SBS Insight : Making Adoption Easier

SBS Insight Episode aired Tuesday, 4 Mar 14.

Hopefully we are moving forward.

Brothers Brendan, 15, and Shannon, 13, were born to a drug-addicted mother. They never felt safe living with foster carers and would hide whenever a stranger came to the door, worried they would be taken away again. Brendan says his fear subsided when he was adopted and had a permanent home.

At age 12, Khaled pushed for his own adoption, even though he still has a good relationship with his biological mum.

Over the past few decades, local adoptions have substantially declined.

But the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward is pushing for more kids in care to be adopted – a move that could transform the adoption landscape across the country.

She tells Insight that parents whose kids have been removed should be given a limited timeframe "to turn their life around", and that adoption should be prioritised above foster care.

Some parents like "Katelin" think this process is unrealistic and unfair to biological parents. Katelin was drug-addicted when her child was removed. It took her three years to get clean and win her child back.

This week, Insight hears directly from children who have been in care, biological mothers, and adoptive parents about the challenges they have faced. We ask: should it be easier to adopt Australian children in care? And how will it affect the child in the long term?

Read the episode's transcript or watch online here.