AS WE CELEBRATE THE SUCCESSFUL DISCHARGES OF ADOPTEES FROM THEIR ADOPTION HEAR IN AUSTRALIA THERE REMAINS A VERY DANGEROUS CLAUSE IN THE ACT IN VICTORIA AND PERHAPS IN OTHER STATES THAT ALLOWS THE CHILD TO BE DISCHARGED BY THEIR ADOPTERS THE “FOREVER FAMILY” WHICH LEAVES THE DOOR WIDE OPEN FOR RE-HOMING LIKE IS THE PRACTICE IN THE USA.
RE- HOMEING You would say this could never happen in Australia
However our current State Adoption Act1984 has a loophole that leaves the possibility WIDE OPEN and as the adoption act will remain in place for many years as time rolls on this clause could be taken advantage of.
The VICTORIAN ADOPTION ACT 1984 – SECT 19.
“Discharge of adoption orders (1) An eligible person may apply to the Court for an order discharging an order for the adoption of a child made under this Act (a) “eligible person” means the adopted child to whom the adoption order relates, a natural parent of the adopted child, AN ADOPTIVE PARENT of the adopted child, the Secretary or the principal officer of the approved agency by which the adoption was arranged;”
Changes to the Act are necessary we completely oppose adopters having rights to discharge an adoption other than fraud.
That the adoption order or consent for the purposes of the adoption order was obtained by fraud, duress or other improper means”
So- if the adoption order was obtained by fraud (i.e. the adopters were misled)
– If not it will almost always be in the best interests of the adoptee to be unadapted by people who don’t want them so much for a “FOREVER FAMILY.”
It gives the adopters too much of an out.
What happens to the child then?
We argue giving adopters greater rights commodifies children because it means they can be “returned” if the adopters can make an argument that it’s in the child’s best interests
The Governments who have this legislation are trying to keep the adoptees, natural parents and adopters THE SAME but because it involves children they are NOT THE SAME.
To prevent the ‘re-homing ‘situation prevalent in the US we recommend
• Transparent process and criteria for straightforward ‘no-fault fuss free’ type Discharges of Adoption for adult adoptees only to be written into the Adoption Act.
• Adopters should only be able to apply for a Discharge of Adoption under no wider grounds than “that the adoption order or a consent for the purposes of the adoption order was obtained by fraud, duress or other improper means”