Monday, October 11, 2010

The post I didn't want to write

We had our court hearing, and ultimately while the news is not positive, there were some good elements.

The tribunal is not able to rule against legislation, and so the decision to remove our names from the register and our file from China remains. It sucks. I don't know what else to say.

I mentioned there were some good elements. The tribunal was awesome. They believe we had a very strong case and said we are a very impressive couple whose passion and commitment were evident, however they are bound by law. They said if there was any way at all they could change the decision that the Dept had made that they would. They were incredibly empathetic towards us, and justifiably interrogative of the Dept. They drilled the Dept. on a number of issues trying to see if there was any way around this at all; sadly there wasn't/isn't.

All along the Dept kept saying, 'Don't worry, when your son turns 1 you can start the process again!' (like it was no big deal to just lose the past four years spent in the process). Now they have advised us that even if we reapply when he turns one (in eight weeks time), they are unlikely to progress our application at all in this financial year as they already have enough couples to deal with. They have also said that they wouldn't accept us for China BECAUSE THE WAIT IS TOO LONG so they are directing couples to other countries. Can anyone else see the irony in this? Sometimes I wish Queensland had private adoption agencies instead of an apparently anti-adoption government department managing these things.

The recommendation for us is to finish having any biological children and then when the youngest of those turns one year of age to apply again, and hopefully by that time they will be accepting couples for China again and able to move us through the process.

And that is that.





But trusting. Trusting that everything will work out eventually. We will have our blended family. It will not be in the time frame we hoped or planned for, and we have a thousand more boxes to check and hoops to jump, but we will not give up.

Thank you for sharing our journey.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In case you were wondering...

Ah, my lovely blog. So neglected... but for good reason.

Where do I start? For those who know me in person or on FB, this will come as no surprise. For those who have been following our blog for a few years, I have some news.

Early 2009 we looked at the wait times from China and concluded that we were many, many years away from a referral. Some website calculators using referral data predict our referral to be another ten years away. You may be aware that it has always been our intention to have a blended family of biological and adopted children. You know where this is headed right?

We made a decision to pursue pregnancy.

Our beautiful boy was born in December. He is now 8 and a half months old.

In February this year, when our son was two months old, new legislation came into effect in Australia. I guess they figured things weren't difficult enough already for Australian couples trying to adopt. Basically, if you have a child under 12 months of age in your care, you are deemed ineligible and your names must be removed from the register of 'suitable adoptive parents'. Once your child turns a year old, you can recommence the adoption process FROM THE BEGINNING. Yep, there is no allowance for putting a file on hold, you are pulled out completely and required to go through the process again, even though the period of ineligibility is temporary.

This seems ludicrous to us and defies logic. We have been told that it is because we need to be prepared to accept the allocation of a child at any given moment, and if we already have a baby we are not in a position to do so. Of course, the facts don't matter - it is irrelevant that China refers on a chronological basis and that we are never going to get an out-of-the-blue surprise phone call one day. This legislation is generic and covers all adoptions in Australia, including local adoptions and those from all participating countries. There is no allowance for individual country programs (eg. those with exorbitant wait times) or family circumstances.

Anyway, long (loooooong) story short, our file has not been pulled from China. We are in the process of pursuing administrative tribunal as we fight to stay logged-in. We are also working towards having the legislation amended, so we'll see what success we have with that.

So that's our news... hopefully it was worth waiting for!

Here's a pic of our joy:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dodgy website

Grrr! I am saddened and angered to learn of a new website and adoption service - Adoption Australia. What a con. For $214 they can provide you with information that is otherwise freely available. They are preying on unsuspecting and vulnerable couples who are new to the process and probably not yet aware that the same information can be found at the Attorney General's website or obtained from their state authority. Likewise, support and advice is available from each state's support group (such as IAFQ in Qld). I hope they don't suck too many people in.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Meeting Xinran

Last month it was a delight to meet Xinran. I have all her books and have been a fan for years. Her latest book, Messages from an Unknown Chinese Mother is a fascinating read. In it she documents stories from a range of Chinese birth mothers. The book is insightful and heart-wrenching. It is a must-read for the Chinese adoption community.

I took the opportunity to have Xinran sign a couple of her books.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sad state of adoption in Australia

Australians have the option of adopting internationally from 14 different countries. As I mentioned late last year, the Ethiopia program is currently suspended pending investigation and a decision by the Attorney General. Other programs are now dropping like flies. Philippines have placed a moratorium on adoption of children 24 months and younger. The Fiji program is on hold until a bilateral agreement can be reached.

Some countries have placed small quotas on the number of files it will accept from Australia this year (for example, Lithuania will only accept TWO files from each central authority for adoption of children under age 6), and other countries have obscene waiting times (for example, China is nearly up to four years from the time they receive your file, and all indicators suggest it is going to get much worse before it gets better.)

Local adoption is so scarce it is almost non-existent.

None of this is great news for those hoping to build their family through adoption.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adopting a hard line

Article in today's The Australian newspaper reflecting the sad state of Australian inter-country adoption.
Adopting a Hard Line on Parents