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What are your party’s policies to streamline intercountry adoption and increase the rates of adoption from care?

 

The Morrison Government ¡s focussed on maximising current overseas programs and ensuring that intercountry adoption support services meet people’s needs.

The Commonwealth Central Authority function in relation to intercountry adoption has recently transferred from the Attorney-General’s Department to the Department of Social Services, removing duplication of effort, and creates a single point of contact for states, territories and overseas partners The Intercountry Adoption Australia website and phone line is also managed by the Department to provide information on the adoption process to members of the public, connecting them to the relevant agencies and supports.

States and territories are responsible for managing adoption applications and assessing the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents for intercountry adoption.

State and territory governments are also responsible for administering legislation in relation to the adoption of Australian children.

A nationally consistent approach to permanency planning for children in out-of-home care (OOHC), is a key focus of the National Permanency Work Plan, and the Fourth Action Plan of the National Framework.

Permanency Actions under the Fourth Action Plan seek to:

  • Improve measurement and public reporting of permanency outcomes for children and
    young people in out-of-home care to support policy and decision making;
  • Further promote timely and consistent decision making for permanency, and improve
    permanency options including exploring consistent processes for family reunification as
    part of permanency planning, to facilitate greater stability for children in OOHC; and
  • Improve recruitment and retention of permanent carers with the right skills and support
    to provide safe and stable care to children.

The Government has also funded a research project to scope what works to achieve permanency for children in out-of-home care, with a focus on the effects of timely decision making, to be delivered by 30 June 2019.


 

 

We support increasing and accelerating domestic and overseas adoption rates.

 


The Greens strongly support addressing problems with Australia’s child protection system and reducing the alarming number of children in out of home care, particularly in relation to the disproportionate rate of First Nations children in out of home care. Every child has the right to part of a safe and loving family. However, we believe adoption is not the answer and will only help a small number of children in the out of home care system. We need to focus on prevention and early intervention programs that support families before they enter the child protection system.

We believe intercountry adoption must be done with extreme caution and proper safeguards in place, and only when it is in the best interests of the child.


 

Labor believes that every child has the right to a safe, healthy and happy childhood.

We understand that in order to have the best start in life, children need resilient, happy, loving families and communities.

We will support families to give their children the best start in life and will work to protect children at risk from disadvantage, neglect and abuse.

Labor will work with the states and territories to develop a uniform national system for adoption.

This includes harmonisation and best practice for fees, document access and format, as well as support for all families impacted by adoption and procedures for inter-country adoption. These will prioritise the best interests of the child and ensure adequate safeguards against child trafficking risk.

Labor will also continue to support the work of the National Children’s Commission.