The Stolen Generations; Healing Old Wounds

Between the 1890’s and 1970’s, Aboriginal babies and children were forcefully removed from their parents. Few records were kept, but it is estimated that between 20,000-25,000 children were stolen. These children are referred to in Australia as The Stolen Generations. By doing so, white people hoped to put an end to the so-called Aboriginal problem and put an end to Aboriginal culture within a short time frame. The Stolen Generations were taken by Governments, churches and welfare organizations. Because few records were kept of who their parents were and where they had been stolen from, many never saw their parents, relatives, or siblings again. The children were raised on missions or with foster parents. The girls were raised to be domestic servants, the boys to be stockmen. Many were physically, emotionally and sexually abused and neglected. Leaving a legacy of trauma and loss. A cycle of generational abuse and neglect has been born out of a history of racial wounds.

Forcible removal of black children from their families was part of the ideology of assimilation. Assimilation was founded on the notion of black inferiority and white supremacy, which proposed that black people should be allowed to ”die out” through a process of natural elimination. The Stolen Generations were taught to reject their culture, their names were changed and they were forbidden to speak their native language.

Healing Old Wounds.

Acknowledging the wrongs of the past as a means to healing old wounds and reconciliation.

The first National Sorry Day was held on 26th. May, 1998 and Australia holds a National Sorry Day every year.

Formal Apology

On the 13th. February, 2008, the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, tabled a motion in Parliament apologising  to the Australian Indigenous peoples, particularly the Stolen Generations and their families and communities, for laws and policies which had ” inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians”.

 

The Stolen Generations/Australians Together

http://www.australianstogether.org.au/stories/detail/the-stolen-generations

Australian Law Reform Commission | ALRC
http://www.alrc.gov.au/‎

16. Aboriginal Customary Laws: Aboriginal Child Custody, Fostering and Adoption
An Aboriginal Child Placement Principle?

349. The Child’s Welfare as ‘Paramount Consideration’.
In general, decisions on the custody or placement of children are based on a
single undifferentiated rule, directing attention to the ‘best interests of the
child’ as the paramount consideration. The ‘paramount consideration’ applied in
all cases of child custody can be illustrated by a clause common to State and
Territory adoption legislation. The Adoption of Children Ordinance 1965 (ACT) s
15 states that: ‘For all purposes of this Part, the welfare and interests of
the child concerned shall be regarded as the paramount consideration’.[35]
This principle (commonly referred to as the ‘welfare principle’) is also
applied under the Family Law Act 1975.[36]
and in cases in State courts involving custody disputes over children. It is
also relevant to decisions on fostering and placement of children in
institutional care under State child welfare legislation (although it is not
always spelt out expressly in the legislation).

350. An Undifferentiated Criterion. There can
be little dispute that the overriding consideration in all cases of child
custody should be the welfare of the child. The problem is that the relevant
legislation usually fails to define or specify the matters to be considered in
determining this.[37]
In practice it rests with the authority involved — whether judge, magistrate,
welfare officer or public servant — to decide what constitutes the welfare of
the child. Just as the forums for considering child placements vary from State
to State, so too, we may expect, do the values and standards of the persons
applying this principle in custody decisions. The Full Family Court of
Australia has pointed out the open-ended nature of the principle:

In determining a custody application the court must regard
the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration … Each case must be
considered in the light of all the facts and circumstances particular to that
case …[38]

 

 

 

 

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My Russian Side, By Alex Gilbert

This is Alex. He is adopted. He has a story to tell.

”My Russian Side” is Alex’s story of bravely undertaking a search to find his Russian biological parents and to uncover the truth about his past.

Alex longs to find the answers to questions. Questions he has held hidden in his heart for many long years.

Global warming hasn’t reached Russia. Alex’s sunny disposition and bright smile are in stark contrast to the dreary skies and decaying buildings of Rybinsk, where his birth mother is now living. A six hour drive from Moscow. Alex does not harden his heart against his birth mother and father when he learns the truth about his past. He doesn’t judge them.  His New Zealand adoptive parents would no doubt be very proud of their son.  Alex is grateful for a better life in New Zealand. Sadly, very few abandoned children are so lucky and International adoptions from Russia are now banned. Conditions in Alex’s old orphanage in his birthplace of Arkhangelsk are harsh and hopeless. Alex wants to provide comfort and hope to the hundreds of abandoned children left behind.

He is the founder of ”I’m Adopted” which is a Registered Charitable Trust in New Zealand.  You can find them on facebook helping adoptees around the world connect and find biological parents and siblings.

Please help Alex’s dream of a better life for abandoned children living in his old orphanage in Arkhangelsk. Visit the website; http://www.imadopted.org and donate.

