place.

Those affected by forced adoption practices require, no, we demand a fully assisted redress scheme focused on recovery including Centrelink application support. All future Census & All Online Government Surveys

Must include relevant detailed long term adoption questions regarding adoption outcomes and issues. Remove ALL current state gag laws, access to new Integrated Birth Certificates and access to no fault, no fee, no fuss discharges immediately.


Shane Bouel