Adoption rates on the rise as we kick off National Adoption Awareness Week

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, today welcomed new data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) which shows adoption rates are on the rise, after years of decline.

“We saw 315 adoptions in 2016-17, up from 276 the previous years. We also see improvements in intercountry adoptions, with waiting times halving from 60 months to 30 months.

“This is great news, especially as we launch the 10th National Adoption Awareness Week. It is a testament to the work of Adopt Change, and other advocates who understand the importance of giving children a permanent, stable home.

“Today we see the result of the Coalition Government’s reforms to streamline and strengthen intercountry adoption processes.

“We wanted families to get on with their new lives without any unnecessary and un-anticipated legal complications. These reforms have changed the trajectory of so many children’s lives.

“While I welcome any improvement in this area and this is a positive step forward, there is still much more work to do. There are more than 30,000 children who have been in out of home care for longer than two years. These children need homes and I encourage my state and territory colleagues to be doing everything they can to find permanency for these children.

“I am hopeful that the positive figures today are the start of a trend. Especially given the commitment we saw at the most recent Community Services Ministers Meeting, where for the first time there was a commitment to permanency planning and to national reporting on the time it is taking.

“Obviously adoption isn’t the answer for every child in long term care, but it should be a more viable option for more children.

“We need all jurisdictions to be proactive and ensure they are doing everything they can to give children stability,” urged Senator Seselja.

“These children are our most vulnerable and they need our help. We need to make a difference in the lives of these thousands of children. We need to allow a home for every child,” Senator Seselja concluded.