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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3385

Senator Pratt asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 17 December 2009:

(1)   How many intercountry adoption applications have been processed by the relevant state and territory authorities for each of the following financial years: (a) 2007-08; (b) 2008-09; and (c) 2009-10.

(2)   What was the average cost of processing each application for: (a) states and territories; and (b) the Commonwealth.

Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water) —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   The Community and Disability Services Ministerial Advisory Council (CDSMAC) considered a recommendation of the Overseas Adoption in Australia Report for performance information on intercountry adoption applications to be published including data on timeliness, separations and efficiency indicators such as the cost of each file processed. At the CDSMAC meeting on 5-6 November 2009 members unanimously agreed to not support further work implementing this recommendation. While the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publishes figures on finalised adoptions by State and Territory each year, many more applications are at the various stages of processing both in Australia and overseas. For 2007/08 there were 270 finalised intercountry adoptions across Australia. No data is yet available for 2008-09 or 2009-10.

(2) (a)   State and Territory Governments are solely responsible for processing individual adoption applications. As such, the cost associated with processing applications is a matter for the relevant State or Territory Government. (b) The Commonwealth Government is responsible for the establishment and management of Australia’s intercountry adoption arrangements, and for related policy. The Commonwealth has no role in processing individual adoption applications. The Commonwealth Government allocated $2.7 million to oversee Australia’s intercountry adoption programs in the 2009-10 Budget.