Ground-breaking legislation has been introduced into the New South Wales Parliament to create Integrated Birth Certificates for adoptees as a further step to enabling a clear link to their heritage and family connections, listing a child’s families at birth and at the point of adoption, side by side.
Australia, 5 August 2020: Today’s announcement is welcomed by Adopt Change and families across NSW, as it allows the state to record a more accurate reflection of a child’s family relationships when they have been adopted. Adopt Change has been advocating for this ground-breaking change as an improvement to current practice for some time and applaud its arrival.
CEO of Adopt Change, Renee Carter spoke about what this means, “This is truly a significant change for children, families and the practice of Open Adoption. Children who have been adopted have two families – their family of origin, and the family they are living with who they have been adopted by. They also have extended family with both. Now adoptees can retain a true reflection of their point of birth in this legal document, as well as showing their connection to their family through adoption.”
Under current NSW Open Adoption practices, relationships are maintained between the family of origin and child or young person, whenever this is possible and safe to do so. Up until this point however, birth certificates where changed at the point of adoption to reflect the adoptive family only. This practice, a legacy of past adoption practices, has caused angst for many adoptees and their families as birth family members were no longer included on the legal document.
“Adoption is a legal form of permanency for a child. This new certificate is just a better way of reflecting the child’s family situation, in a way that respects all those involved,” said Carter.
The new legislation will offer adoptees the choice of being able to use either an Integrated Birth Certificate or the existing amended certificate with one family name, placing ado
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0400 679 329
About Adopt Change Adopt Change is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to support and educate families and communities in caring for displaced children (including those in foster care or orphaned) to achieve our vision of a world where all children grow, learn, play and thrive in a safe, nurturing and stable environment. We provide support resources, training, education and programs to work towards achieving this goal.
Adopt Change recognises the impacts of impermanency and trauma and we support families through workshops and online resources; research; pre- and post-permanency supports; trauma informed supports; information and community events; as well as working with governments, departments and the sector to address issues surrounding permanency for children.
We work to raise community awareness of the importance of meeting these rights for children; and empower Australians to work towards all children having positive life outcomes. We support capacity building of families to ensure that vulnerable children are able to remain within their family of origin where possible. When that is not possible or safe, we advocate for other timely and permanent options, including adoption.
Adopt Change operates the government-funded program My Forever Family NSW to recruit, train, support and advocate for foster carers, kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents for children in out of home care in NSW.
National Adoption & Permanency Awareness Month is held during November and is coordinated by Adopt Change to promote improvement to permanency legislation, policy and practice to facilitate a community where a child’s right to stability is prioritised. National Adoption Awareness Week was founded by Deborra-lee Furness in 2008.
About Renée Carter
Renée Carter is the CEO of Australian not-for-profit Adopt Change, which also operates the program My Forever Family NSW. She is also a member of the Institute Advisory Group for the Independent Research Centre Institute of Open Adoption Studies (The University of Sydney).
Renée has a strong background in communications and executive management, along with board level experience in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD). Her experience includes three years as Chair of charity Child Abuse Prevention Service (CAPS), an organisation focused on early intervention, education and support of families and communities.
Renée is passionate about influencing policy and practice to deliver timely and effective outcomes for children, by garnering community, sector and government support.