Adoptions in Australia fall to record low levels in 2016

DECEMBER 20 2016
Felicity Caldwell

Only 278 adoptions were finalised in the past year – the lowest number on record – according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

It was a fall of 5 per cent from the 292 adoptions in 2014-15 and of 74 per cent from the 1052 adoptions 25 years earlier, in 1991-92.

The decline over the past decade was driven primarily by intercountry adoptions, which fell to 82 in the past financial year, from 406 in 2006-07.

The patterns of adoptions have changed within Australia over the past few decades, the Adoptions Australia report says.

“These changing patterns are due to a complex interplay of factors, including, among others, contraception and legalised abortion, the availability of financial support for unwed mothers, a reduction in stigma around children born outside marriage, the end of forced adoption practices, the increasing labour force participation of women, and reproductive innovations,” the report reads.

“When combined with parents postponing having children, and the consequent reduction in fertility rates, these factors have led to fewer children being in need of adoption at the same time as more families are seeking to adopt.” (more…)


Outrage over child models used to ‘sell’ adoptee children from broken homes

March 28, 2016

Rory Callinan
Investigative journalist

Children offered for adoption are being represented as photogenic child models with attractive personalities in a controversial internet advertising campaign run by a NSW government-funded charity.

The marketing campaign by Barnardos has infuriated an adult adoptees support group which claims it is akin to an online sale of children and misrepresents the character and looks of potential adoptees.

The web campaign, which features beaming child models alongside captions such as Owen “is five years old ..and can be a little chatterbox ..and has a delightful sense of humour” is being used to advertise children while avoiding breaching privacy laws which prohibit their identification. (more…)


NSW police fail to arrest child pornography distributor; foster child adopted by offender

22 August 2015

A child abuse case in the north west has drawn attention to systemic failings
PHOTO The girl was formally adopted by the man and his wife.
The NSW Police Force failed to arrest a man for distributing child abuse material, despite being sent a brief of evidence in August 2013 by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

The delay allowed the man, who cannot be named, to formally adopt a young foster child in his care two weeks before his arrest.

NSW police chose not to notify the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) there was a child in the man’s care.

The case led to a new FACS procedure regarding checks of prospective adoptive parents. (more…)


Baby Dev’s Story Illustrates Surrogacy’s Incredibly Dark Side

Date: 2015-08-18

COMMENTARY: International surrogacy is often touted as a win-win, a free market where everyone benefits. When we take a closer look, however, the whole facade quickly falls apart.

BY REBECCA TAYLOR 08/18/2015 Comments (9)
Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images
THE FACE OF SURROGACY. Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua poses inside the Samitivej hospital in Chonburi province on Aug. 6, 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand. David and Wendy Farnell have made international headlines for abandoning their infant son, Gammy, who has Down syndrome, in Thailand with his surrogate mother, while bringing his twin sister home to Western Australia.
– Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images
The hidden camera footage reveals the Indian restaurant is crowded, and the ambient noise of fellow diners all around makes it hard to hear. But Gianna Toboni, an investigative reporter from HBO’s documentary show VICE, slowly begins to understand what is being offered to her by a woman sitting across the table.
Toboni is in India to get a firsthand look at the country’s booming international surrogacy industry. She has heard rumors of “extra” Caucasian babies for sale, so she meets a surrogacy broker for dinner. On camera, the broker, holding a swaddled infant, tells Toboni she can take the baby home tonight — for a price. (more…)


Foreign Correspondent – The Baby Boy Left Behind

Date: 2015-06-22
Foreign Correspondent


ABC Australia – with Arun Dohle and Anjali Pawar of Against Child Trafficking (ACT)

The story of the baby boy left behind in India by his Australian parents was first revealed by #ForeignCorrespondent and ABC earlier this year. The boy’s identity and fate have remained a mystery. Reporter Samantha Hawley teams up with two Indian child protection campaigners as they weave through Delhi’s labyrinthine bureaucracy and backstreets to understand what happened to this child.


Your child is missing. Would you want their adoption to be easier?

Source: Original wesite contains LINKS

By Patricia Fronek
Posted 26 May 2015, 3:40am

A child lies sleeping
PHOTO: We should be wary of timeframes on inter-country adoption. (Parth Sanyal : REUTERS)
Support for inter-country adoption appears to have taken on a religious fervour. But in a world where families are targeted by recruiters and children are bought and stolen, reunification and in-country options must be considered first. Patricia Fronek writes.

Imagine for one moment your child went missing. Surely you would expect no stone to be left unturned to find your child – even if took six months, a year, or two.

But how would you feel if your child was permanently given to someone else before this happened? This is exactly what happens to many families around the world. Parents are targeted by recruiters and children are bought or stolen and sold. Other children are lost, separated by war or disaster, or left for temporary safekeeping in children’s homes. (more…)


Surrogacy laws may be a bridge too far for Australia

April 20, 2015
Bernadette Tobin

Attorney-General George Brandis is considering a recommendation from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs that there be an inquiry into the regulatory and legislative aspects of surrogacy.

Infertility is the cause of a lot of pain for many Australian couples. You would have to be very hard-hearted not to sympathise with couples who, because of medical issues or other circumstances, are not able to have children. I truly sympathise with them and understand why some seek surrogacy as a way to circumvent infertility. They want a child to love.
For very many children, adoption is also a great blessing and benefit for which they will always be grateful.

