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Thread: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

  1. #1
    Floweryfields's Avatar
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    Default Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    PM Tony Abbott pledges to ease the way for overseas adoption after campaign by actor Deborra-Lee Furness and husband Hugh Jackman

    I think this is a wonderful step forward....opinions?

    Tony Abbott says he wants to make it "much much easier" for Australian couples to adopt children from overseas, saying tens of thousands of babies could be brought to Australia from orphanages.

    The Prime Minister invited Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman and his wife, the adoption advocate Deborra-Lee Furness, to Kirribilli House on Thursday to announce that his government would deliver "reform on overseas adoption" within 12 months.

    "There are millions of children in orphanages overseas who would love to have parents," Mr Abbott said. "And thousands of those, maybe even tens of thousands of those could come to Australia.
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    "And we need to make it easier for that to happen."

    Mr Abbott said that "for too long, adoption has been in the too-hard basket".

    "For too long it has been too hard to adopt and for too long this has been a policy no-go zone," he said. "That must change . . . And it will change within 12 months."

    Mr Abbott said he did not underestimate the complexity of changing laws to make it easier for Australians to adopt children.

    He has ordered the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to establish an interdepartmental committee on overseas adoption.

    Mr Abbott said the government would work with premiers and chief ministers through the Council of Australian Governments process "to try to ensure overseas adoption is working in the best way possible".

    "The committee will consult extensively and report to me in March 2014 including on the immediate steps that could be taken to make inter-country adoption easier and faster for Australian couples," Mr Abbott said.

    The committee's report will be discussed at the next COAG meeting in April 2014.

    Mr Abbott was also joined at Kirribilli House by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and NSW Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward.



    Ms Furness, who founded the National Adoption Awareness Week, is a globally-recognised adoption advocate. She is the executive director of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, patron of the Lighthouse Foundation for homeless youth and the International Adoption Families of Queensland.

    Bureaucratic hurdles around Australia's adoption process have been a key focus of Ms Furness' advocacy, after she and her husband decided to adopt their children, Oscar and Ava, through the United States system.

    In a speech to the Press Club earlier this year, Ms Furness slammed Australia's "anti-adoption culture" and said that extreme bureaucratic hurdles and invasive process deterred many would-be parents, leaving Australia with one of the lowest adoption rates in the world.

    Adoption campaigners have also lobbied for a streamlined adoption process for the 18,000 children in Australia's care system, whereby adoption would be made available to foster parents after six months.

    Ms Furness said on Thursday she was ecstatic, after years of adoption advocacy, to have support from the highest levels of government.

    "We always knew we needed a champion and a leader within government to bring about change," she said.

    "So let's aim for the top. I'm thrilled to have the Prime Minister on board."

    Yet despite Mr Abbott's enthusiasm, a leading adoption advocate says the last thing Australia needs is another review into the adoption system when the federal and state governments had not "implemented the recommendations from the last one".

    Ricky Brisson, the national coordinator for the Australian InterCountry Adoption Network, said the Abbott government should already know what it needs to do to fix the broken adoption system.

    A 2005 review of the adoption system launched by Bronwyn Bishop, had identified the problems being spoken about today, she said.

    "Each state has different legislation, policies and criteria", Mrs Brisson said, adding that varying requirements around factors such as age and length of marriage meant that people who started their assessment in one state would be forced to reapply when they moved states.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politi...#ixzz2nuTxt3lZ

  2. #2
    nothing2lose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    Most countries 'on the list' no longer allow adoptions outside their country.

    I also thought it ironic that Tony said he wanted to give more children in need in other countries the chance to grow up in the lucky country.
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    Bloom is offline BellyBelly Member

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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    I think it is fantastic! It is great that he is on board with it. I know that several of my friends are considering altruistic adoption rather than having their third or fourth baby naturally.
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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    DO you know, I didn't think I had an opinion on this, but I live in a place unlike many of you. A place where I think the adoption laws need looking at. For Australian kids.
    So right now for me, that feels like a stunt to get points.
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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    Quote Originally Posted by nothing2lose View Post

    I also thought it ironic that Tony said he wanted to give more children in need in other countries the chance to grow up in the lucky country.
    I thought the same thing :-D


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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    It is a stunt I think in terms of the fact that everything he has said since the election campaign seems geared towards immediate brownie points, especially now given his slump in the polls and general wrath concerning lack of commitment to humanitarianism generally but he has a very personal experience of adoption so I don't think it is entirely random.
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    Arcadia is offline BellyBelly Member

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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    I just read this article in relation to Abbott's announcement. It seems the govt did a review in 2005 which hasn't been followed, and there already was an advisory body, which he disbanded before this announcement:
    Tony Abbott disbanded expert adopt advisory group weeks before pledging action on the issue
    December 20, 2013 - 11:59AM Judith Ireland

    An adoption expert has questioned why Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set up a new group to report on intercountry adoptions just weeks after he disbanded another advisory body on the issue.

