NSW minister welcomes adoption changes

Date: May 16, 2014

The process for Australian families to adopt children overseas should become easier with a federal government announcement earlier this month.

The sweeping changes will bring federal rules in line with recent changes made by the state government and look to reduce red tape and free up the process. In 2013, there were 129 inter-country adoptions from Australian families and with those numbers expected to increase, the changes are desperately needed.

NSW Minister for Family & Community Services Gabrielle Upton said changes to adoption rules are part of widen child protection reforms passed in March.

"The NSW reforms allow for 'open adoption', which means adopted children can maintain a connection with their biological parents," she said.

"These changes supplement reforms here in NSW that acknowledge the greater role open adoption can play in providing vulnerable children with the basic need of a safe home for life."

Inter-country adoptions are run by the Hague Convention and the changes will allow Australia to form adoption relationships with countries not signed up to it. This will avoid the current process which can be years long and heart-breaking for families.

Ms Upton pointed out that there are not enough inter-country adoptions in Australia, citing current legislation made it too expensive and drawn out for most parents to go through.

"Adoption remains an extremely vital option in the care spectrum, and I'm pleased to see the Federal Government recognises this," she said.

"We will work closely with the Commonwealth to see the proposed reforms through."

The adoption law overhaul comes after late last month, the NSW government announced funding towards helping families adopt children from the out-of-home care system. The funding will assist families with expenses in their first three years together with $3,000 a year and then $1,500 every year until the child is 18.

Adoption process in NSW

There are a number loopholes regarding overseas visas through adoption so remember to take your time deciding what avenue to go down as each is very different.

If you are considering processing an adoption application, it is suggested you get in contact with a family lawyer. Although the lawyers can't provide any assistance for referrals to agencies or in arranging adoptions, they can provide sound legal advice.

As said before, the adoption process will still take a long time, so it is crucial you a have legal backing that can help along the journey.