National Co-ordinator:
Ricky Brisson
P.O. Box 7420
Bondi Beach 2026 NSW
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 Australia

Australian couple leaves Down syndrome baby with Thai surrogate
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au

/showurl.php?url=3146 Gammy, a six-month-old baby abandoned by his Australian parents, could die because his impoverished Thai surrogate mother cannot pay for medical treatment for his congenital heart condition. The child will never know his twin sister, who was born healthy with him in a Bangkok hospital and has been taken away by their parents, who are living anonymously in Australia. The story of how 21-year-old Pattharamon Janbua was cheated by a surrogacy agent in Bangkok and left to try to save the life of her critically unwell baby has emerged as Thai authorities move to crack down on IVF clinics, leaving hundreds of Australian couples facing uncertainty about their surrogacy children.
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Media: Australia, Thailand


The race to create a family - Sarah Salmon finds that motherhood can be born by nurturing, rather than creating, a child.
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au

/showurl.php?url=3092 When I tell people I lived in India for several years, they look at me with awe. They revel in my exotic stories and laugh at my funny anecdotes. But when I tell people I underwent fertility treatment in India, they look at me as if I am mad. "Why didn't you fly back to Australia?" people ask. "What was it like?" Noses scrunch in distaste. This is what it was like. A paint-flaked sign hung lopsided above the fertility clinic's entrance. Uneven, dusty roadside steps led to an open door. Flies from a nearby pile of festering garbage chased me through the doorway. Ear-splitting toots of passing rickshaws and trumpeting truck horns bellowed through the entry. Fellow patients swarmed a chipped formica counter with their elbows out, their bodies shoving and their arms waving medical papers under the receptionist's nose. Once I had completed the fierce battle to register, my name was inked into the dog-eared appointment book and the receptionist nodded towards the crowded waiting room: "Sit." A wobbly ceiling fan circled slowly above my seat, doing nothing to circulate the stagnant air, or cool my sweaty palms.
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Media: Australia


Australia adoption law change raises concerns
www.youtube.com www.youtube.com

/showurl.php?url=3091 Australia is changing its laws to make it easier to adopt children from abroad. The Hague Convention, an international agreement, oversees inter-country adoption. But some are concerned that not all countries Australia has agreements with are signatories, raising fears that relaxing the system might unknowingly support victims of child trafficking. Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas reports from Sydney.
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Media: Australia


Australia forms adoption agreement with South Africa
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au

/showurl.php?url=3089 Australian couples looking to adopt children from overseas will now be able to look to South Africa for a child. A new program allowing adoptions of South African children will provide "significant new hope" for Australian couples wanting to adopt from overseas and for orphaned children abroad, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
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Media: Australia, South Africa


Australian couples could soon adopt from a string of new countries
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au

/showurl.php?url=3088 Australian couples wanting to adopt could soon do so from a string of new countries if the recommendations of a new report investigating the hurdles to overseas adoptions are adopted. The new countries include Cambodia, Vietnam, the US, Kenya, Bulgaria and Latvia, but prospective parents may have to be more open to adopting a child with special needs. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has already announced action on two other recommendations - opening a new adoption program with South Africa, allowing Australian couples to adopt a child from that country. And he is establishing a new federal system to make the process of adopting a child from overseas faster, cheaper and uniform across the states and territories.
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Media: Australia


Same-sex adoption push backed by SA online petition
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au

/showurl.php?url=3090 Amid continuing debate on the issue of gay marriage, a fresh push is being made in South Australia to let same-sex couples adopt. A bipartisan parliamentary committee backed change almost three years ago but politicians are yet to act. Shaun and Blue moved to the Adelaide Hills about six months ago from the United Kingdom, where they adopted Joshi and Dylan. "It's hectic, two under-fives, and the boys are quite full on," Blue said of life with young children. "One of the commonalities that drew us to together was that we both wanted to be dads." But adoption is not a right for other same-sex couples in SA, only for those who have relocated from elsewhere. "We've got friends in South Australia that are same-sex couples that are already doing long-term fostering and we know that they would absolutely love to adopt their kids long range and they can't," Blue said. In South Australia couples, legally defined as husband and wife, have to have been married for at least five years unless a court determines there are special circumstances. It is at odds with New South Wales, Western Australia, the ACT and Tasmania where there are options for same-sex couples to adopt.
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Media: Adoption Equality, Age Criteria and Cost, Australia, Gay/Lesbian


