Welcome to the Clova Publications Website   




This web site was created to provide access to the work of


Evelyn Burns Robinson, OAM


                                                                                                                               Master of Arts degree, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1970

                                                                                                                              Post Graduate Certificate in Education, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 1984

                                                                                                                             Bachelor of Social Work degree, Flinders University, South Australia, 1996

                                                                                                                             Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, Adelaide College of TAFE, South Australia, 2010


On the 26th of January, 2017, Evelyn was named in the Australia Day Honours List


for her service to the community, in particular to family members separated by adoption.

Evelyn received an Order of Australia medal.




Evelyn is an unaffiliated adoption activist.

She is also an internationally acclaimed author, consultant, educator and counsellor,

who has been involved in educating the public about the long term

outcomes of adoption separation since 1996.


Evelyn is the author of 


Adoption and Loss - The Hidden Grief


(first published in 2000, revised in 2003)


Adoption and Recovery - Solving the mystery of reunion


(published in 2004)


Adoption Reunion - Ecstasy or Agony?


(published in 2009).

Adoption Separation - Then and now

(published in 2010).


Evelyn's books are available on-line from:







Amazon UK



and from other on-line booksellers


and can be ordered from many book stores around the world.


They are also available as e-books.

You can visit Evelyn's Amazon page at


Clova Publications is able to

provide copies of

 Adoption Reunion -

Ecstasy or Agony?

 at a special discount price to

individuals and organisations

 within Australia.

Please contact us for details.


On a personal level, Evelyn has been involved with post-adoption support services since 1989

and has served the adoption community as a volunteer since 1993.


At a professional level, Evelyn has been providing counselling


for adults whose lives have been affected by adoption separation


and training for those who work with them since 1996.


Evelyn was employed as Counsellor/Co-ordinator for

ARMS (The Association Representing Mothers Separated from their children by adoption)

in South Australia from 1999 until 2003.

Her clients were mainly mothers who had been separated

from their children by adoption, but she also worked with adults

who had been adopted as children and other family members.

There are particular challenges and responsibilities for community-based organisations

which are managed by volunteers, when they decide to employ staff.

Evelyn was disappointed to find that, in her final year of working with ARMS,

a change of management introduced a very antagonistic atmosphere into the organisation.

Evelyn realised that ARMS was no longer fulfilling its obligation

to provide her with a safe and respectful work environment

and so she made the difficult decision to resign from her position.

Evelyn was then self-employed in 2004, as an independent counsellor,

before being employed as a social worker/counsellor in other

areas until she retired from paid employment in 2013.

Evelyn has provided training for professionals involved in post-adoption work,

conference papers on adoption and information sessions for members of the adoption community in 


Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Romania and Korea.


Evelyn was the first author, in 1996, to link disenfranchised grief with adoption,

with her ground-breaking paper, Grief Associated with the Loss of Children to Adoption,

which she expanded into her first book, Adoption and Loss -The Hidden Grief.


Since that time, the concept that adoption loss leads to a grief which is disenfranchised


has come to be widely accepted by those involved in post-adoption counselling.

Evelyn has also advocated on behalf of the adoption community for many years,

writing letters to newspapers and to politicians about adoption issues.


Evelyn has taken a DIY approach, in that she has

obtained the relevant knowledge and experience

and then written and published her books

in order to share with others. 

Reading Evelyn's books and articles will give you first-hand understanding

of her thoughts and feelings about the adoption separation experience.

Evelyn has for many years promoted legal guardianship,

instead of adoption, for children who are unable

to live safely with their families.

When it is designed in a child-focussed manner,

legal guardianship can have all the advantages of adoption

with none of the disadvantages.




On the our story page, you can read about how and why Evelyn created Clova Publications.


On the articles page, you can read the introductions to Evelyn's books as well as a

selection of articles, written by Evelyn between 2001 and 2010. If you would like a copy of

any article in Word format, please contact us and we will be happy to e-mail it to you. 


On the presentations page you will find details of the many presentations which have

enthralled Evelyn's audiences around the world between 1995 and 2012.  


On the picture gallery page, you can see pictures of Evelyn with friends and colleagues

in many countries. 


Evelyn is always happy to hear from those who are interested in her work. You will

find details of how to contact her through Clova Publications on the contact us page.

Please send a brief message and Evelyn will respond personally.


We hope that you will enjoy the Clova Publications web site.

We are always happy to hear from those who visit our site.







In August, 2015, Evelyn was interviewed by Informed Planet Radio,

about how she researched her family history

and discovered her connection to past kings of Scotland - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7wsfnZokGI

In May, 2015, Evelyn was interviewed about her adoption work on Informed Planet Radio -



On the 26th of April, 2015, an article was published in the Sunday Mail in Scotland,

in which Evelyn called on the Scottish Parliament

to follow Australia's example and apologise for past adoption separations.



