Latest Adoptions Australia report confirms need for reform


 

Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja said the release of the 2014-15 Adoptions Australia report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare today has confirmed the need for adoption reform.

 

“The report shows we had the lowest number of adoptions on record with only 292 adoptions recorded as finalised. What this confirms is the system is not putting kids first it is putting adults first, which is the fundamental problem,” Senator Seselja said today.

“Last month both houses of parliament overwhelmingly supported the need for adoption reform, sending a strong sign to our state and territory leaders that adoption reform is imperative.

The Adoptions Australia report also states that since the NSW Parliament passed the Child Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 the adoption process in NSW for children and young people in out-of-home care is now quicker and easier.

“There is still a long way to go but what we now know is that by streamlining the adoption process across all states and territories children in the out-of-home care system could be placed in stable environments much easier where they can experience the permanency they need in their early years,” Senator Seselja said.

“There are parents ready, willing and able to adopt vulnerable children but the lengthy and difficult process is forcing these children into the out-of-home care system long-term. 

“During 2013-14 there were over 50,000 children in out-of-home care. On average those at-risk children experienced up to six different placements during their time in the system.

Adopt Change CEO, Jane Hunt said, “Given the number of children who are in need of a permanent loving family, the latest findings are not good enough and we must continue to advocate for ethical adoption reform in Australia.

Chauntell McNamara, the 2015 ACT Barnardos Mother of the Year said today, the overall results of the Adoptions Australia report are disappointing.

“My husband and I persisted for 6 years to ensure that our children, that we were fostering long term, could be adopted permanently into our family and it’s disappointing the adoption process clearly isn't improving.

“It is now more important than ever before that both levels of government work together to make adoption a more viable pathway for children in need to ensure adoptions do not fall even further behind,” Mrs McNamara concluded.

 

The Adoptions Australia report is available at http://www.aihw.gov.au/adoptions/