Australia streamlining efforts to make adoptions easier from several countries
www.dailytelegraph.com.au www.dailytelegraph.com.au

/showurl.php?url=3080 Australia will also open a new programs with South Africa immediately and work to open discussions with Kenya, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, the USA, Cambodia and Vietnam. This changes will expand previously announced changes that mean adoption orders issued in Taiwan and South Korea can now be recognised automatically in Australia.
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Media: Australia


"Why Can't I Have My Children Back, Mother Asks" - Cambodian mother accuses Australian church of separating her from her children, filmmaker charged over dispute urges Julie Bishop to intervene
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au

/showurl.php?url=3024 An Australian filmmaker has been given a two-year suspended jail sentence by a Cambodian court for threatening to defame a girls refuge in Phnom Penh.
...
The refuge was established to protect Cambodian girls who have been abused, trafficked or are at risk of trafficking, but Ricketson argues the two girls do not fit any of these categories and are being held against the will of their parents.
...
Tara Winkler from the Cambodian Children's Trust says local law states a parent should be able to take their children back whenever they like. Ms Winkler, who in 2011 was named the NSW Young Australian of the Year for her work running a Cambodian orphanage, believes charities need to stop separating children from their families, no matter how poor they are. "The best place for a child is always with the family. Even if an orphanage is trying to do good things for the kids, it's no substitute for family," she said.
...
Citipointe says it has reintegrated 29 children back into Cambodian families since 2009 and hopes to reunite Chanti with her daughters soon.
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Media: Australia, Cambodia, Religion


Tony Abbott announces new measures to simplify adoption within a year
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au
Prime Minister Tony Abbott joined forces with Deborra-Lee Furness and her husband Hugh Jackman to make it easier to adopt children both locally and overseas within a year. Mr Abbott made the commitment at an event in Sydney, also attended by New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell. "Adoption is all about giving children a better life," Mr Abbott said. "For too long adoption has been in the 'too hard' basket. "For too long it has been too hard to adopt, and for too long it has been a policy no-go zone and that must change. "I am absolutely determined to change... and we will change within 12 months." Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that last financial year there were 339 children adopted in Australia; 129 from overseas and 210 locally.
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Media: Australia


We can save kids from a life of hell: adoption is not a taboo
www.dailytelegraph.com.au www.dailytelegraph.com.au

/showurl.php?url=2981 IF you met 14-year-old Gabi-Phelps Stricker on her way home from school, you would be struck by how articulate, poised and sunny-natures she is. With her glossy brown hair and clear skin, she is indistinguishable from the privileged girls at her private Sydney school. Except for one thing: she knows how lucky she is. She was the only Australian child adopted by a non-relative in NSW last year. The only child allowed to escape a lifetime of neglect and abuse. "You don't have to look as far as Africa to see starving or malnourished children," says Gabi. "It is happening here in Australia under your very noses. I was one of those children." Last year 37,800 children like Gabi were found by Australian child protection authorities to be abused or neglected, a shocking increase of 20 per cent over the previous year. One child dies every two weeks in Australia from maltreatment, according to UNICEF.
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Media: Australia


NSW government adoption fix to save hundreds of children
www.dailytelegraph.com.au www.dailytelegraph.com.au
Parents desperate to adopt and foster children in need of stable homes will all be winners under moves to relax adoption laws. Families Minister Pru Goward will go to cabinet in the coming weeks with proposed changes to the Care Act aimed at boosting the number of adoptions in NSW "by hundreds". With only 78 local adoptions across the state last year, prospective parents frustrated by our tough regulations are increasingly turning overseas to areas such as China, Africa and South America to find children. The new rules would cut red tape and give courts more power to consider adoption as a permanent solution for neglected kids, instead of putting them in foster care. Ms Goward said she wanted the changes debated in parliament by next month and hoped they would stop childless couples and prospective parents looking overseas to adopt.
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Media: Australia


