Adoption an option for vulnerable children
This petition had 3,158 supporters
We are concerned about the growing number of vulnerable and at risk children in out of home care in Australia. We understand that there are:
• Over 50,000 children in out of home care and this number is growing (AIHW 2015)
• Around 15,000 children in Australia who have been away from their birth families for two or more years due to abuse and/or neglect and are not in kinship placements.
• Almost half of all children in foster care experience six of more foster homes before they turn eighteen (Women’s Forum Australia, 2014).
We are concerned that these children do not have permanent, loving families to grow up in, and we would like to see adoption be a legitimate option for these children.
The number of children adopted in Australia is at an all time low with a 76% decline over the last 25 years. Even though there are 15,000 children who have been removed from their families for more than two years and are in foster care, only 204 were adopted in Australia last year.
Adopt Change has recently completed the first independent research into the community’s perceptions and attitudes to adoption. Over 1,000 people participated and were overwhelmingly positive about adoption. In fact, of the 1,014 people surveyed, the majority either felt strongly or agreed that:
• Adoption gives a child an opportunity that they may not have had – 89%
• Giving a child a family is an opportunity to a better life – 88%
• Adopted children bring joy to a family – 86%
• A family that adopts provides a loving home to a child by someone that wants them – 83%
Adopt Change’s research also shows that many Australians feel that the adoption system is negative, the bureaucracy has an anti-adoption culture, the age requirements are too restrictive, and the process takes far too long. The result is that children who are genuinely eligible for, and could benefit from permanency through adoption do not have it as an option.
Recently the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee produced a report on out of home care, with a list of recommendations. We would like the support of all State and Federal MPs to progress these recommendations, including:
1. That COAG develop a nationally consistent approach to permanency, including adoption, and;
2. Access to adoption is improved for children.
Most importantly, we would appreciate your support in ensuring the system is child-focused, and that at-risk and vulnerable children have access to permanent loving families.
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