Dignitaries will gather today at Australian Parliament House for the launch of a joint research report by Adopt Change and Western Sydney University. Belonging in two families: Exploring permanency options for children in long-term out-of-home care in Australia is the first research report in the country to consider the views of people with a personal experience of foster care, kinship care and adoption on how to improve care models for children and young people who are unable to live with their family of origin due to abuse and neglect. The report introduces the concept of ‘Simple Adoption’ into the Australian context, where children retain a legal connection to their biological family in addition to their new legal status in their adoptive family.
Carter adds Simple Adoption, as practiced in European countries such as France and Belgium, grants ongoing legal parental responsibility to adoptive parents, but honours connections legally with both biological families and adoptive families. “To provide this form of legal care order in Australia, for children in care unable to return home, would be revolutionary. It is a move forward in further recognising providing children and young people both legal stability and honouring connections,” says Carter.
“Adoptees, former foster children, birth parents, foster parents, adoptive parents and professionals working in foster care and adoption expressed dissatisfaction with the options currently available, and strong support for exploring the introduction of the new potential form of permanency,” says Dr Blythe.
- All states and territories to seek legal advice on how to effectively implement simple adoption within their jurisdiction;
- The development of a unified national approach to the introduction of simple adoption; and
- The introduction of a national agreement to establish appropriate post-permanency supports for children and young people who have experienced trauma and displacement.
The full research report will be launched today at 12pm at the Dame Dorothy Tangney Alcove (Senate Alcove), and proceedings will be opened by the Hon. Michelle Landry MP, Assistant Minister for Children and Families. The event will be hosted by the Parliamentary Friends of Adoption (which is co-chaired by Senator Zed Seselja and Senator Kimberley Kitching).