All very helpful suggestions, and I thank you. I am not currently giving out the names involved due to privacy. We are more interested in "practices" right now than location. We know that my great grandmother was treated at Good Shepherd Adelaide Terrace. We know that my grandmother was born, not adopted out, raised by nuns at a convent (one of the things we are trying to discover is... WHICH ONE?)
We know that my grandmother was 'reclaimed' by her mother around age 10. Even though family trees list her as born to these parents, certain age, certain date, my grandmother never really knew what year she was born (government docs in US and AUS emigration/customs show at least 3 different years) There is NO record of a female child being born to our family surname (no matter the spelling) OR to a parent - either or both - of her parents name for a 5 year spread in WA. All other three of four children have government records of their birth.
My cousin in WA is searching every cubby hole for evidence and the only resource that is "stone walling" us are the Sisters of Mercy. Odds are better than even that my grandmother was 'raised' at St. Joseph Orphange for Girls, Subiaco (her brother was 'farmed out' to Clontarf) since her mother was there for treatment and the Christian Brothers had her brother.
Sisters of Mercy won't release ANY information without birth certificate which they most likely have the only copy of... having performed sacrament of baptism only and not registering with the state.
I didn't just forget to provide names and dates. I would have 6 months ago, but this infuriating "dodge" by the Sisters of Mercy is beginning to really tick me off.
Thank you all - am mostly looking for others with info who may have been subjected to the same sort of heavy handed treatment.