Australian VN Adoptee Archives
BACKGROUND TO THE ADOPTED VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY IN AUSTRALIA
According to the Dept. of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, their 1998 census revealed approximately 250 to 500 children were brought in by Operation babylift 1975 while a number of other individual adoptions from Vietnam also took place prior to this date. Thus, Operation Babylift and the end of the Vietnam War in April 1975 are major symbolic events and parts of the adopted Vietnamese community’s overall history, but all of the orphans both prior to and during 1975 now make up a much bigger and more inclusive community.
- Figures vary for example J Harper “Intercountry Adoption of Older Children in Australia” (1986) 10 Adoption and Fostering: 27 estimates that 292 children were airlifted and that 119 were adopted by NSW families.
- Coughlan, J. (1989) “A Comparative Study of the Demographic Profile of Australia’s Indochinese-born Communities: 1976 – 1986”, Australia Asia Papers, 50, Centre for Study of Australia-Asian Relations, Griffith University, QLD places the figures at approximate 537 incoming Vietnamese orphans
- Harvey, I. J. (1980). Australian Parents for Vietnamese Children: A Social & Psychological Study of Inter-Country Adoption. Unpublished MA Thesis, Macquarie University, Sydney places figures for NSW at approximately 292 incoming Vietnamese orphans on the Babylift and just over 50 prior to 1975 in private adoptions.
- In Dai Le’s documentary Operation Babylift her research posits that 214 children were a part of the airlifts which took place on two commercial aeroplanes in April 1975.
Also see: www.agd.nsw.gov.au/lrc.nsf/pages/R81CHP10
Operation babylift memoirs by Chris Sturt can be found at the Chris Sturt – Memories of North Head Quarantine Station AVI page.