Sunday, December 31, 2006

Local Requirements

The CCAA's new guidelines won't change an awful lot around here. In our state, Queensland, the following requirements for adoption were already in place and have been for a while:
- no singles
- married for two years
- not suffering from a physical or mental condition or disability to the extent that you could not provide a high level of stable, long-term care for a child. This includes having a BMI in the healthy range
- not more than four children in the custody of either or both husband and wife
- expression of interest progression is dependent on the results of a criminal history check (possibility for case by case consideration)
- until recently, there was an age limit of 47. Amendments to the Adoption of Children Regulation in 2004 removed this upper age limit.

We also have the following requirements...
- no adopting out of birth order
- adopted child must be at least two years younger than any other child in the family
- full time home care of the child by either husband or wife for twelve months following adoption (ie. no daycare / childcare)
- adoption is only possible from countries that have ratified the Hague Convention (or are signatories to a bilateral agreement that they will act according to the principles of the Hague) and that have official agreements in place with Queensland. At present, this is less than 15 countries, many of which have miniscule quotas for the number of children they will allocate to Queensland each year. There are quite a few countries where there is a backlog of files from Queensland, and consequently we have couples waiting for years and years for a placement. I'm thankful that China has no quota system.

Further, couples can't just apply when they want to. We have to wait until an Expression of Interest process opens. It was open for a short time in 2004 (I think it was about 6-8 weeks). If you missed out getting your expression of interest in then, too bad - you had to wait until the next opening, which they couldn't say when it would be. It ended up being in July 2006. This meant that some couples who just missed the deadline had to wait over 18months just to even lodge interest.

It is made clear in documentation that the Dept works on behalf of the best interest of children; that adoption is a service for children, not parents.

I'm not sharing any of this to complain - I'm just shedding light on the procedures and rules we have to follow, as I know that it is very different to adopting through an agency, like is possible in the States. I believe the Queensland process is thorough.

It's probably pretty clear why this blog is titled Checking Boxes :-)


Kristen said...

Wow.. those are some pretty strict regulations. Especially the expression of interest timeframe, that in itself is hard to imagine!

Have a Happy New Year Emma & Aaron!

David said...

Wow! Very enlightening...and you do definitely have a tougher road than we do...but congratulations on moving forward!

Happy New Year!

a&mg said...

Wow, I never realized you had all those regulations that were so different from the States. Thanks for sharing!

Happy 2007 to you!!