Happy World Adoption Day! Adoption plays a hugely important role in our community, ensuring that children grow up in a safe, stable and supportive environment. Whether you’re considering adoption for your child, or are interested in adopting a child into your family, here are 10 things you should know:
- If you’re considering adoption for your baby, you’re not giving your baby away.
You’re giving your baby a future. For whatever reason, you are feeling unable to provide this yourself. It’s brave and admirable to show such concern for the future of your child.
- If you’re thinking about adopting a child, you’re not stealing someone else’s child.
You’re giving their child a future that they were unable to provide at the time. It’s courageous and all kinds of wonderful to open your heart like that.
- Adoption practices within Australia differ in each state.
The best way to find information is to hop onto your state government’s adoption page. You’ll be pleased to know that we have listed them all in one place HERE.
- Australia favours open adoption.
This means that, if desired, the birth mother can maintain some contact with her child.
- The biological mother (and father) can be involved in selecting the adoptive parents.
This nurtures an open relationship with all parties so that everyone is respected.
- The process of adopting a child is often long and stressful.
Unfortunately this is the truth of the matter. It’s why there are so few adoptions within Australia and why many choose to adopt children from overseas. Some state governments have made changes to ensure a quicker, smoother process (like in NSW where open adoption is favoured over long-term foster care).
- The process of putting a child up for adoption is comparatively straightforward.
There are checks and balances, of course. But there is a clear process for making an adoption order, which is a legally binding document stating all the particulars of your adoption arrangement. Legal Aid provides free advice.
- Pre-adoption birth certificates are available to adoptees once they turn 18 years of age.
Not all choose to seek out their birth parents, but that option is made available when they turn 18. That is, of course, if they are not already in regular contact with birth parents.
- Birth parents can choose not to have any contact with their child.
This includes a veto on contact when the child turns 18.
- Adoption is a loving option.
When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, adoption is often forgotten. But it has the potential to be the best option in some cases. When the mother is unable to care for her child, adoption respects the life, enabling the child to flourish under the loving parenthood of others.
Want to know more?
Wini is a mother of adopted children. She can’t speak for all adoptive mothers, but her mother’s heart is a great indication of where many mums like her are at. We asked her the questions that every birth mother wants to ask the woman adopting her child.
Read it here.