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Nachtengel
Friday, November 20th, 2009, 09:03 PM
RACISM and a fear of the unknown have led to an anti-adoption culture within the Australian Government, Deborra-Lee Furness says.

The actress, who was in Sydney today to launch National Adoption Awareness week, has called for the Government to "clean house" and change what she says is an expensive and complex process of adopting overseas children.

"Australia has the lowest adoption rate in the developed world ... 270 last year including local (adoptions)," she told AAP.

"It's embarrassing ... when we have such resources and richness and wealth.

"So many people come to me and say 'I want to adopt' and they can't ... someone said to me they had been waiting 16 years."

Furness and her actor husband Hugh Jackman have two children, Oscar, 9, and Ava, 4, who they adopted from the US. She has long campaigned for reform, and in 2008 spurred on a Federal Government decision to form an advisory group on inter-country adoption.

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Today, she spoke of her own experiences with the onerous process.

"I went to a meeting years ago and it was so negative, it was so negative what they were saying to me and they were trying to deter us from doing it," she told AAP.

"The red tape process is so invasive and it takes too long - in other countries it can take (as little as) 12 months.

"They (Australian authorities) don't want you to do it, (it's an) anti-adoption culture."

Furness said the negative attitude of Government had long existed.

"We haven't done abandoned children well in our past history, (including) the stolen generation of Aboriginal (children)," she said.

"I think people are scared to touch this, they are scared to stand up and make a decision that we have to do something.

"They signed the convention to rights of a child which said we would assist these children, 20 years ago."

Asked if she believed a racist culture and a fear of the unknown had contributed, Furness replied, "Yes, I am sure it's all in there like a big melting pot."

"We blew it in the past, let's do something good now and step up and make a difference," she said.

Furness has called on the Government to create a dedicated agency with a parliamentary secretary to oversee the adoption process. She is also calling for a change of attitudes and understanding from the wider community.

"Past practices allowed secrecy and shame to overshadow the need for transparency and acceptance and this has placed a huge burden on our adopted children," she said.

The awareness week, with the slogan A Call to Action, would help to "destigmatise this issue that has been prevalent for too long", Furness said.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/fear-racism-prevent-easy-adoption-says-deborra-lee-furness/story-fn3dxiwe-1225798230087

Old Winter
Saturday, November 21st, 2009, 12:51 AM
"It's embarrassing ... when we have such resources and richness and wealth.


Negro lands are full of that, but they are to stupid to get it out of the ground and use it.

People say that we Europeans stole it all, wrong, 99% is still in the ground, if that was true then China wouldn't be there right now digging it up.

theTasmanian
Sunday, November 22nd, 2009, 12:41 AM
The only reason i could see anyone wanting to adopt is because they cannot do it them selves or they are Gay's and even then it is VERY odd to see a "white" person with black or Asian kids

we can be a very picky society we don't tend to like things out of the "Normal" structure of things(Anglo-Saxon ;) ) and any that don't get looked down upon more often than not if they don't like it well HTFU :-O :P