This month’s featured image is by Paul Brian Tovey, an adult adoptee who was abused by his adoptive parents as a child. Paul is Researching Reform’s Artist In Residence, which we consider an honour.
Paul now campaigns for adoptees to have the legal right to revert back to their birth identities.
Paul’s paintings reflect his experiences as an adoptee including the effect of his forced adoption on his mental health.
October’s painting is titled, “Enter the Dragon,” which symbolises support for the adoptee community in the form of a ‘truth dragon’. Speaking to Researching Reform, Paul said:
“In the effort to highlight more Adoptee pain and unmet needs which point in themselves to remedial measures, I had some help in designing a new pilot survey which tested whether or not “global adoptee” experience pointed to problems.
In the 2021 UK survey (which was made up of 7 questions) we saw 95 UK adoptees give responses and some showed large amounts of unmet needs for therapy help. We also picked up that 42% were child abused inside their experiences of adoption and 50% wanted revocation eased legally to leave their adoption altogether.
The new 2022 global survey went wider to see what was happening with other adoptees in other countries. The shock is just as bad in the 2022 survey from 304 global respondents as it was from the 2021 survey which had 95 UK Respondents.
A preliminary report of the latest survey will become available because I am mindful of the efforts adoptees put into the survey and I really think they need to see something in summary form. Because the 47 Questions generated hundreds of comments I will carefully examine those for any accidental identifiers and do more follow-up reports. Some questions generated enough comments to be justified as a survey in themselves.
I am an artist and I cope with seeing so much pain by drawing matters and recording them inside an “inner-scape”, where things are bravely faced and are seen to be “Inner-scapeable”. I draw the tears others cannot cry sometimes, but I do.”