On December 19, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced in Sydney that he would do everything he could over the next year to make completing international adoptions easier for Australians.
“Adoption is all about giving children a better life.” he was quoted as saying at the event. “There are too many children who have no parents, or no effective parents, and they deserve a better life. And adoption is a way of giving it to them. For too long adoption has been in the ‘too hard’ basket. For too long it has been too hard to adopt, and for too long it has been a policy no-go zone and that must change. I am absolutely determined to change… and we will change within 12 months.”
Actress and adoption advocate Deborra-Lee Furness and her husband, Hugh Jackman, who are adoptive parents of two children, were both present at the event. Furness is the founder of National Adoption Awareness Week, which works to bring about adoption reform.
There have been rising concerns in Australia resulting from the steadily declining adoption rate over the past 20 years. Further, many people feel that international adoptions take too long (5-10 years) and are too expensive for most people to consider as a viable option. Tony Abbott decided to respond to these concerns.
According to LifeSiteNews.com, the Prime Minister set up a task force that will report to him in March of 2014 about ways to streamline the process. These findings will provide the basis for Abbott’s recommendations for reforms at the April Council of Australian Governments meeting.