Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ACT Government Apology

It has just come to my attention that The ACT Government will make a formal apology to those affected by past forced adoption practices, at 10.00am on Tuesday 14 August 2012.  this will be delivered  at the ACT Legislative Assembly, Canberra.

For those who cannot make it to Canberra you will be able to view the delivery of the
apology live by going to the webstreaming tab. Click on link at post 'title.'

Another step forward for Australia.  It will be interesting to hear what the apology covers.

The state of Intercountry Adoption from Africa & Ethiopia

Recently Australia's involvement in the Ethiopian Adoption program was brought to a sudden hault with the Hon Nicola Roxon announcing the decision to cease all adoptions from Ethiopia as of the end of June 2012, due to the unstable conditions surrounding adoptions from that country.  With little other explaination hundreds of awaiting couples who have spent many years planning to adopt has now been brought to an abrupt ending.  Since that decision I stumbled across an article covering the current general state of adoptions in both Africa and Ethiopia, and in my mind explains some very important points that could have led Australia to withdraw from the Ethiopian program.  Here is an abstract of that article which I hope may help explain the vulnrability that these countries face with the children left within their orphanages.

'There is no word for adoption in most African languages and the concept is greatly misunderstood. Many African family systems have traditionally favoured informal care of children by extended family or community with no legal basis for the arrangement. Adoption agencies are accused of profiting from this misconception as parents are persuaded to sign away their children.
This is exemplified by the situation in Ethiopia. It could soon become the leading sending country in the world as adoption agencies there are accused of soliciting children directly from families. Women are coerced into relinquishing their new-borns and according to Dutch NGO Against Child Trafficking (ACT) the adoption process in Ethiopia “is riddled by fraud and other criminal activities. Parents are stated dead when they are not, dates of birth are falsified, false information is provided to the courts”.

This of course is a very sad state of affairs for all concerned; especially for the women who feel they have no other choice but to give their children over to someone else's care to ensure they can - at least - have something to eat.  My heart truly goes out to all concerned and these governments and adoption agencies who allow this type of activity to continue in this day and age is just outrageous.  Australia, instead of pulling out from these type of programs leaving nothing but the children still facing uncertain futures, should instead be negotiating a better way with these countries to ensure those vulnrable children ABLE to be adopted out with consent are; and those without consent are helped to return to their families, enabling them to lead happy healthy lives as expected.
How can we help this happen?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Australia's withdrawal from the Ethiopian Adoption Program

Dear Friends,
I just signed the campaign: Sustain its pledge to UN Rights of the Child and Reopen the Ethiopian Intercountry Adoption Program
It would mean the world to me if you could also add your name to this important issue. Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign and makes it more likely for us to get the change we want to see.
Will you join me by taking action on this campaign? Click on post title to go to petition.

For those who are uncertain as to why this pledge is so important; Australia's Attorney Generals Department announced recently that as of the end of June 2012, Australia would be withdrawing from the current Ethiopian Adoption program due to  the program apparently becoming 'increasingly unpredictable.'  This means hundreds of couples who have been waiting years to adopt from overseas are now left devastated by this decision.  What can we do?  We can make a united stand to send a clear message that Australians need this program to help fulfill the need in giving these vulnerable children a stable and loving home.  Australia is capable of this as much as any other country.  Join us now to change this decision quickly.