This article was published on 30.03.2008 in The Age.
DEBORRA-LEE Furness was overjoyed yesterday to learn that an advisory body will be formed to make overseas adoptions easier.
The actress has long championed the need for legal reform. „I’m thrilled, I’m beside myself,“ she said yesterday while holidaying in Queensland with her husband, Hugh Jackman, and their two adopted children.
„It shows that the Rudd Government are taking this one seriously,“ she said. „Hopefully, from dialogue and communication, we are going to get action to improve the archaic system.“
The group, to be announced today, will be made up of 16 representatives, each with personal experience in overseas adoption, who will advise the Government.
The group was recommended by a House of Representatives report, Overseas Adoption in Australia.
Furness and Jackman adopted their own two children, Oscar, 7, and Ava, 2, in the United States because it was easier to do so. Furness said the first issue she would like the group to bring up was standardising procedures across the states and territories.
Asked if the couple would consider adopting more children in Australia, Furness was undecided.
„Depends what day you ask me,“ she said, laughing. „It is a lot of work.
„But I would like to see a lot of people here adopt the children who would need a home. I would like to see more children being adopted.“
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said: „It will provide an important, national voice on the complex issues involved in intercountry adoption.“