Lifestyle

PM’s international adoption law vow

STILL CONCERNED: Kerri Saint worries that those who would liberalise overseas adoption laws still do not understand that many of the children involved are not really orphans.
STILL CONCERNED: Kerri Saint worries that those who would liberalise overseas adoption laws still do not understand that many of the children involved are not really orphans. Renee Pilcher

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has promised The Gympie Times he will not "repeat the mistakes of the past" in his plan to liberalise overseas adoption laws.

But the Imbil woman whose concerns he was addressing says she is worried the Prime Minister still does not "get it," saying some overseas adoptions are really about kidnapping, even stealing children off the streets for profit while parents are not looking.

Many overseas orphanages are full of children who still have living relatives and are not orphans, even if their parents cannot afford to feed them, she said.

"They might have a famine that year and, well, what would you do?

"Often they hope to be able to visit their children and take them home again when they have enough food.

"They don't expect their children to be taken away and to never see them again."

She wants people who are concerned about children to help keep them with their biological families, rather than engage in what she calls "legalised child stealing".

A victim of forced adoption in the 1960s, Ms Saint says children and their parents never recover from the loss when they are separated "and the ripple effect causes problems for their children and grandchildren".

In a personally signed letter, sent care of The Gympie Times, Mr Abbott thanked me for sending him our report of Ms Saint's concerns about overseas adoption, as advocated by celebrities like Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-lee Furness.

"In working through the issue of adoptions, I am determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

"However, I also believe there are many children - both here and abroad - who would benefit from a good home.

"For a child, indeed for anyone, it is far better to be loved than not to be loved at all.

"There are also people who would love to be parents but, for all sorts of reasons, it is very difficult," he said.

Mr Abbott promised to pass Ms Saint's concerns onto his interdepartmental committee on overseas adoption and to consider the views of those affected by forced adoption.

Gympie Times

Topics:  adoption, kerri saint, tony abbott



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