NSW PREMIER Morris Iemma has announced a raft of updates to the state’s adoption laws that he says are about ensuring better outcomes for the protection of children.
The changes are likely to be greeted with relief by prospective parents, especially foster parents, because Iemma hopes they will now not have to spend more than $3000 in application fees under the streamlined arrangements.
Among other changes, foster parents will also be entitled to keep receiving the foster carer’s allowance if they adopt a child they are caring for. For relatives, the time it takes to adopt has been cut. They will now need only a two-year relationship, rather than five years, with the child for adoption to go ahead.
Other changes include allowing women to apply for adoption while they are trying to have their own children through involvement in fertility programs.