My fight to give babies hope
www.heraldsun.com.au www.heraldsun.com.au
In downtown Johannesburg, a bin flap in a high wall invites desperate mothers to place their newborn babies inside. The "Door of Hope" is different from the other dumping grounds in the South African business capital, where about 50 babies a month are abandoned and die. Lift the metal flap and a soft blanket can be seen covering a sensor pad. Pressure will set off an alarm in a nearby house and within a minute, the new arrival will be swept into the arms of a housemother. Melbourne nurse Jo Marron Mill, 24, has twice been a full-time volunteer "mother" at the Door of Hope baby orphanage and is preparing for her third stint.
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Media: Australia, South Africa


Quicker, easier for Australian couples to adopt children while living overseas
www.news.com.au www.news.com.au
It can take several years and be very expensive to adopt a child through inter-country adoption in Australia, and is almost impossible to adopt a local child unless you are a relative or foster carer. But expats who adopt children in countries including Fiji, Thailand and South Africa are finding it quick and easy to adopt children there.
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Media: Australia


Labor dashed kids' hopes for adoption
www.theaustralian.com.au www.theaustralian.com.au
THE federal government knew children were waiting for placement with seven Australian families when it shut down the Ethiopian adoption program in June last year. Documents obtained by The Australian contradict the government's rationale behind the decision to close down the program and its repeated claims no children were involved.
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Media: Australia


Adoption law reforms desperately needed
www.heraldsun.com.au www.heraldsun.com.au
The revelation that federal Labor senator Jacinta Collins gave up her baby when she was 19 provided an insight into how adoption can be a positive fruit of an unplanned pregnancy.
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Media: Australia


Families mourn loss of adoption program
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
The federal government has been complicit in dishonest and coercive practices in intercountry adoptions that are no longer tolerated for Australian children, an adoption expert says.
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Media: Australia


The horrible racism that adopted children endure
www.dailylife.com.au www.dailylife.com.au
Racist comments have peppered the children’s school years and ranged from old favourites (I learnt as a child that ‘Chinamen’ kept coins in their ears), to the more creative, ‘Koreans fuck dogs to make bread’. My son has been called an Asian faggot on Facebook and told to go back to where he came from by strangers in the street. I have witnessed people talking to our children in the loud slow voice some people use when talking to people who don’t speak English, sometimes despite having just heard them speak. I have seen drastic improvements in helpfulness when someone on the other side of a counter realises we are together. My son doesn’t leave the house on Australia Day; the Cronulla riots of 2005 struck a particular chord with him.

People who live within the confines of an Anglo-Celtic world (many politicians for example) don’t believe Australia is a racist country because they don’t see it up close. We see it; sometimes blatant, often subtle.
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Media: Australia, Racism / Sexism


Children of same-sex couples thriving: study
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Children of same-sex parents are doing as well or better than the rest of the population on several key health indicators, according to initial findings of the world's largest study of such children. The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families collected data on 500 children nationally, up to the age of 17. Of the 315 gay, lesbian and bisexual parents who completed the globally recognised child health questionnaire, 80 per cent were women.

An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents. However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well a family gets along. Researchers said the difference between the two groups on these measures was so strong it would only occur by chance less than one in 10,000 times.
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Media: Australia, Gay/Lesbian - Australia


Children Of A Lesser God
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au

/showurl.php?url=3022 What drives a young Sydney woman to drop her glamorous career in the film industry to open an orphanage in Cambodia? Tara Winkler was just twenty-two when she established the Cambodian Children's Trust in Cambodia. She is now 'mother', mentor and older sister to twenty-seven orphans, some as young as two. Her grandmother was a holocaust survivor and she strongly identified with the plight of children in a country still scarred by genocide. Tara Winkler's work has helped her overcome her own demons. As a teenager, she suffered depression, now she says she simply 'doesn't have time' to be depressed...
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Media: Australia, Cambodia


