Local adoption podcast attracting listeners around the globe
A LOCAL podcast has attracted listeners from around the globe who are searching for support during especially difficult times.
Jigsaw Queensland, which assists people affected by adoption and the professionals who work with them, has launched the Adopt Perspective podcast.
It is hosted by Dr Jo-Ann Sparrow and Jane Sliwka.
The launch date was pushed forward to fill a hole during COVID-19.
Dr Sparrow, from Springfield, has a background in journalism and public relations and Ms Sliwka is a post adoption practitioner.
"She's the expert and I'm the interviewer," Dr Sparrow said.
"I have never done a podcast before.
"We thought we'd have a bit more time to figure out how to do it when COVID-19 happened and then we thought we need to get this information out now because people need the support."
Calls to Jigsaw's federally funded forced adoption support service during the pandemic has shown people are struggling with isolation and restrictions.
Episodes so far have included a deep dive on forced adoption in Australia and an interview with an adopted person and their birth father.
"We're doing a mix of personal stories and informative episodes, talking with other experts and practitioners,' Dr Sparrow said.
"We've also had an interview with a birth mother who talked about her experience with forced adoption … it was just heart-wrenching."
Listeners are tuning in from around the world and Dr Sparrow said the podcast provided an avenue that have been wiped out during the coronavirus pandemic.
A lot of face-to-face services, such as support groups, have been impacted by restrictions.
She said restrictions can be reminiscent of past experiences of coercion by authority figures
"It's quite triggering for a lot of people," she said.
"Part of what we do in those support groups is look for other people's personal stories and through hearing other people's perspectives we can really learn and grow," she said.
"We thought the podcast is a way that people can still get that experience … they can get that support.
"We've got listeners in the USA, the UK, Canada, Israel, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand and more.
"It shows how much we're all connected in the world by adoption and our issues.
"You think when you're adopted, you're the only person who is affected. When you find out there's a whole pile of people who have experienced some of the same feelings, it's really healing and it really helps you move forward."
Dr Sparrow was adopted in 1971, with her adopted parents taking her home to their Darling Downs farm.
She met her birth mother when she was 19 and her birth father when she was 39.
Adopt Perspective can be listened to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Deezer or here.