(QldGovSpin) Qld adoption registers re-open

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 14/09/2004 - 23:59

BRISBANE: Queensland families wishing to adopt children from within the state or overseas will be able to express their interest in being assessed as prospective adoptive parents for the first time in two years following the re-opening of local and intercountry adoptions registers today.

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Child Safety, Mike Reynolds
childsafety@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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12/09/04

Minister for Child Safety Mike Reynolds officially opened the expressions of interest registers for both the Intercountry Adoption and Queensland General Children's Adoption programs today at a barbecue lunch at Roma Street Parkland for families and groups interested in adoptions.

The call for new expressions follows Minister Reynolds recent announcement that Queensland couples wishing to be assessed as adoptive parents would not be prevented from expressing interest because of arbitrary age limits.

The Adoption of Children Regulation 1999 has now been amended to completely remove maximum age limits from the eligibility criteria for all categories of adoption in Queensland, however applicants wishing to adopt a child from overseas will still need to meet any age requirements set by the country from which they are hoping to adopt.

Mr Reynolds said people wishing to adopt a child from a country with which Queensland has an adoption agreement or from within Queensland would be able to make an expression of interest during the next eight weeks while adoption registers are open.

"I am delighted to be able to provide Queensland families with an opportunity to express interest in being assessed as prospective adoptive parents for a child from another country or from within the state who is need of a loving family," Mr Reynolds said.

"As a result of changing societal values and the supports now available to parents, there are less and less Queensland children needing adoptive families, and to a growing extent, fewer overseas children whose needs cannot be met in their home countries," he said.

"Overseas nations determine the number of children for whom placements are required in Australia and seek overseas adoptive families if no placement can be found in their own country.

"Some countries, such as South Korea, are decreasing the number of adoptive placements in other countries in an attempt to find more local placements for Korean children.

"At the same time, the number of people seeking to adopt children from overseas continues to increase every year and there are already almost 895 couples on the department's mailing list waiting to be officially advised of this call for expressions of interest.

"Although we do need a number of expressions of interest to ensure we are able to match children requiring families with the best possible adoptive parents, changes in national and international adoption trends determines the number of adoptive parents to be assessed."

Mr Reynolds said he encouraged people interested in being assessed as prospective adoptive parents to attend one of a number of information sessions to be held by the Department of Child Safety over the coming weeks.

"The information provided at these sessions will assist interested families in making a decision about whether or not adoption is right for them, and will explain how to make an expression of interest and what the process for assessing adoption applications is," he said.

Mr Reynolds said the Department was geared up to receive the many hundreds of expressions that were likely to be lodged, and would have the capacity to complete as many assessments as was necessary to meet the needs of children requiring adoptive placements.

"We have recently advertised for additional adoption contract workers to form a pool of assessors for prospective adoptive parents in metropolitan, rural and regional Queensland.

"It is a priority for my department to ensure that there is a sufficient pool of qualified assessors ready and waiting to deal with the expressions we receive.

"We will also be engaging more external reviewers to consult with the assessment review team, as well as help increase the transparency of the decisions made and contribute to the quality of assessments."

Mr Reynolds said he was continuing to progress the Adoption Legislation Review and expected it to be finalised shortly.

"As well as preparing for the opening of expression of interest registers, I am continuing to focus on the Adoption Legislation Review and welcome feedback from anyone interested in adoptions in this state."

Information sessions will be held in Townsville at the Mercure Inn, Woolcock Street, Townsville on Friday 17 September from 1.30pm to 3.30pm and on Saturday 18 September from 9am to 11am.

Sessions will be held in Rockhampton at the Mercure Inn Leichhardt, cnr Denham and Bolsover Streets, Rockhampton on Friday 24 September between 1.30pm and 3.30pm and on Saturday 25 September from 9am to 11am.

Four sessions will be held in Brisbane for interested people living in south east Queensland. Two will be held at 111 George Street, Brisbane on Thursday 16 September from 7pm to 9pm and on Thursday 23 September from 7pm to 9pm. The other two will be held at the Bardon Conference Centre, 390 Simpsons Road, Bardon on Saturday 18 September from 9am to 11am and again between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

Media Contacts:
John Ross on 0408 728 996 or
Karla Steen 0407 582 041

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