Families touched by adoption rally together
www.abc.net.au www.abc.net.au
Emotions will be running high tonight as dozens of Hunter residents affected by adoption meet to talk about their experiences. The meeting, run by the Benevolent Society's Post Adoption Resource Centre, will welcome adoptees, birth and adoptive parents, as well as other family members to offer advice and support.
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Media: Australia


Mother of stolen girl still waiting
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
An Indian mother whose child was kidnapped and illegally adopted in Australia has accused the girl's adoptive parents and officials here of blocking the now teenager from having contact with her and of making no effort to try to repatriate the girl. Fatima, who uses only one name, will travel to New Delhi on Tuesday to try to meet with officials and hold a media conference as part of a bid to be reunited with her daughter, Zabeen, who was kidnapped by professional child-stealers near the family home in the slums of Chennai in 1998.
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Media: Adoption Fraud - India, Australia, India


Change in policy 'must be backed up with support'
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Deborra-Lee Furness has joined a chorus of child welfare advocates and carers to welcome moves by the NSW government to expand adoption, while warning more practical and financial support will be vital. Furness, who has adopted two children from overseas with husband Hugh Jackman, pictured below, is a passionate advocate for improving adoption and is a founder of National Adoption Awareness Week. ''We just want kids to have families, we don't care if they're from Parramatta or Nigeria,'' she said. The Community Services Minister, Pru Goward, announced proposals this week to make adoption, not long-term foster care, the preferred option for local children who cannot be restored to their own families. ''What children really need, the ideal, is a home for life,'' she said. The focus on providing children with stability has been widely welcomed, but most argue the practical challenges will be immense. The opposition community services spokeswoman, Linda Burney, raised doubts as to whether sufficient numbers of parents would be willing to take on children. ''We know that these children, particularly the babies, are born with significant health problems and can be addicted to opiates; the older children are often deeply scarred, damaged and many have disabilities,'' she said. Ms Goward dismissed Ms Burney's comments as ''ignorant'' and said there were 700 foster carers wanting to adopt. But Ms Furness said appropriate support was vital: ''It's not for every family, it's a big deal to take on an older child who's been traumatised.''
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Media: Australia


Secrets and lies in the histories of overseas babies
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Until she was in her late 20s, Kim Myung-Soo believed she was put up for adoption because she was born out of wedlock to South Korean factory workers. She was four when an Australian couple picked her up from Seoul and brought her up in rural NSW. But when the 30-year-old from Canterbury was reunited with her birth mother in Seoul, she was stunned by the truth. Her parents had been married, did not work in a factory, and her real name was altered to Myung-Joo. She learnt her mother was forced to relinquish her in order to remarry after her father had died. Single mothers are shunned in Korean society. "Most of the Korean adoptees I know have confronted problems in the search for their family," said the social work student. "Half records, false information, whole files missing. Could be something big, something small, but it's nearly a given something will be incorrect." Adoptee support groups and adoption experts are calling on the federal government to recognise the suffering of overseas birth mothers and their children in its impending apology for domestic forced adoption practices. They claim many intercountry adoptions were also characterised by lack of freely given consent, deception and coercion, and that the government failed to prevent overseas children being removed in conditions it was opposed to in Australia.
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Media: Australia, Korea, South


Subsidies change incentives for adoption of foster children
www.parenthub.com.au www.parenthub.com.au
The structure of a federal program that provides monthly subsidies to promote the adoptions of special needs children in foster care may actually be delaying some adoptions, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame economist Kasey Buckles. The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (AACWA), passed in 1980, provides an average of $670 per month for foster parents of special needs children, while adoptive parents of special needs children receive an average of $571 per month. “Special needs” refers to foster children who may be harder to place in permanent adoptive homes because of age, race, or mental or physical disability.
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Media: Australia


Korean-Australian woman finds she was falsely adopted
www.sbs.com.au www.sbs.com.au
An Australian woman has found she was the subject of a falsified adoption in South Korea, where her biological mother was told her baby was stillborn.
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Media: Adoption Fraud, Australia, Korea, South