However, surrogacy causes difficulties for children and for the surrogate mothers who bear them. Some people emphasise the difficulties for the child; others emphasise the difficulties for women who become surrogates.

Surrogacy makes it very difficult for a child to understand their origins and identity. Our family links are an important part of who we are. Surrogacy puts a question mark over the child’s parentage. As many as three women may share the role of “mother”: a woman who donates the egg, a woman who carries the child to birth, a woman who raises the child. And the child’s biological father may be merely the donor of the sperm.

Surrogacy intentionally violates a child’s right to be brought up – if it is possible – by their natural parents. Surrogacy intentionally breaks the gestational link between the child and her natural mother. A deeply ingrained bond is created between mother and child by nine months of sacrifice, love and care. For the first nine months, it is the mother’s voice the child hears. Having been intimately connected with her body, the child will always have unique physical and psychological connections with the woman who gave birth to them. For this reason, it is now widely recognised that adopted children have the right to know who their biological parents are, if that is possible.

Surrogacy repeats many of the mistakes we Australians have made in the past. Children born of anonymous sperm donation – and the adults they become – come to mind. They so often long to know and to have a relationship with their natural parents. They tell us that they grieve over the loss of relationship with their natural siblings.

Overseas, where “commercial” surrogacy is allowed, there is a clear power disparity between the relatively affluent commissioning couples and relatively poor women who act as surrogates. Surrogate mothers must work hard to ensure that they do not form a bond with the child during pregnancy. Of course surrogacy is not ordinary work: it involves the woman’s whole body and her whole life.

The Baby Gammy case was significant because it revealed the workings of the market: the child seems to have been rejected because – as a product – he did not come up to expectations.

However, so-called “altruistic” surrogacy, though it removes that commercial element, is ethically troubling in other ways. Where relatives are involved, as is often the case, a potential surrogate may feel she has an obligation to help, and the conflicted nature of the child’s identity within the family will persist over a lifetime. Identity is not something that can be simply chosen.

The Immigration Department receives about 250 citizenship applications a year on behalf of children born overseas as a result of “commercial” surrogacy. It is being asked to deal with situations presented as a fait accompli: the child has been born and the surrogate mother has agreed to hand it over. Our citizenship laws are not made to deal with this difficult problem.

However, rather than revising our laws so as to facilitate arrangements which intentionally sever the bond between mother and child, we need to consider whether it really is possible to enact laws which, on the one hand, are just to the children born of surrogacy and to their surrogate mothers and, on the other, are compassionate to infertile couples. That may be a bridge too far.

Bernadette Tobin is director of the Plunkett Centre for Ethics at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney and Reader in Philosophy at Australian Catholic University.



Australia: Inter-country adoption levels fall to lowest on record

Inter-country adoption levels fall to lowest on record; advocates call on Government to open new country agreements

Updated 21 April 2015
By Matthew Davis
With international adoption levels at an all-time low, actor Deborra-Lee Furness renews calls for a relaxation of the rules governing Australian couples adopting children from overseas.

Deborra-Lee Furness says adoption is a complex issue that needs to be done right, and has called on the Government to reopen inter-country adoptions. (Credit: ABC)
Australian couples considering international adoption are hopeful the Federal Government will open Australia to new inter-country agreements, as adoption rates fall to an all-time low. (more…)


Child trafficking opponents criticise Federal Government’s decision to lift series of overseas adoption bans

By South East Asia correspondent Samantha Hawley, ABCJanuary 28, 2015, 12:30 pm

Opponents of child trafficking have criticised the Federal Government’s decision to lift a series of bans on foreign adoptions, saying Australians should stay out of overseas arrangements.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced new adoption arrangements with at least three countries and is reportedly in discussions to free up adoptions in other countries, including Thailand and Cambodia.

He said there were millions of children there who needed parents.

But child advocates disagreed with the sentiment.

Arun Dohle, head of the organisation Against Child Trafficking, argued inter-country adoption should always be the last resort.

“This is a result of huge pressure from the adoption lobby and it is clearly against the UN convention on the right of the child,” Mr Dohle said.

“There is no need for it, Australia should assist these countries in such a manner that they can take care of their own children.” (more…)


Adoption Lobby Alert: Australian government warned its overhaul of adoption risks child trafficking

29 August 2014

“Risks opening the door to child trafficking”. Well, we agree and disagree.

Already in 2008, we – Against Child Trafficking (ACT) – warned the Australian government with a letter with some 1600 pages annexed, spelling out Australia’s involvement in child trafficking for adoption.  You can read the letter here, the annexes were to huge to be put online. But they are listed.  We really, naively, wanted to assist the Australian authorities.

We never got a written reply. Just a 3 minuts phonecall…

The follow up: an extra day added to the 2010 meeting on the Hague Adoption Convention, paid by Australia, where ACT was not invited. Outcome: a trafficking protocol that to our knowledge has never been used.

Our Australian trafficking cases remain unsolved. Here one example: a kidnapped Indian child. It was ACT who tried to build the bridge. But no cooperation.
Australian authorities simply do not want to discuss/work with us for the benefit of victims. Because the T(rafficking) word may not be used.

But it has always been there, trafficking for intercountry adoption. And not only from India. Oh no…

Read here the article:Tony Abbott’s adoption laws reforms under attack


ADOPTION LOBBY ALERT is an initiative of Against Child Trafficking. We are closely monitoring the Adoption Industry.

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