ADOPT CHANGE WELCOMES PRIME MINISTER TURNBULL’S CALL FOR ADOPTION REFORM
Adopt Change welcome Prime Minister Turnbull’s comments yesterday° that he supports adoption reform ahead of National Adoption Awareness Week, 8- 14 November.
Founder, Adopt Change, Deborra-lee Furness, said, “We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment and hope that through continued reform, we’re able to develop a system in Australia that safely and ethically allows more vulnerable children to find their forever families”.
“Every step we take in reforming the process is important, and we commend the Prime Minster for his commitment to ‘working closely with state and territory governments and the non-government sector to improve out of home care.’ “
There are 15,000 children in Australia who could be adopted*. In 2014, only 203 were**. Almost half of these children experience six or more foster homes before they turn eighteen***. Legislation varies by state and the average wait time for adoption is 5 years.
This National Adoption Awareness Week, Adopt Change is calling on the state and federal governments to put the rights of vulnerable, at risk children, first, with a simple message of, ‘change the process, change the facts’.
Chief executive Adopt Change, Jane Hunt, says Adopt Change wants to see change across three key areas:
1. Reducing the time children spend waiting for a permanent adoptive home.
2. Prioritising a streamlined system for adoptions across Australia.
3. Establishing a National Centre of Excellence to support children and families pre- and post-adoption.
“Adopt Change supports adoption as one way in which permanent, modern families may be formed. There are 15,000 children who have been permanently removed from their biological families for two or more years and not placed with relatives or kin. The current system is broken and we need change in order to provide these children with a more permanent and supportive environment,” Jane Hunt said.
During National Adoption Awareness Week, Adopt Change is inviting all Australians to support a campaign to ‘Change the Process. Change the Facts’, by sharing 15,000 bedtime stories – one story for every Australian child waiting to grow up in a permanent, loving family. Celebrities lending their support to the campaign include, Cate Blanchett, 2015 Senior Australian of the Year and award winning author, Jackie French, television host and journalist, Joe Hildebrand, radio personalities, Fitzy & Wippa, former Hi-5 member, Tim Maddren and founder of National Adoption Awareness Week and Adopt Change, Deborra-lee Furness.
Taking part in the campaign is as easy as recording a short video or taking a photo and sharing it via social media using the hashtags, #15000stories, #adoptchange and #adoption. Whether people choose to do it as a group or on their own, at home or in public, there are no hard rules only that once they’ve taken part they nominate others to get involved.
“Children’s stories are full of expression and emotion so the more creative people are, the better. We want them to have fun while highlighting an issue that affects thousands of children and families,” Hunt added.
Adopt Change will host morning tea to mark the official launch of National Adoption Awareness Week, at Parliament House, Canberra, on Monday 9 November.
Adopt Change will also run a series of community events, seminars and webinars during the week, lead by Sir Martin Narey, Ministerial Advisor for Adoption in England and chair of the National Adoption Leadership Board UK, and Michael Tarren-Sweeney, associate professor of child and family psychology, Canterbury University, New Zealand. For further details visit the website www.adoptchange.org.au
° ‘PM Malcolm Turnbull’s push for adoption reform to help foster children find permanent homes’ Sunday 1 November 2015 http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/pm-malcolm-turnbulls-push-for-adoption-reform-to-help-foster- children-find-permanent-homes/story-fni0cx12-1227589474145?sv=fb00f15ab3449eb657afd9362cde5670
For interviews, campaign information and launch event media accreditation please contact Samantha Dybac, Sammway. email: email@example.com phone: 0411251373
National Adoption Awareness Week is 8-14 November 2015.
To attend the official launch morning tea, Parliament House, Canberra, please email:
Further details available at www.adoptchange.org.au
15,000 stories campaign social media and website details:
Once your 15-30 second story excerpt has been videoed or photographed, please share via social media using the following links and handles:
Hashtags: #15000stories #adoptchange #adoption Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdoptChangeAU
Encourage your friends and family to get involved by tagging and nominating them to share their own children’s story.
Available for interview:
Jane Hunt, chief executive, Adopt Change.
Deborra-lee Furness, founder National Adoption Awareness Week / Adopt Change (limited access).
Sir Martin Narey, Ministerial Advisor on Adoption in England and chair of the National Adoption Leadership Board UK.
Michael Tarren-Sweeney, Associate Professor of Child and Family Psychology at Canterbury University in New Zealand, a Conjoint Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Newcastle University (Australia), and Editor of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
* Children who have been in temporary care for two or more years and not placed with a relative or kin. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2015). Child Protection Australia 2013-14. Child and Welfare Series no. 61. Canberra: AIHW.
** Pike (2014) Adoption Rethink, Australia. Women’s Forum Australia.
^ Modern Families: attitudes and perceptions to adoption in Australia, 2015. Forward Scout research commissioned by Adopt Change.
About Adopt Change and National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW)
Adopt Change believes that every child has a right to grow up in a permanent, loving family, and embraces adoption as a positive and important way of forming that family.
Adopt Change’s mission is to raise community awareness, encourage ethical reform, and empower all Australians to engage with issues affecting adoption.
Adopt Change is committed to working with community and governments to transform attitudes and laws affecting adoption in Australia.
Adopt Change advocates for open adoption as the first permanent option considered for children who cannot live with their family or kin and will otherwise spend their childhood in Out of Home Care.
National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW) is coordinated by Adopt Change to promote reform of Australian adoption laws and practices to facilitate a pro-adoption community. NAAW was founded by Deborra-lee Funess in 2008 and is the second week of November each year.