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Tuesday, 15 May 1973
Page: 2149

Mr GRASSBY (Riverina) (Minister for Immigration) - I appreciate fully the problem which has been raised by the honourable member for Angas (Mr Giles). He is giving voice, I might say, to a considerable concern expressed by many in our community at the present time. I want to reply to the honourable member very specifically on one point, namely, that the Department of Immigration of the Australian Government is advised in the basic principle relating to this matter by the various State Departments of child welfare. The biggest problem faced by these families, or at least the individuals, who wish to adopt the children, the dispossessed, the orphans of Vietnam is to validate the adoption through the State authorities. In the first instance, these children must be adopted according to Vietnamese law. When that is done, the next obstacle is in relation to the State department. If the various State departments approve the adoption and when proper clearance has been secured I will give every support - I want to pledge my co-operation in this - to getting the child united with its parents of adoption in Australia. But the essential problem resides with the State department.

In regard to the matters raised concerning the United States Government and its procedures, I must say to the honourable member very specifically and very honestly that I am not aware of these procedures. I will have them studied, as a result of the honourable member's raising the matter tonight, and I will be in touch with him about them, but please assure all the folk-

Mr Giles - Write to Mrs Young.

Mr GRASSBY - I will do that through the honourable member and I will also let the House know the result of the studies. I am aware of the concern, I share the concern, I am anxious to help. I think it is a matter of acting in partnership and in concert with the State governments concerned.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Armitage)Order!It being 11 o'clock the House stands adjourned until 1 1 a.m. tomorrow.

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