By MARK KENNY
NICOLE Lawder says adopting children in the ACT is unnecessarily onerous and the process needs to be made faster and more streamlined.
“There are concerns in the community about how long it takes to adopt a child in the ACT and the Barr government needs to recognise there’s a problem. There were only 17 adoptions in 2013-14, including only seven local adoptions,” Nicole said.
“Once the Community Services Directorate (CSD) facilitates an application for an adoption order, which takes on average 18 months, the order then needs to go before a judge in the courts system.
“Because of the backlog of civil cases in the courts, adoption orders are delayed. It’s been reported that one family has waited six years for an adoption order to be made.
The government needs to take immediate action and reduce the backlog of civil cases.
“$39 million is currently being spent on the Out of Home Care Strategy, which historically has failed to provide the emotional stability and permanency that children need.
“Adoption has enormous benefits for families and children involved. The Barr government needs to understand this and focus on making the process easier in the ACT,” Ms Lawder concluded.