DECEMBER 20 2016
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…)