Wholesale Adoption of Children Not the Answer

Today a House of Representatives Committee released their report into local adoption proposing a national approach to ‘open’ adoption to end the ongoing crisis in child protection and Out of Home Care.

Muriel Bamblett, AM CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, said today that, “VACCA condemns the report’s findings as simplistic and a distraction from the serious work required to reform child welfare systems in the best interests of children and families.”

She added, “What we need to do is invest long term in the early intervention and family assistance programs that respond to the earliest signs of child neglect or harm, provide practical support to families with the care of their children and keep children safe within their family network, wherever possible with their parents.”

Ms Bamblett said, “VACCA is disappointed the committee report has nothing to say about preventing child harm and family breakdown to stem the flow of children into OOHC. Having a one size fits all solution of ‘open’ adoption to get children out of care is tackling the problem at the wrong end. In a major contradiction the committee has recommended that decisions about each child be made in their best interests but in the same recommendation proposes national legislation to dictate that ‘open’ adoption be presumed the preferred option for children. “

VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett, AM said, “Tomorrow will see the launch of the 2018 Family Matters Report; Family Matters is a national campaign to end the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in child protection. It highlights that without urgent and sustained action, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care will more than triple over the next 20 years. No form of adoption is the answer to this.”

/Public Release.