"I kept asking for my baby and they kept telling me 'no'"
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Christine Cole was 16 when, heavily drugged and in agonising pain, her daughter was pulled from her body in a labour ward in Crown Street Women's Hospital. The teenage mother lay there, waiting to hear the new baby cry, and when she could not, tried to sit up and see whether the infant was OK. ''Three nurses threw me back on the bed and held me down,'' she recalls of that 1969 day, ''and one of the nurses said 'this has got nothing to do with you'.'' Cole is one of an unknown number of mostly young, unmarried women in NSW between the 1950s and 1970s whose children were taken from them in what is commonly referred to as ''forced adoption''. She, and many others, call it kidnapping. ''I kept asking for my baby and they kept telling me 'no, you're too young, you're not married','' she said. ''After five days they came with papers and said you cannot leave this hospital until you sign these papers.'
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Media: Australia, Stolen Generations


Life of loss and trauma
www.themercury.com.au www.themercury.com.au
What do you say to the woman who had a pillow held over her face as she gave birth, to prevent her from laying eyes on the baby she was being forced to relinquish? What do you say to the woman who, during a forbidden cuddle with her newborn, stroked the downy softness of her baby's cheek knowing the single memory would need to last a lifetime? What do you say to the woman whose fretting for her lost son became so intolerable that she tried to reclaim him with a shotgun only to end up in jail, locked away from the child she ached for?
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Media: Australia, Stolen Generations, Tasmania


Victims to help word adoption apology
www.perthnow.com.au www.perthnow.com.au
People directly affected by past forced adoption practices are being asked to help the federal government frame its national apology. Some 150,000 unwed mothers had their babies taken against their will by churches, hospitals and adoption agencies in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. A Senate committee which investigated the commonwealth's involvement recommended in February that the government formally apologise to victims.
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Media: Australia, Stolen Generations


Government ends Ethiopian adoption program
www.heraldsun.com.au www.heraldsun.com.au
Prospective parents will no longer be able to adopt children from Ethiopia after the government ended its adoption program with the country. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the decision had come after years of problems with the program. "Unfortunately the adoption environment in Ethiopia has become increasingly unpredictable, complex and uncertain, leaving many prospective Australian parents in limbo for years," Ms Roxon said. The inter-country adoption agreement had been plagued with issues, including a one-year suspension of adoptions. Ms Roxon said the government would work with Australian families who had been trying to adopt a child from Ethiopia. "I know that there are families who have been committed to the program and will be disappointed."
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Media: Australia, Ethiopia


Forced adoption victims get apology
www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au
PARENTS and children affected by forced adoptions in Australia will be offered a formal apology from the Federal Government says Attorney General Nicola Roxon. The national apology was the key recommendation of a Senate report on former forced adoption policies and practices tabled earlier this year.
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Media: Adoption Fraud, Australia, Stolen Generations


Fatherhood has Evans enjoying ride of his life
www.theage.com.au www.theage.com.au
Cadel Evans laughs as he recalls how he used to "waste time" at his home in Stabio, Switzerland. That is, until he became a father in January when he and wife Chiara Passerini adopted an orphaned Ethiopian boy named Robel, who was found by police in a cardboard box by the road.
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Media: Australia, Celebrity Adoption


Forced adoptions a sorry business in Australia
bikyamasr.com bikyamasr.com
Hardly any children are put up for adoption in Australia these days. If you want a child, you have to look abroad. It was not like that in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when each year thousands of unwed mothers were pressured by well-meaning midwives and social workers into giving up their babies to turn childless couples into families. Some of these women, often teenage mums, were sedated while giving birth and woke up to find their babies gone to new homes, sometimes through the forging of signatures.
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Media: Australia


Parents cleared of killing son with methadone, eight years after death
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
"They were found responsible for their son's death, had another child subsequently taken from them and were publicly shamed. But Rochelle Dunlop and her husband John Schreckenberg did not give up there. Yesterday, after a six-year fight to clear their names, a coroner found they did not give their six-month-old son a lethal dose of methadone."

This case was a hot topic in the online child care, fostering and adoption community, where many people jumped to conclusions and got it badly wrong.
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Media: Australia


Six years on, baby's death is officially a mystery
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
"The death of a six-month-old boy in 2003 will remain a mystery after a coroner overturned an earlier finding this morning that he may have died after he was deliberately given methadone by his drug dependent mother."