In March, 2015, Evelyn was invited to attend the launch of the National Archives exhibition entitled

"Without Consent". The exhibition was launched by former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard,

on the second anniversary of the

National Apology for Forced Adoptions.

Evelyn was introduced to Ms Gillard at the launch (see Picture Gallery page)


Meg Hale’s book, Mothers in ARMS tells the story of how mothers in South Australia

who had been separated from their children by adoption formed a support group

which was responsible for a ground-breaking change in legislation.

The passage of the1988 Adoption Act made South Australia the first place in the Western world

to give mothers and adults who had been adopted as children equal rights to identifying information about each other.

Mothers in ARMS is now available from Wakefield Press (http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/).

It will also be available soon as an e-book.


Meg has written a book which is interesting and engaging and which celebrates the way

in which mothers supported each other, empowered themselves and brought their issues

to the attention of politicians and the community in general.

Evelyn has fond memories of the positive aspects of the self-help experience

and is very glad that Meg has produced this historical record

of an organisation which brought about the legislation in South Australia

which has set an example to the rest of the world.

As a result of her association with ARMS,

Evelyn has gone on to assist many people around the world and to advise politicians on adoption-related issues.



In March, 2014, along with other members of the Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group,

Evelyn was invited to be present in the House of Representatives

and in the Senate, in Canberra, the capital of Australia,

when speeches were made in reference to the anniversary of

the National Apology for Forced Adoptions.

Evelyn was also present at the unveiling of

the Apology Parchment which will be on permanent display

in Parliament House and at the launch of the

Forced Adoptions History Project


Evelyn's contributions can be read in the 'Experiences' section. 


In 2013 Evelyn was appointed to the

Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group.

Nine members of the adoption community from around Australia

were appointed to the group, to

advise the federal government on implementing

the commitments which accompanied the adoption apology.

Evelyn was also invited to be a member of an

'expert group' to assist Vanish, in Victoria, to develop

 a training programme to increase awareness of adoption

issues among professionals. Interviews with Evelyn were

included as part of the training materials.


On the 21st of March, 2013, the Australian Prime Minister

issued a formal apology to all those


in Australia whose lives had been adversely affected


by past adoption policies and practices.

Evelyn was consulted by the Federal Government


and assisted them in formulating the apology.

She is proud to have been able to assist in

converting the private pain of mothers

who have been separated from their children by adoption

into a very public issue.

Evelyn attended the apology with her son, Stephen,

as invited guests of the Attorney-General's Department.

There is a photograph taken on the day

in Evelyn's picture gallery.

Evelyn first publicly requested an apology for past adoptions

from the Federal Government in a letter to her local

newspaper, The Sunday Mail (in South Australia). Her letter

was published on the 8th of June, 1997. It was a long wait,

but a worthwhile one.


Evelyn and her son, Stephen, were interviewed

by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

for a current affairs programme called

The 7.30 Report.

The programme was broadcast on

Friday, 15th March, 2013.

The segment was entitled:

"Women who fought for adoption rights"

It can be viewed here -





The 10th Australian Adoption Conference

took place in Melbourne on the 22nd & 23rd of October, 2012.

Evelyn presented a paper entitled Sinking the Mother Ship and contributed

as a member of a panel on the 23rd.

The conference papers were published on-line

in the Australian Journal of Adoption.


On the 29th of March, 2012, the South Australian government announced

that they would make a formal apology to those whose lives

had been adversely affected by past adoption policies and practices.

The apology took place on the 18th of July, 2012 at 11.00 am Adelaide time.

Evelyn was present for the apology and was accompanied

by her husband, her daughter and her son, Stephen, who was adopted.

You may view the apology playback at:


You may also receive a DVD of the apology at no cost by e-mailing:


Evelyn represented the community as a member of the adoption apology working group,

which advised the Premier and the Minister responsible for adoptions.

The Premier, Jay Weatherill, spoke very highly of Evelyn

at the 'after-apology' event and presented her with

a lovely floral arrangement

to thank her for her valuable contribution.

Evelyn has lived in South Australia since 1982

and has been actively involved with post-adoption work there since 1989.

She has provided counselling and support to those

whose lives have been affected by adoption separation

and information and education to members of the general community.

Evelyn has contributed in many ways for many years and

the South Australian apology is an indication of the effectiveness of her efforts.

You can read about the apology here:


You can read the speeches here:


After the apology, US author and activist Mirah Riben  paid tribute to Evelyn's work:



In June, 2012, Evelyn was interviewed by Tricia Fronek for podsocs,

which is a web site of podcasts for social workers.

There are some very interesting interviews there.

This is the link to Evelyn's interview.



There is now a

Movement for an Adoption Apology (MAA)

in the United Kingdom.

Evelyn is their Honorary Consultant.



The Australian Senate Enquiry into the Commonwealth Contribution


 to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices


was presented on  the 29th of February, 2012.

