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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 3010

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (10:58): This week is National Adoption Awareness Week, which draws attention to the fact that 30,000Australian children are in need of a permanent, loving home. According to Adopt Change, these children have been living separately from their birth families for two or more years. In my home state of South Australia, there were 2,786 children placed in out-of-home care in 2014. This was double the number of children in care in 2004.

The Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People reports that children in out-of-home care want their parents helped, if help would make a difference, but they do not want to be left in limbo. Children want a safe and loving home. Sadly, this is an outcome too few children enjoy, as adoption rates remain at record lows. There were just 317 adoptions Australia wide in 2013-14. In 2014-15, only 209 children were adopted. And yet, while we have low adoption rates, a very high number of children need safe and loving homes. We have record numbers of Australian women undergoing around 65,000 IVF cycles a year, with an average success rate of only 19 per cent. We clearly have many people desperate to have a baby or to adopt a child who cannot do so. We have children in care and children at risk who could be provided with safe and loving homes. We need to give these children the best chance in life. Through adoption, they can be provided with a permanent loving home.

I commend the work Adopt Change and CEO Renee Carter are doing on this issue this week to raise awareness. I commend their four points of change, which are: No. 1, an increase in the number of children in permanent, loving and stable homes across Australia; No. 2, removing barriers to permanency to allow timely, positive outcomes for children; No. 3, trauma-informed support services should be provided for children and for their families, and No. 4, prioritising a streamlined system for adoptions across Australia. I again commend the incredible work that Adopt Change are doing. They brought a number of very impressive speakers to Parliament House this morning, and we had the honour of hearing from them and the minister, Zed Seselja, on this very important issue. I hope that state colleagues will work with us at the federal level to achieve change and make sure that we are giving all children the best chance in life. As I said, through adoption, they can be provided with a permanent loving home, which all children deserve in life.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Bird ): In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.