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Adoption processes are set to be more child-centred thanks to the steadfast efforts of the Canberra Liberals and community advocates.

 

Nicole Lawder MLA
Deputy Leader of the Opposition 
Member for Brindabella

Elizabeth Kikkert MLA
Shadow Minister for Families, Youth and Community Services
Member for Ginninderra

 

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday August 13, 2020

 

ADOPTION PROCESSES SET TO BE MORE CHILD-CENTRED AFTER LONG PUSH FOR CHANGE

Adoption processes are set to be more child-centred thanks to the steadfast efforts of the Canberra Liberals and community advocates.

Long-awaited changes to the Adoption Act 1993 due to be debated in the ACT Legislative Assembly today were first advocated for by the Canberra Liberals in 2015.

Then Shadow Minister for Families and Community Services Nicole Lawder moved motions in the Assembly to improve adoption processes to produce better outcomes for children and adoption parents.

A Domestic Adoptions Taskforce was subsequently established which recommended legislative change in a 2017 report.

The changes currently before the Assembly will make adoption processes more child-centred by expanding the definition of what’s in the best interest of the child. This expansion will include consideration of the preservation of cultural inheritance and identity of the child, intellectual needs, emotional and stable living conditions, existing relationships and the need to protect the child from exposure to abuse or neglect.

“While these are small changes, they are important to ensuring the wellbeing of children is the focus of the adoption process,” Ms Lawder said.

“Adoption is an incredibly complex and nuanced process which requires great sensitivity. After years of pushing for reform, I am pleased that the Assembly is taking this positive step forward.”

The Shadow Minister for Families, Youth and Community Services Elizabeth Kikkert will move an amendment to ensure the application of the new laws can be assessed after two years.

“We understand the role that stability in home life plays in the healthy development of children. That’s why it’s important to remove any unnecessary obstacles to achieving permanency, including adoption. This bill puts the best interests of the child first,” Mrs Kikkert said. 

Media contact Deborah Seccombe:

P (02) 6205 1580           M 0451 255 891            E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

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