Vulnerable children in Out Of Home Care are a step closer to finding a stable family for life with adoption legislation coming into operation in NSW.
Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard said the legislation ensured the Institute of Open Adoption Studies could access information from a range of organisations to inform open adoption practice and policy.
“For too long, loving families who have wanted to give children in care a stable home for life have faced multiple hurdles and often years of frustration trying to complete the adoption process and the Institute will help us improve this,” Mr Hazzard said.
“The Adoption Amendment (Institute of Open Adoption Studies) Bill 2016 ensures the Institute can access all the authorised information held by government and non-government organisations that it needs to conduct informed research, whilst at the same time ensuring children’s privacy remains protected,” said Mr Hazzard.
While NSW has the highest number of children and young people adopted from care in Australia, the Government insists more can be done. In 2014-15, only 87 open adoptions of children in Out Of Home Care were completed in NSW.
“NSW has around 20,000 children in the Out Of Home Care system and it’s clear many of those children, in appropriate circumstances, could be adopted by loving families,” said Mr Hazzard.
“Giving the Institute the means to conduct independent research into open adoption and its impact on children, birth families, adoptive applicants and adoption practitioners will ensure we deliver the best outcomes possible for children.”
Open adoption allows for ongoing contact between the adopted child, the birth parents and adoptive parents where it is found to be in the best interest of the child. Adoption is not usually considered suitable for Aboriginal children.
If you or your family is interested in adopting or fostering a child or young person, please call the Open Adoption Hotline on 1800 003 227.