57,581 Children Abandoned in Romania.

3,436 adoptable children recorded in Adoption Register at March-endBY 

A total of 3,436 adoptable children were registered in the National Register for Adoption, at the end of March 2016, of whom 3,069 (89.32 percent) benefited from special protection measures in family type services and 367 (10.68 percent) benefited of special protection measures in residential type services, according to the statistics published by the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly People.

Also on 31 March 2016 there were 57,581 children in the adoption system with special protection, out of which 20,156 children (35 percent) benefited from special protection measures in residential type services (16,224 children in public residential type services, 3,932 children in private residential type services) and a number of 37,425 children (65 percent) benefited from special protection measures in family type services (18,815 children were in fostercare, 14,158 children were in the care of relatives up to grade IV included and 4,452 children were in the care of other families or persons.

The representatives of the Labor Ministry signals that, starting 1 January 2005, public services of social assistance created inside the city councils are the main in charge with the growth, which on 31 March 2016 offered services for 42.83 percent of the children that benefit from this sort of services, the accredited private bodies provide services for 19.65 percent and 37.52 percent are beneficiaries of prevention services provided by the Directorate General for Social Assistance and Child Protection.

On 31 March 2016 there were 1,135 public residential type services and 342 residential type services of accredited private bodies. These services include: classic or modular orphanages, apartments, family type houses, maternal centers, emergency reception centers, other services (the service for the development of independent life, day and night shelter).

From the total of 1,477 residential services, a number of 352 (public residential type services and and private residential services) were designed for children with disabilities. The number of children that benefited from a special protection measure in these services provided for children with disabilities was, at the end of March, 6,586 children, recording a decrease of 705 children compared to the same period of 2015.

On 31 March 2016, the Directorates for Social Assistance and Child Protection in every county/sector of Bucharest, the “Child Protection” departments counted 32,655 employees, 31 people more towards the end of the first quarter of last year, and 51 people more versus 31 December 2015.

In the total of 32,655 employees, 4,439 (13.59 percent) were hired in the DGASPC’s own structures, 12,016 (36.80 percent) were fostercare professionals, 12,398 (37.97 percent) were employed in residential type services and 3,802 (11.64 percent) were hired in daytime care services.

Asociatia Catharsis; Registered Adoption Agency and Disability Support Services

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-8-14-45-amScreen shot 2016-03-04 at 2.54.56 PM

Azota Popescu, Founder and Director of Asociatia Catharsis, has worked tirelessly over the last twenty years to provide day-respite services to the blind and visually impaired and to advocate for better services for the disabled people in her community. She has also worked tirelessly to advocate for the rights of Romania’s 60,000 abandoned, institutionalised children. In line with the governments recent policy changes to domestic adoptions and their campaign; ” A Family For Every Child” , which aims to have no children living in institutions in Romania by 2020, Asociatia Catharsis are now are Registered Adoption Agency and, in accordance with government legislation, are able to provide the following essential services.
Catharsis Association Brasov, Romania and private body public interest
Reautorizată is to carry out activities and services in the field of domestic adoption as follows:
Activities for families who want to adopt a baby:
– informing families / individuals expressing their intention to adopt, documentation required to, and the domestic adoption procedures;
– preparing for adopters informed parental role;
– information and counseling adopters on the necessary legal steps disclosure, under the law, natural identity baby’s parents and, where appropriate, necessary contact or biological relatives by child;
– family or adoptatorului assessment in order to obtain adoptatoare attestation / family person to adopt one or more children.
Activities for children who have been or will be adopted:
Specialist Nurse for that child has not been able to identify a suitable adoptatoare family, where the adoption of the child adoption failed or stopped;
– drawing material information addressed to children on procedures, and the effects of adoption;
– Adoptatului and preparation advice for achieving its contacts with parents and / or natural biological relatives;
Natural activities for parents and extended family of children who have been or will be adopted:
– insurance expert assistance the adoption termination;
– advising and training natural parents and / or biological relatives for achieving contacts with adopted.
Adoption: post activities
– information and advice for parents and children;
– organising courses for parental capacity development;
– formation of groups for parents and children;
– supporting adopters to inform the child about adoption;
– advice on revealing adoptatului parents identity / natural biological relatives;
– advice and preparation adoptatului / parents / natural biological relatives to contact.
Adoption services internal
– information and promote domestic adoption awareness in order to / beneficiaries and needs increased domestic adoption by organising meetings, conferences, communications, media campaigns, editing of publications.

