Coalition Senators have today recommended that the government take the lead to make adoption easier in Australia.
Senator Seselja and Senator Lindgren’s comments come as the Senate Inquiry into Out of home care concludes today.
“At 30 June 2013 there were 27,924 children who had been in out of home care for 2 years or more, yet only 210 local adoptions occurred around the country in that 12 month period. These numbers clearly show why we need to open up the pathways for more local adoption.” Senator Seselja said.
“There is a clear bias in the system against adoption when a child is in long-term care and this is preventing vulnerable children from getting the stability and certainty they desperately need.” Senator Lindgren said.
“Kids need stability. Going from foster carer to foster carer ultimately does not provide the kind of stability that kids need, notwithstanding the amazing work that most foster carers do in looking after vulnerable kids.” Senator Seselja said.
“In more extreme circumstances, we can see that a failure to put children first can lead to tragic outcomes, such as in the case of Chloe Valentine. The Coroner’s report on Chloe’s death said “under supply of suitable and willing foster parents leads me to the very firm opinion that permanent removal to adoptive parents must have a place in the child protection system” Senator Seselja said.
Chauntell McNamara, the ACT Barnardos Mother of the Year 2015, is supportive of this inquiry and the recommendations of the Coalition Senators.
“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 could have the stability of knowing this was their permanent home. It’s vital the Government continues working towards getting better outcomes for children.” Mrs McNamara said.
“We recommend today that COAG consider using the NSW out of home care regime as the foundation of a national approach, to provide clearer pathways into adoption for children in the out of home care system long-term. Additionally we are calling on our government, in line with its stance on inter-country adoptions, to use its leadership at COAG to promote policies which will make local adoption a more viable pathway,” Senator Seselja and Senator Lindgren concluded.