Adoption has taken a significant step forward with the NSW Government announcing today the University of Sydney has won the tender to establish the Institute of Open Adoption Studies, a research body that will advance adoption in NSW.
The Institute will receive $2.85 million in funding over three years and is the first independent government funded adoption research body of its kind in Australia.
Launching the Institute, which was an election commitment by the NSW Government, Premier Mike Baird said it will be the gold standard in setting best practice for open adoptions in Australia.
"We are committed to increasing adoption numbers in NSW, and particularly helping more vulnerable children in Out Of Home Care into permanent and loving families. Every child deserves a stable home,” Mr Baird said.
“Already NSW has the highest numbers of children and young people adopted from care but we can do more, and the Institute will help us with this goal.”
Almost 20,000 children and young people are in Out Of Home Care in NSW. The Institute will research open adoption and its impact on children, birth families, adoptive applicants, and adoption practitioners working in the field to improve outcomes for these vulnerable young people.
In addition, the Government announced a further $2 million to progress existing adoption applications. This was a key issue raised at the Ministerial Open Adoption Forum held in October 2015. A report on the forum was released today.
Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard said in many cases open adoption is the best option, which is why the Government is focusing on making the process easier and more transparent.
““The Institute’s research will provide a knowledge base for open adoption which will support cultural change around the issue,” Mr Hazzard said.
Open adoption allows for ongoing contact between the adopted child, the birth parents and the adoptive parents where it is found to be in the child’s best interests.
University of Sydney Chancellor, Belinda Hutchinson said the Institute has the responsibility of delivering research to enable lasting positive change.
“At the heart of the Institute’s endeavours is our society’s shared duty to provide greater numbers of children with a safe home for life,” said Ms Hutchinson.