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Monday, 8 February 2010
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To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives:

This petition of Raymond Allan and Suzanne Dawn Dousset, citizens of Australia, draws to the attention of the House that whilst living in China, in 2002 we began a relationship with 10 year-old orphan Wang Xiang (later named Deborah). Deborah was abandoned at three weeks of age. She has minor physical disability of the hips and legs, and an intellectual age 3-4 years behind her physical age. Neither requires on-going treatment, nor either an impediment to her playing a role in Australian society.

In 2005 we began fostering Deborah, and two attempts and an appeal to adopt her failed because of a 14 year-old age limit. This was in spite of our long-term relationship with her, and that she had been living with us since her 14th birthday. We have seven adult children and six grandchildren.

We returned to Australia in August and currently have Deborah with us on a six-month tourist visa which expires on 11 February. This is marked with an 8503 restriction (Not to be extended), which we have unsuccessfully appealed.

Deborah does not meet any requirements for immigration to Australia, so the office of the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has indicated he is unable to intervene.

We respectfully request the House to take whatever action is appropriate to allow Chinese orphan Wang Xiang (Deborah) to migrate to Australia on compassionate grounds, and to live with Raymond and Suzanne Dousset.

Mrs Irwinby (from 586 citizens)