Sunday, November 18, 2007

IAFQ Picnic in the park

Here are a few pics from the IAFQ Picnic in the Park today. The picnic was designed to bring a focus to intercountry adoption, particularly issues around fee increases, post adoption programs, and the need for more agreements between Australia and other countries in order to open up new programs. We had a number of guest speakers, including IAFQ's new official ambassador, Deborra-Lee Furness. Deborra-Lee and her husband Hugh Jackman have two adopted children.
Most of the other speakers were politicians, including local ministers and the Federal Attorney General Phillip Ruddock . I enjoyed most the speech from Jann Stuckey MP for Currumbin. She showed genuine concern and passion for intercountry adoption.

Here's the two of us, just kicking back!If you're in Australia, be sure to watch Today Tonight and A Current Affair tomorrow night (Monday 19th Nov).

**Leisa can be seen in the background of our pic, and she has written an informative post about the picnic - read it here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Aussie adoption books

I bought some new books last night, specifically relating to intercountry adoption within Australia. Kudos to Borders who have significantly expanded their range of adoption books over the past year.

Adopting Overseas (2007), subtitled as A Guide to Adopting from Australia, Plus Personal Stories that will Inspire You. It discusses the history of adoption in Australia, and relevant processes, facts and statistics as well as advice on managing a range of issues. I want to share a great passage from it that had me in tears (though that doesn't take much really), but have to see if the publishers will give permission first.
Adopting Parents' Stories (2007) which is a compilation of stories from adoptive parents and families in Australia. I haven't started this one yet, but I like the way its organised into different chapters, eg. Dreams, Loss & Grief, Hope, Conflict, Journey, Challenge - and that it is real stories and recent stories.

Unfortunately Amazon doesn't stock either of them, but both can purchased direct from the publishers (which I've linked to if you click each title).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Free rice

Go here - get smarter and feed the hungry at the same time. Read the FAQ to understand how it works.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Waiting parents dinner

We went to the IAFQ waiting parents dinner on Saturday night and made new friends and caught up with others. It was so much fun, and there was a good turn out of nearly 30 people. If you live in Brisbane and are in the process of adopting, please come to the next one! Thank you Leisa for organising the dinners all year. We have appreciated them so much.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

No report yet, but the register has reopened!

UPDATE: No, your RSS feed isn't going crazy and I haven't just written thirty new entries. I've just cleaned up some tags, sorry!

No news! (is good news?) We haven't heard back yet about our report. Will wait another couple of weeks before we contact the Dept.

It would have been nice to have been approved before last Sunday so that the new increase in costs wouldn't apply to us for post-placement visits ($1500). Because we're still waiting for approval, we have to pay it. I acknowledge that the Dept has to draw a line in the sand somewhere, but it annoys me that the only reason we're not approved yet and therefore we DO have to pay the extra is because of a hold up at their end (oh yeah, not to mention putting our file on hold mistakenly for six weeks or whatever it was).

Anyway, we could query it, but are choosing our battles wisely. Some things aren't worth making a song and dance about when there are potentially bigger fish to fry in the future. Don't want too many nasty comments on file next to our names.

In other news, the Queensland register has re-opened (hurrah!) meaning couples can now lodge their expression of interest in the process again.

In a recent letter the Minister for Child Safety outlined that couples applying now could expect to progress in 18-20 months. That is just the Qld side, not the overseas side. Yup, this is just getting approval BEFORE any files go overseas. Slap another 2 - 7 years onto that to get a realistic expectation for most couples til placement with a child. This is a 'dramatic increase' from the process in 2004 where it was not unusual for the process to take three years to get to approval stage. I'm pleased things are speeding up, but I also fear a massive backlog for countries where Qld has a quota of files. We currently only have agreements with 14 countries, and many of them have quotas. I might write about that more in a future post.

So, just dropping in to say we're still here, still waiting, and still reading all your blogs!