This case caused a lot of commotion in Sydney back in 2003. It now seems as if it wasn't as clear cut as the media wanted to make out.
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Media: Australia


Take back our children, say angry foster parents
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Helen and Brian MacDonald believe the children they have raised for the past 6½ years are the ''best two foster kids in Australia.''

But they have decided they will not look after them any more because the state government has cut payments to foster carers of 16- and 17-year-olds, from January 1. In most cases households will be $214 a fortnight worse off.

''It's a shocking thing to do,'' says Mrs MacDonald of the couple's decision. ''But we feel we are being emotionally blackmailed by a minister [Pru Goward] that doesn't care about the children in her care, only about money. They're betting on carers just keeping the children.''

The MacDonalds have refused to sign a placement agreement for Sheila* who is 17 and doing her HSC because it requires them to agree to the new payment. When Declan* turns 16 in May they will decline to care for him, too.
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Media: Australia, Foster Care


Loving families look for permanent solution, not temporary fix
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
As Australia recorded its lowest number of adoptions ever in 2010-11, Julie and Carl Hall were celebrating the adoption of Codie, the third sibling to be legally embraced by the family in recent years. Inter-country adoptions are on a six-year decline and the number of Australian babies available for adoption has dwindled. But in NSW, the number of children adopted by their foster carers is on the rise, from 18 in 2005-6 to 45 last year.
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Media: Australia


The Weekly's adoption breakfast
aww.ninemsn.com.au aww.ninemsn.com.au
Deborra-lee Furness headed a star-studded guest list at a breakfast launching National Adoption Awareness week in Sydney on Monday.

She was joined by Rebecca Gibney, Sandra Sully, Layne Beachley, Professor Kerryn Phelps and MP Bronwyn Bishop, as well as actor Jack Thompson, who gave a passionate speech about the opportunities and love he was given by his adopted family.

Deborra-lee talked about the live-changing nature of adoption, and asked the Australian government to take the issue more seriously.
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Media: Australia


Woman on a mission
au.tv.yahoo.com au.tv.yahoo.com
Deborra-Lee Furness is a woman on a mission, campaigning for adoption reform in Australia.
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Media: Australia


Why I support gay marriage
www.eurekastreet.com.au www.eurekastreet.com.au
As a legislator, I have voted for and promoted legislation that accords rights, such as adoption, to homosexual people. I have publicly stated that I don't agree with the Church's teaching on homosexuality. How did such a good Catholic girl arrive at what appears to be a non-Catholic position on this issue?
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Media: Australia


Proposed Passport Changes To Recognise Gay Parents
gaynewsnetwork.com.au gaynewsnetwork.com.au
"With non-discriminatory legislative reforms already in place, such as adoption and assisted reproductive technologies, to recognise same-sex couples as parents - Government documentation should appropriately reflect these changes."
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Media: Australia


Traditional Australian families a dying breed
www.heraldsun.com.au www.heraldsun.com.au
The number of traditional family households is set to shrink to less than a quarter by 2026, with childless homes to become the new norm. The traditional notion of the family has also been reinvented in modern times to include step families, de facto couples, single parents, gay parents, international adoption and surrogacy.
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Media: Australia


Forced adoptions heartache
www.themercury.com.au www.themercury.com.au
In 1969 Robyn Cohen gave birth to a baby girl at the former Gore St public hospital in South Hobart. She was 18 and, like thousands of other young unmarried mothers, was given no choice but to put her baby up for adoption. Mrs Cohen is one of more than 300 women so far to give evidence to a Senate committee investigating forced adoption in Australia.
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Media: Australia


Saffron's long lost son
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
"Since he was a boy Adam Brand had wondered about his father. As an adult he was stunned to learn it was the notorious Sydney crime figure 'Mr Sin', reports Kate McClymont."
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Media: Australia


Vic Labor votes for marriage and adoption
www.starobserver.com.au www.starobserver.com.au
The Victorian Labor Party has endorsed full marriage equality and same-sex adoption rights for Victorians at today’s state conference.
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Media: Australia, Gay/Lesbian - Australia