    On Thursday, Mr Abbott announced that he had ordered his department to set up an interdepartmental working group on overseas adoption, as part of his push to make it ''much easier'' for Australian couples to adopt from overseas.

    But Marilyn Nagesh, who became heavily involved in the intercountry adoptions community after adopting her 30-year-old daughter from India 29 years ago, on Friday called the move ''interesting''.

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    Until March this year, Ms Nagesh sat on the National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group a body that was set up to advise the Attorney-General in the wake of a Howard government review completed in 2005.

    The group was disbanded on November 8 as part of a new Coalition government move to abolish or rationalise non-statutory bodies.

    ''The closure of this group is a whole-of-government decision that was taken to simplify and streamline the business of government,'' a statement on the Attorney-General's Department website says.

    Ms Nagesh said that Mr Abbott's announcement on Thursday was a ''bit of a surprise''.

    ''When you disband a group that had really experienced people on it . . . you would have really thought you would have kept that group going if you were going to make an announcement like yesterday,'' she told ABC 24.

    Ms Nagesh also expressed concern that people might have the wrong impression about how many children are available for adoption overseas.

    ''I think we really have to think about that very clearly,'' she said, adding that the Prime Minister may be raising false hope.

    Ms Nagesh said agencies overseas and not the Australian government decided how many children would be able to be adopted.

    She pointed to South Korea, which now encourages local adoptions rather than overseas adoptions.

    ''We've got to be very careful that if we're bringing in children from overseas that they're ethically available for adoption,'' Ms Nagesh.

    On Thursday, Mr Abbott made his adoption announcement at Kirribilli House, with well-known adoption advocate and actor Deborra-Lee Furness and her husband Hugh Jackman.

    On Friday, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said that the group announced by Mr Abbott on Thursday was an internal departmental body, rather than an external committee.

    She said the group was looking at very specific questions - regarding impediments to overseas adoptions - and had a short-term mission.

    Mr Abbott's group will report back by March ahead of the next Council of Australian Governments Meeting in April.

    The Prime Minister would like the review to result in change within the next 12 months.

    Yet despite the Prime Minister's enthusiasm, a leading adoption advocate said the last thing Australia needed was another review into the adoption system when the federal and state governments had not ''implemented the recommendations from the last one''.

    Ricky Brisson, the national co-ordinator for the Australian InterCountry Adoption Network, said the Abbott government should already know what it needed to do to fix the broken adoption system.

    A 2005 review of the adoption system launched by Bronwyn Bishop, had identified the problems being spoken about today, she said.

    ''Each state has different legislation, policies and criteria,'' Mrs Brisson said, adding that varying requirements around factors such as age and length of marriage meant that people who started their assessment in one state would be forced to reapply when they moved states.

    Steve Nielsen, an adoption advocate from Queensland who gave evidence to the 2005 committee, said he was grateful for the spotlight given to the adoption issue at Thursday's high-profile announcement, but added that there was much unfinished business from 2005 recommendations.

    ''If it was really about change, Tony Abbott could very quickly go back and look at that report and get some quick wins rather than give back to the same bureaucrats that have squashed it for the last eight years,'' Mr Nielsen said.

    With Jonathan Swan, Lisa Visentin



    Read more: Tony Abbott disbanded expert adopt advisory group weeks before pledging action on the issue
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    Quote Originally Posted by nothing2lose View Post
    Most countries 'on the list' no longer allow adoptions outside their country.

    I also thought it ironic that Tony said he wanted to give more children in need in other countries the chance to grow up in the lucky country.
    The same thing went through my mind as well!
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    jellybean88 is offline BellyBelly Member

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    Default Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    It would be nice if they could make local adoption more accessible too, I've been considering Adoption as another pregnancy isn't really an option
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  10. #10
    nothing2lose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    It's not about accessibility for local adoptions. It's about availability. There are only a handful of babies available for adoption in each state each year. There are more teens available for permanent placement though.
    Last edited by nothing2lose; December 21st, 2013 at 06:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    there are babies and young kids with disabilities looking for permanent homes too.
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    Arcadia is offline BellyBelly Member

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    Default Re: Federal Govt pledges to reform international adoption.....

    Yes I think that is what irks me about Debra-lee and her push for increasing international adoption: plenty if Australian children need permanent homes. As others mentioned, children in foster care, teens, children with disabilities etc.

    I think Debra-lee peddles an old fashioned view of adoption based on the philanthropic middle class parents and impoverished orphan babies who can be paired up to create happy families. Yes it is a reality for some, but is it the model of adoption we want to push in Australia? Surely looking at the needs of our own families is important?

    I find this topic impossibly complex.
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