ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Submission: Consultation on Adoption Reform: dispensing with parental consent

Publication date: 
April 2019

ACTCOSS notes that before considering adoption reform in favour of dispensing with parental consent, the ACT needs to improve resourcing for parent support programs in the ACT and to address structural reasons for the overrepresentation of some families and groups in the out-of-home care (OOHC) system.

ACTCOSS members who have knowledge and experience relevant to OOHC believe attention needs to be given first to various other policy settings, procedures and service provision issues that would enhance permanency and stability for children and young people at risk of entering and/or in the OOHC system in the ACT. This submission lists some of these issues in greater detail and concludes that in general there is a greater need for early supports in OOHC before adoption reform is considered.

We cannot support reform in favour of dispensing with parental consent at this time.