There is a school of thought that Adoption from Foster Care is a long to medium term back door strategy to supply babies and toddlers for Adoption
It is a well-known that most adopters prefer to adopt babies and infants and don’t really want older children for a variety of reasons in fact In Australia during 2015–16, 100% of local adoptees were aged under 5
The latest Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) report indicates an increase in numbers for 2016-17, largely made up of known child adoptions, the majority in NSW.
The AIHW report identifies that the increase in adoptions is primarily due to the rise in the number of adoptions by known carers 143 of these being foster carers, 131 of who were from NSW leaving 12 from all the other states and territories.
Of these children 80% were aged five years or older.
It is said the majority of people who want to adopt from OOHC presently are people who have had the long term care of the children.
This may be true however once the few that want to adopt the older foster kids that have been in there care have done so.
Where will supply come from then?
The truth will then start to surface as babies and toddlers are placed with foster carer’s. Who are really adopters that plan to adopt as known child adoptions. Then we will see the 80% aged five years or older reduce and the under 5 increase.
Of course those stats will take time to surface as the babies need to be in their care for one or two years first, and toddlers will get older and appear as over 5 conveniently hiding the truth. A more honest statistic would be to show the age the child was when they first came into the care of the foster carer/ adopter and how long the child was in their care before adoption was approved.
“Adopt Change is pleased to see the New South Wales government leading the way to prioritise Adoption/permanency and suggests that other states are now considering adoption as a permanency option for children in out of home care.”
We must do our best to try and stop this back door method to adoption of infants from happening.