Open Adoption the real alternative in SA
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Thousands of children live in a constant state of limbo. They go to school, they go to preschool, but they have an uncertainty about where they live, who they live with and if they will remain at the same school, same suburb, same city.
They are under the guardianship of the Minister.
They are foster kids. They are always on full-alert, ready to run, hide, retreat from the fear of constant change in their young lives.
Hundreds of them live in motels and residential care WITHOUT any family to love them. They are removed from neglect and abuse and live alone with staff on rotation to ensure they are fed, clothed, etc., but without the love of a family.
Many of the children and young people in foster care get moved around from home to home. Many have special needs from the trauma of their past lives. They need therapies, psychological assistance, stability, consistent care, meaningful relationships that will be for the long-term, constant love. They need a family.
Nearly all older children and young people in care feel guilt about leaving their first family, even though it is not their fault. And they feel shame. Shame from the situation they left, shame that they are not a part of their second family, shame some feel like 'free loaders'. Studies have shown that this shame diminishes and dissolves with adoption, where the child feels valued and chosen.
Many of them, most of them want the consistency and security of adoption, open adoption, where they can still see their first family annually, if that is appropriate to do so, but settle into a family where they can thrive, stay at the same school, are encouraged in extra curricular activities and meaningful, stable relationships. They want security.
Open adoption allows the children who want this to have the stability they need so desperately.
Except...... it's not an option in South Australia. Yet.
The South Australian government can't get past the mistakes of years gone by. The Department for Child Protection is failing these children. They are now depriving the children currently in their care of a child's right, to feel secure in a permanent family home. No child should spend their childhood suffering at the hands of a system which won't allow them the love and stability of a second chance within a family. All children deserve equality, they shouldn't pay the price for a failed system which has not been child-focused for many years now. There needs to be a radical change. Open Adoption is that radical change.
Many people think about foster care but say they can't do it as they feel they'd be unable to say goodbye to children they've cared for. More people may become foster parents if they knew they wouldn't have to pass on the children, if adoption was offered as an alternative.
We are petitioning Susan Close MP, Minister for Education and Child Development in SA, and Cathy Taylor, Department of Child Protection Chief Executive to make adoption not only available, but easily and speedily dealt with so children and young people under their care can thrive in second families.
If you, like me, feel this should be an option for the most vulnerable of our state's children and young people, please sign this petition to have adoption become THE FIRST option for children in residential, commercial and foster care.
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