Mums relive trauma of forced adoptions
www.theage.com.au www.theage.com.au
When she fell pregnant, nineteen-year-old Judy McPherson was taken across state lines, forced to register at a hospital under a false name and emerged from a drug-induced stupor to see her newborn daughter being rushed out of the room. That glimpse, in 1964, was the only one Ms McPherson had of her daughter for the next 36 years.
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Media: Australia, Birth Parents


Time to say sorry for all the broken hearts
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Some women live with broken hearts, past practices having taken their babies from them for placement in adoption. Some of those children, now adults, live with broken hearts because they were taken from their mothers and placed in adopted families. Fathers, siblings and other family members have lived with broken hearts because of past adoption practices. Some Catholic hospitals and health services played roles promoting and implementing the once widespread policy of placing the children of some unmarried young mothers in the care of adoptive parents.
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Media: Australia, Birth Parents, Religion


Mothers on the poverty line 'resort to adoption'
www.theaustralian.com.au www.theaustralian.com.au
In a submission to a Senate inquiry into former forced-adoption policies in the 1960s and 70s, the council said it feared a return to 1960s levels due to an "ongoing erosion of the level of payments to single mothers". It said insufficient federal government support for single mothers was a "direct contributor" to past forced-adoption practices and called for a boost to current payments to prevent a return to peak adoption levels.
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Media: Australia


Adopted Australian tennis star hurt by online abuse
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Jarmila Gajdosova believes she has become a target for vicious online abuse because she is an adopted Australian. The nation's second highest-ranked tennis player is considering shutting down her Twitter account following a series of obscene comments posted on the social networking website this week.
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Media: Adoptees, Australia


Birth certificates fail to tell us the whole story
www.smh.com.au www.smh.com.au
Birth certificates should reflect who is looking after a child, not just who brought it into the world, writes one advocate of multi-parent recognition. When it comes to families, are we limiting ourselves by only allowing for two legally recognised parents? Last week Senator Penny Wong announced that she and partner Sophie Allouache would be having a child with a known sperm donor. On Wednesday in a landmark decision, a NSW District Court removed the name of a sperm donor from a birth certificate in order to retrospectively recognise the female co-parent. The case of AA v BB is the first NSW decision to test the 2008 amendments to the Status of Children Act, which allow a birth mother and her lesbian de facto partner, who conceived a child through artificial reproductive technology, to be recognised as parents and be listed on their child’s birth certificate.

"As for this whole parenting/legal thing, we all have to be aware that as social mores change so the rules supporting those mores need to adjust as well. That's fine. We should never feel that the law is to impede change; the function of the law is to define the boundaries. If the boundaries change so should the law. Within society there is a natural reluctance to change the law- but a lot of the time that's based on a desire to stay within the perceived comfort zone offered by existing boundaries, not clear reasoning. So how should we record births? Do we need to know who both biological parents are? Well, I reckon it'd be handy for a number of practical reasons- mostly biological and Mendelian. But does it need to be on a public document such as a birth certificate? Probably not. After all, why do we have birth certificates anyway? To prove we were born (which is when we entered our society as a separate entity). It's proof of entitlement as much as anything else. Should Senator Wong be recorded on the birth certificate as a co-parent? Dunno. And to me, it's a moot point. What is important to the child is not what a piece of paper says, it's who's going to take responsiblity for rearing the child. There is a legal element to any birth. Not just the rights of the child but the responsibilities of the involved adults. That's what should be clear right from the start."
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Media: Australia, Parenting


Sperm donor name on birth certificate would save pain later, says judge
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A NSW judge has suggested allowing for three parents to be on a birth certificate after his landmark decision to remove a sperm donor's name from his 10-year-old daughter's certificate left the man devastated. NSW District Court Judge Stephen Walmsley said yesterday he had no choice after a 2009 retrospective law gave the birth mother's former partner - they separated in 2006 - legal parenting status and state law allowed for only two parents to be registered. The 58-year-old Sydney man is not a legal parent, regardless of being on the birth certificate and having regular access rights, because the child was conceived using artificial insemination.
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Media: Australia, Parenting


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