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    The Adoption and Permanent Care Association of NSW Inc (APA) is formed and run by parents who have formed their families through adoption and permanent care. We offer support and recommendations for couples and families involved in the NSW local, inter-country adoptions and permanent care programs.  Read More
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    Join our active online community of families and child welfare professionals exchanging ideas, tips, resources, and encouragement with each other every day. Read More
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    We provide support to people who are considering forming a family through local. inter-country adoption or permanent care no matter what stage you’re at in the local adoption process. By becoming a member you can be a part and take advantage of our kids club, social events, members only Facebook group and much more. We run the APA through a private Facebook group. Please email our President, Kelly Gray at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply for membership. Read More
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    Adoption of a child from NSW (the local NSW program) is available through Community Services Adoption and Permanent Care Services, and a number of accredited adoption agencies. Read More
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Prime Minister Tony Abbott's open heart policy: Australia's intercountry adoption system to be expanded under a raft of changes

Article from The Telegraph by Patrick Lion - 23rd March (2) FAMILIES will be allowed to adopt children from a raft of new countries under an expansion of Australia's intercountry adoption system.

The Abbott government is also interested in streamlining visa processing and health checks for children from overseas in a bid to slash delays and burdens for families.

The likely moves come as the government looks to change the way intercountry adoptions occur, with Canberra possibly taking over much of the heavy-lifting from the current state-federal crossover, which is criticised for being confusing.

This could take the form of a new federal body or the Commonwealth supporting an NGO with the capability to deliver additional services.

NSW may find itself at the centre of the action, with the government interested in running a national support service out of the state to provide ongoing support for families once their overseas adoption was complete.

The moves, which would not affect domestic adoptions, are likely to emerge out of a committee overseen by Prime Minister Tony Abbott's department, which will report to him next month before the states thrash out the issue at COAG in May.

Amendments recently announced streamlined adoptions from Taiwan and South Korea — countries with agreements with Australia but not subject to The Hague convention, which had caused families to go to court when the child arrived in Australia to be recognised.

But The Daily Telegraph understands more of these countries in the same situation, as well as new countries where there is no adoption agreement, will be added. Currently, Australia has agreements with 13 countries. There are 93 countries contracted to the Hague Convention.

The Prime Minister has taken a keen interest in the issue, championed by star couple Deborra-Lee Furness and Hugh Jackman, after the 2005 case involving a 27-year-old man Mr Abbott believed to be his love child and put up for adoption but was later found to be fathered by another man.

Furness' Adoption Awareness group had wanted the list of countries expanded given the US accepted children from scores more nations than Australia.

The group's chairman John O'Neill, the former boss of Tourism NSW who also served as an adviser to former NSW treasurer Michael Egan, welcomed the new countries. He adopted his Korean son Sang, now nine, as a six-month-old in 2005.

But he said further streamlining was needed to address the average five-year wait before a child arrived in Australia.

"We celebrated and think it's great but the main game is yet to be done," he said.

"The PM knows that and is up for it, we believe."

About 340 children were adopted in Australia last year, including about 130 from overseas. There are about 18,000 children in foster care in NSW.

Read full article.