You may read the report via the following link:



In February, 2012, Evelyn was invited to contribute to the

National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Experiences

conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Evelyn also submitted a copy of Adoption Separation - Then and now.

You can read about the study here:



In October, 2011, Evelyn was invited to give evidence to the Australian Senate Enquiry into

the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.

Evelyn also submitted a copy of Adoption Separation - Then and now.

The report was presented on the 29th of February, 2012.

The report can be viewed here - http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=reports.htm

You can learn more about the enquiry and read Evelyn's contribution here -



On the 27th of May, 2011, Evelyn was a keynote speaker

at an international conference at the prestigious

Ewha University in Seoul, South Korea.

Her paper was entitled

"Adoption in Australia".

The university published Evelyn's paper

in both Korean and English.

While in Korea, Evelyn met with those who

are working hard to put a stop to the

loss of so many Korean children

to other countries, to change attitudes to

motherhood and especially to single parents

in Korea and to assist those adults who

were adopted out of Korea as children

and have now returned.


In the Western Australian Parliament,


on the 19th of October, 2010,

an apology was delivered

to those who had been adversely affected


by past adoption policies and practices.

This was the first time in the world

that a government apologised for adoptions.

Evelyn was present for this important event and was

accompanied by her son, Stephen,

from whom she was separated by adoption.



In September, 2010, Evelyn presented a paper

at a symposium on inter-country adoption

which took place at Monash University in Victoria, Australia.

Her paper was entitled:

Are we creating another stolen generation?

You can read Evelyn's presentation and listen to it at



In May 2010 Evelyn contributed to the Monash University

History of Adoption Project.

Evelyn also submitted a copy of Adoption Separation - Then and now.

You can read about the project and read Evelyn's contribution here -



In December 2009, an on-line journal was created


through the National Library of Australia.


It was called The Australian Journal of Adoption.


Evelyn contributed several articles.

It is now archived here:








In September 2009, Evelyn's knowledge and expertise were


recognised by the Australian government.


A special position was created for her on the


National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group (NICAAG).


This group met on a regular basis to provide advice to


 the Australian Attorney-General.

Evelyn was a member of NICAAG until March, 2012.

She is the only mother who has lost a child to adoption

to have been appointed to NICAAG, which ceased to exist in 2013.





In October, 2008, Evelyn's first two books were reviewed in


 The Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering (Volume 10.2)


which is published in Canada.




In September 2008, a speech was delivered, In Praise of Evelyn.




On the 18th of July 2008 Evelyn presented a paper at the 


8th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement


in Contemporary Society in Melbourne, Australia.


680 delegates attended the conference from 17 countries.


Her paper was entitled


Disenfranchised Grief


and Adoption Separation


Conference papers are available on the web site of

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement.




An article by Evelyn was published in the Autumn 2007


(Volume 10, number 1) edition of


Grief Matters,


The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement.


The article is entitled:


Long term outcomes of losing a child through adoption:


The impact of disenfranchised grief.



   It's very good to know that adoption loss and grief


are being acknowledged by those involved in grief work. 


  A new government-funded


Post Adoption Support Service (PASS) 


opened in Adelaide in August 2006.


Evelyn continues to provide training for their counsellors and, through PASS,


training for counsellors and other professionals


throughout South Australia.  



Evelyn's dream is that Scotland will soon follow


South Australia's example.



Evelyn was invited by Mirah Riben, author of 
shedding light on ... THE DARK SIDE OF ADOPTION
to write the foreword for her second book,   
The Stork Market 
America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry, 
which has now been published
Evelyn's foreword is available on the articles page.
"The Stork Market" can be purchased from 




In February, 2006, Evelyn was invited
by the Romanian government
to be keynote speaker
at a conference in Bucharest.
The theme of the conference was
The Rights of the Child.
Evelyn presented her message
about adoption loss and recovery
 to an international audience
of 250 invited participants.
A report of her trip is available



In 2002 an article by Evelyn entitled


Post-Adoption Grief Counselling


was published in Adoption and Fostering,


the journal of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF)


Volume 26, Number 2, Summer, 2002. 


Unfortunately some unauthorised alterations


were made to the article


and an apology was issued


 in the following edition of Adoption and Fostering.





In 2002, Evelyn contributed a chapter to a book entitled

Adoption: Opposing Viewpoints

edited by Roman Espejo and 

published by Greenhaven Press, San Diego, California.


Between 1997 and 2001 Evelyn was a guest lecturer at

Flinders University in South Australia,

presenting workshops to social work students

on the grief and loss associated with

adoption separation.

In 2002, Evelyn's workshop was included

in the Flinders University

on-line social work degree programme.


Evelyn's first book, Adoption and Loss - The Hidden Grief, was reviewed in

Australian Social Work, Vol 54, Issue 2, June, 2001.



 First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
(sometimes attributed to Gandhi)



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