Australian adoption market puts them at risk

(Article by Patricia Fronek originally published 29th January 2015 in The Conversation)

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, pictured meeting adoption advocates, has largely ignored expert practitioners and researchers in developing his new policy. AAP/Alan Porritt

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, pictured meeting adoption advocates, has largely ignored expert practitioners and researchers in developing his new policy. AAP/Alan Porritt

On Sunday, January 25, Prime Minister Tony Abbott released a little more detail about his plans for adoption in Australia. Although specifics are still pretty thin on the ground, the announcement makes the concerns that I and others raised previously very real.

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Australia puts children at risk by ‘freeing up’ the adoption market

(Article by Patricia Fronek, Denise Cuthbert and Mary Keyes originally published on the 8th September 2014 in The Conversation)

The Abbott government’s proposed adoption laws appear to have been influenced by high-profile campaigners like actor Deborah-Lee Furness. AAP/Jane Dempster

The Abbott government’s proposed adoption laws appear to have been influenced by high-profile campaigners like actor Deborah-Lee Furness. AAP/Jane Dempster

The Australian government seems intent on lessening protections for children adopted overseas despite national and international evidence showing greater protection is needed.

Two important reports on inter-country adoption were released late last month: a report by UNICEF and one by the Legislation Committee of the Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. And they couldn’t be more different.

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Are we now shifting responsibility for adopted children offshore?

(Article by Patricia Fronek originally published on the 4th July 2014 in The Conversation)

Tony Abbott has been very responsive to high-profile adoption campaigners but a deregulated, consumer-driven system increases the risks for children. AAP/Jane Dempster

Tony Abbott has been very responsive to high-profile adoption campaigners but a deregulated, consumer-driven system increases the risks for children. AAP/Jane Dempster

It’s not just refugees being sent overseas. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is prepared to hand over Australia’s obligations towards children to countries that are not party to the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Act will make citizenship automatic for children adopted under bilateral arrangements with non-Hague countries.

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Changes to intercountry adoption must put children’s needs first

(Article by Patricia Fronek originally published on the 22nd May 2014 in The Conversation)

In a reminder of the risk of adoption rackets, these Nepalese orphans were rescued from a home that was profiting from supplying them for domestic work and overseas adoption. EPA/Narendra Shrestha

In a reminder of the risk of adoption rackets, these Nepalese orphans were rescued from a home that was profiting from supplying them for domestic work and overseas adoption. EPA/Narendra Shrestha

Prime minister Tony Abbott has released the Report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Intercountry Adoption and announced changes to “enable more people to find families”, not meet children’s needs. This wordplay is more important than it might seem.

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Privatising adoption: easier for parents, riskier for kids

(Article by Patricia Fronek originally published on the 12th November 2013 in The Conversation)

Problems arise when adoption becomes the goal to be achieved at all costs. Image from shutterstock.com

Problems arise when adoption becomes the goal to be achieved at all costs. Image from shutterstock.com

Adopting a child can be a difficult and time-consuming process, with few opportunities for local adoptions. The number of adoptions in Australia has declined steadily since the 1970s, with just 45 local adoptions taking place in 2010-11. In the same period there were 215 adoptions from abroad, known as inter-country adoptions.

As a result, adoption lobbyists are turning their attention to children in new countries and in foster care, proposing private systems to make this happen.

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The politics of ‘orphans’ and the dirty tactics of the adoption lobby

(Article by Patricia Fronek originally published on the 14th November 2012 in The Conversation)

We may have to apologise for intercountry adoptions in future, just as Victoria has apologised to the children of forced adoption mothers here. AAP/Paul Jeffers

We may have to apologise for intercountry adoptions in future, just as Victoria has apologised to the children of forced adoption mothers here. AAP/Paul Jeffers

You might not have realised it, but it is Adoption Awareness Week. Every year at this time lobbyists pull out the big gun – the celebrity card – and Deborra-Lee Furness hits the airwaves.

The messages are clear – we must rescue more orphans, cut red tape, privatise adoption like in the US, and anyone who opposes us, especially the government, is anti-adoption. The reality is the informed members of the adoption community (and there are many) understand intercountry adoption for what it is – a very complex matter.

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An apology to forced adoption birth mothers: it’s about time

(Article by Patricia Fronek and Denise Cuthbert originally published on the 25th June 2012 in The Conversation)

The trauma of women forced to give up their children will finally be recognised. .Andi.

The trauma of women forced to give up their children will finally be recognised. .Andi.

 

national apology to Australian mothers who experienced forced adoptions was announced by Attorney General Nicola Roxon last weekend.

This apology will follow those made to the Stolen GenerationsForgotten Australians and Lost Innocents. Overseas birth mothers affected by forced adoptions should also be on our radar.

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