This report will look at Inter country adoption In Australia and will relate to the state of Victoria, as each states adoption laws differ slightly. Definition For the audience to understand inter country adoption we must first look at adoption in general. Adoption is when a family takes a child who has different birth parents into their lives to bring up as their own. An individual or couple becomes the legal and permanent parents off child.
People adopt a child or children for a number of reasons, some reasons may be because they want to have a family and they are not able to have biological children f their own or they feel that they are In a position to make a deference to a child’s There are three types of adoption In Australia. They are local adoption, known child adoption and inter country adoption. Local adoption is when the couple wanting to adopt the child are residents of Australia and have no prior knowledge of the child and no connection to the child what so ever.
Known child adoption is when a relative, career or friend of the family applies to become the child’s legal guardian. Inter country adoption is adoption of children from countries other than Australia who are equally able to be placed for adoption, but who generally have had no previous contact or relationship with the adoptive parents. Background and history Interconnect adoption programs began in Australia in the asses as part of a humanitarian response to children of countries afflicted by war, poverty and social and political problems.
In 1975 as the Vietnam War was coming to the end, the Vietnamese Government agreed to allow a number of children to leave the country for the purposes of interconnect adoption. Two hundred and ninety two children came to Australia and were adopted by Australian families. Since that time, inter country adoption in Australia has become more common and the number of inter country adoptions has substantially increased over the past 35 years. While Inter country adoptions have Increased since the early sass’s and numbers have remained solid since 2002, local adoptions have dropped significantly since the early sass’s and sys.
In fact In the early uses the number of local adoptions per year was over 8,000, factors such as acceptance of single parents, support for parents in the local and government sectors, and knowledge and use of contraception and termination products. Relevant legislation Applicants who wish to adopt from countries outside of Australia are required to meet the criteria as set down in The Hogue Convention, and the Victorian Adoption Regulations 2008. Adoptions are handled by state and territorial government agencies, such as and the Department of Human Services in Victoria. He Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department has primary responsibility for developing and maintaining inter country adoption arrangements Ninth other countries. This responsibility is shared with the State and Territory authorities, which assess applications, facilitate adoptions, provide advice and assistance, and provide post-placement support and supervision. Each overseas country also has eligibility criteria that applicants must meet.
Inter country adoption can take a long time, usually taking at least 2-6 years in Australia, requiring assessments of prospective parents to make sure they are suitable for the children that are being adopted. Inter country adoption must comply with the principles of the Hogue Convention on Inter country Adoption, which became a legal document in Australia on 1 December 1998. The Hogue Convention included the Family Law Act 1975. Also the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 made the process of obtaining Australian citizenship for children easier who were adopted overseas in accordance with the Hogue Convention.
Weaknesses There are many weaknesses in the legislation and laws around inter country adoption. The laws have a “One fits All” approach which does not cater for all types of families. The laws also discriminate against same sex couples, single people and people who have a mental disability. The current system is inflexible and there is no room for deviation. Couples must meet the criteria that have very strict guidelines. Another main weakness of the laws related to interconnect adoption is the individual countries criteria. Each country has their own criteria and this can lead to more paperwork and lengthy hold ups.
Government resources are scarce and government staff has trouble keeping up with information. There also seems to be a lack of communication between government agencies, which then causes misinformation to couples in the system. The one main weakness of interconnect adoption is the DES heavily on DES workers observations and comments relating to couples. Although Australia has many countries to adopt through, there are limited children to be adopted and the ones that can be adopted often come with many issues such as abandonment issues, institutionalizing, traumatic stress disorder and health problems Just to name a few things.
Strengths Inter country adoption strengths are minimal. We are aware that stringent measures must be put in place to protect the child, so that all children are matched with a family that will suit the couple’s needs along with the child. The strengths related to the Hogue Convention are that there are certain things written to eliminate child abduction, trafficking or sale of children and to make sure everything is legal and has he best interests of the child. The Victorian state adoption laws are designed to uphold the Hogue Convention principles.
Because the process of adopting is drawn out and the process is so in depth, couples have time to reflect on what they are doing and it enables them to have a good understanding of what they are getting in too. The other strength of the legislation is the adoption often does not finally happen until the child has been in Australia for approximately one year. Although this is a timely process it is essential so that the adoption is finalized and recognized ender Australian law.
Organizations that work in the area of advocating and upholding rights These support groups, support parents before they have adopted a Child. They give couples more ideas of what to expect and what they can do to better their chances of adoption. Australian Society for Interconnect Aid (Children) CASSIA) Fact International Adoption Association International Adoptive Parents Association (PAPA) Interconnect Adoption Resource Network (Status) (CIRCA) : links adopters up with other adopters and provides emotional and cultural support.
The Australian Interconnect Adoption Network (CANCAN): offers the largest source of adoption resources in Australians and works closely with both local and foreign bodies involved in Interconnect adoptions Adoptive Families Association of Victoria National Interconnect Adoption Advisory Group: The National Interconnect Adoption Advisory Group (MANIAC) advises the Attorney-General and this department on Interconnect adoption issues.
It also acts as a conduit between government and the interconnect adoption community in Australia. Department of Human Services- Victoria Australian Human Rights Commission- advocating for gay parents to have the right to adopt children from other countries. Act Now: all about human rights. Future Developments After everything I have read, I believe interconnect adoptions will only become more difficult. Countries are now trying to source families within their own countries before sending their children abroad.
They are doing this to try and keep the Children within the culture they were born into. India has recently decided that only Indian families in Australia will be able to adopt Indian children. This will become more common in Australia, as countries become more aware of our multi cultural come a lot more particular on who will have the option. I believe that interconnect adoptions will become an absolute privilege and only people who can offer those children the most elite lifestyle will get the opportunity.
Interconnect adoption may become more accessible to people if couples were willing to take a child with a disability, although this may then put pressure on our disability services. In time, I believe that inter country adoption will not be a State by State responsibility and that t will become a Commonwealth responsibility to make the decisions sequential and the same for everyone.