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

(Article by Patricia Fronek originally published 25th May 2015 in The Conversation).

Millions of children in overseas orphanages … would dearly love to have parents’, claims Tony Abbott, and his government is making intercountry adoption easier. Screenshot/Intercountry Adoption Australia

Millions of children in overseas orphanages … would dearly love to have parents’, claims Tony Abbott, and his government is making intercountry adoption easier. Screenshot/Intercountry Adoption Australia

Imagine for one moment your child went missing. It’s a common enough event worldwide for today, May 25, to be declared International Missing Children’s Day. Surely you would expect no stone to be left unturned to find your child – even if took six months, a year, or two.

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Should politicians read expert reports on children when they make policies?

Senator Ian McDonald LNP is under fire for refusing to read the independent report on children in detention and the abuse inflicted on them by government policies. Last year Senator McDonald supported Prime Minister Abbott’s and lobbyist, Furness’, mission to make intercountry adoption faster and easier in Australia when he chaired the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee and dismissed expert evidence on the risks to children. The evidence provided by international organisations and academics was ignored by McDonald who preferred to push Abbott’s agenda rather then protect children.The LNP, particularly in New South Wales, have uncritically adopted Abbott’s position on adoption in Australia. It can only make one wonder whether McDonald read any of the reports submitted to the Committee because expert evidence did not support Abbott’s agenda. During the Inquiry, he did not want to hear about serious ethical concerns relating to the accreditation of lobbyist-led agencies in Australia. Did he read any of the reports on intercountry adoption that were submitted? The outcome suggests a possibility he did not or simply chose to ignore it. Only the Greens considered the gravity of risk.

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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