Media Release by The Hon Christian Porter MP

New intercountry adoption programmes with Poland and Latvia

Joint Media Release with:

  • Prime Minister The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
    Attorney-General Senator The Hon George Brandis QC

The Government today announced new intercountry adoption programmes with Poland and Latvia.

Both Poland and Latvia have a strong commitment to finding families within their borders for children in need. Where appropriate families cannot be found within Poland or Latvia, Australian families will be able to help provide permanent loving homes to those children. This is particularly the case for older children, children with medical needs and sibling groups.

The Government is committed to providing better support for families and children going through the adoption process, which can be uncertain, tiring and difficult.

We are pleased to announce that LifeWorks will receive up to $3.5 million over four years for family support services to help families and children that are going through the intercountry adoption process.

The service will be delivered in partnership with International Social Service Australia and will provide relationship counselling and parenting support services by trained professionals. It will help families to connect to any specialist services they may need when they bring their child home to Australia.

The Australian Government continues to explore opportunities to establish new intercountry adoption programmes with other countries. This week an Australian Government delegation will travel to Bulgaria to discuss the possibility of a new programme. We are continuing to work with Vietnam on the development of a possible programme.

As well as seeking to establish new programmes, the Government is working to improve the way existing programmes work. At the heart of our reforms is a commitment to safe and ethical practices, with the best interests of the child remaining paramount at all times.

To support Australia’s intercountry adoption reforms, dedicated Commonwealth officers from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection have been deployed to key overseas locations, including China, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Chile.

The officers will help prospective adoptive parents access in-country support services and assist adopting families with visas and other citizenship matters.