WRITE TO YOUR MP
Copy and paste the text below into a letter or email to your State or Federal MP:
Dear [Insert name of MP]
I am writing because I am concerned about the growing number of vulnerable and at risk children in out of home care in Australia. I understand that there are:
Over 50,000 children in out of home care and this number is growing (AIHW 2015)
Around 18,000 children in Australia who have been away from their birth families for two or more years due to abuse and/or neglect
Almost half of all children in foster care experience six of more foster homes before they turn eighteen (Women’s Forum Australia, 2014).
I am concerned that these children do not have permanent, loving families to grow up in, and I would like to see adoption be a legitimate option for these children.
The number of children adopted in Australia is at an all time low with a 76% decline over the last 25 years. Even though there are 18,000 children who have been removed from their families for more than two years and are in foster care, only 204 were adopted in Australia last year.
Adopt Change has recently completed the first independent research into the community’s perceptions and attitudes to adoption. Over 1000 people participated and I, like the rest of the respondents to the survey, feel incredibly positive about adoption. In fact, of the 1014 people surveyed, the majority either felt strongly or agreed that:
- Adoption gives a child an opportunity that they may not have had – 89%
- Giving a child a family is an opportunity to a better life – 88%
- Adopted children bring joy to a family – 86%
- A family that adopts provides a loving home to a child by someone that wants them – 83%
Adopt Change’s research also shows that many Australians feel that the adoption system is negative, the bureaucracy has an anti-adoption culture, the age requirements are too restrictive, and the process takes far too long. The result is that children who are genuinely eligible for, and could benefit from permanency through adoption do not have it as an option.
Federal and State Governments are considering change in this area and I would appreciate you being part of this. Recently the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee produced a report on out of home care, with a list of recommendations. I would like your support to progress these recommendations, including:
That COAG develop a nationally consistent approach to permanency, including adoption, and;
Access to adoption is improved for children.
Most importantly, I would appreciate your support in ensuring the system is child-focused, and that at-risk and vulnerable children have access to permanent loving families
[Insert your name and signature]