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Tuesday, 15 May 1973
Page: 2148

Mr GILES (ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I wish to refer to a matter concerning a Mrs Young of my electorate who belongs to an association called the Australian Adoptive Families Association. Her particular worry, which I told her I would bring up briefly in Parliament at the first available opportunity, is that she says she wrote to the Minister for Immigration (Mr Grassby) in December last and has had a telegram from his secretary to say that the Minister will look into a matter of adoption, but she has not yet had anything else from the Minister. She says that she wrote again to the Minister towards the end of February, but this did not make much difference. The problem that the Association poses to the Minister - I will try to make this as brief as possible - is that in order to adopt a war orphan from Vietnam, a child of varied race, which the members of the Association wish -o do, they have to apply for adoption by proxy through a Vietnamese lawyer once the children have been located for adoption purposes. At some subsequent stage they are :hen in a position perhaps to bring a child to Australia.

They wish to ask the Minister 2 questions: Firstly, if the children are under 2 years of age and if they come in as a group, will the Commonwealth bear the cost of the fare of an escort to look after them? Secondly, would these children be eligible to enter Australia on an assisted passage? They then go on to point out that the United States Government has an agreement with the Vietnamese Government whereby a release form is sent to Vietnam and the child can then leave for its new home within 6 weeks of its being located, during Which time the legal adoption process is conducted and completed in Vietnam. My information is that it costs $25 a month while the child is being cared for in Vietnam, and that it takes sometimes 8 to 9 months to complete, the proxy adoption. That is the situation that applies in the case of Mrs Young and I promised her, rightly or wrongly, that I would bring up this matter at the first available opportunity.

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