Asociația Catharsis Braşov, organism privat român şi de utilitate publică,
este reautorizată pentru a desfăşura activități și servicii în domeniul adopției interne, după cum urmează:

Activităţi destinate familiilor care doresc să adopte un copil:
– informarea familiilor/persoanelor care își exprimă intenția de a adopta, cu privire la documentația necesară, la demersurile și la durata procedurilor adopției interne; 
– pregătirea adoptatorilor pentru asumarea în cunoștință de cauză a rolului de părinte;
– informarea si consilierea adoptatorilor cu privire la demersurile legale necesare dezvăluirii, în condițiile legii, a identități părinților firești ai copilului și, după caz, necesare contactării acestora sau a rudelor biologice de către copil;
– evaluarea adoptatorului sau familiei adoptatoare în vederea obținerii Atestatului de persoană/familie aptă să adopte unul sau mai mulți copii.

Activități destinate copiilor care au fost sau urmează să fie adoptați:
-asistenta de specialitate a copilului pentru care nu s-a putut identifica o familie adoptatoare potrivita, în cazul în care demersurile de adopție ale copilului au eșuat sau adopția a încetat;
-întocmirea unor materiale de informare adresate copiilor cu privire la procedurile, demersurile și efectele adopției;
-consilierea și pregătirea adoptatului pentru realizarea contactelor acestuia cu părinții firești și/sau rudele biologice;

Activități destinate părinților firești și familiei extinse a copiilor care au fost sau urmează să fie adoptați:
– asigurarea de asistență de specialitate în situația încetării adopției;
– consilierea și pregătirea părinților firești și/sau a rudelor biologice pentru realizarea contactelor cu adoptatul.

Activități post adopție:
– informare și consiliere pentru părinți și copii;
-organizarea unor cursuri pentru dezvoltarea capacităților parentale;
– constituirea de grupuri de suport pentru părinți și copii;
– sprijinirea adoptatorilor în vederea informării copilului cu privire la adopția sa;
– consilierea adoptatului în vederea dezvăluirii identității părinților firești/rudelor biologice;
– consilierea și pregătirea adoptatului/părinților firești/rudelor biologice în vederea contactării.

Servicii în domeniul adopției interne
– informarea si promovarea adopției interne, în scopul conștientizării problematicii/nevoilor beneficiarilor și creșterii numărului adopțiilor interne, prin organizarea unor întâlniri, conferințe, comunicări, campanii de mediatizare, editare de publicații.

Azota Popescu; Founder and President of Association Catharsis, Brasov, Romania.
http://www.catharsis.org.ro
e-mail: office.catharsis@yahoo.com
azotapopescu@yahoo.com
Phone/Fax: 0040 268 324888
Mobile: +40.722.295.282
Address: Braşov, 16th Toamnei St.,
Romania, Postal code: 500223

Romania- Ethical Adoptions

N.A.C.P.A. – National Authority For Child Protection and Adoption.

Amendments to Romania’s adoption legislation, specifically Law nr237/204, finalised early in 2015, appear from the following graphs, to have resulted in a significant increase in the number of children declared available for domestic and international adoption. The changes were designed to simplify the adoption process for prospective adoptive parents and the process by which a child is considered to be in need of being adopted.

June-2016

Of the 3,734,667 copii living in Romania, 57,581 were living in the child protection system, either in institutions or in private foster care.

3,250 of these copii were declared able to be adopted. Of these, 2,716 were declared able to be adopted domestically and the remaining 534 were declared able to be adopted internationally. screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-10-13-58-amscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-10-12-59-am

Romania- New Adoption Law in Effect.

http://www.internationaladoptionguide.co.uk/   Thursday, September 17, 2015- I.A.G. -International Adoption Guide.

The Government approved in its Wednesday’s sitting a draft law to make domestic and international adoptions faster and more flexible, a release of the Executive informs.

An adoption currently takes 14 to 15 months on the average; the intention is to shorten as much as possible the waiting for children and adopting parents, National Authority for Children’s Rights Protection and Adoption president Gabriela Coman explained in a briefing at the Government. She mentioned that 480 children have been adopted last year.

The draft law regulates situations when biological parents refuse to attend two court terms; this is considered as an abusive refusal of consent to adoption, and the child will be pronounced adoptable. Adoption is also possible when parents or identified relatives declare they refuse to take care of a child, but later refuse to sign the declarations of consent to adoption; also, if parents or relatives up to 4th degree are not found.

The 2-year term for the validity of the adoptable child status will be eliminated; the child can be adopted any time before the age of 14, after a court rules adoption is possible.

The new legislation provides for a paid accommodation leave up to 90 days for any of the spouses in the adopting family, with a monthly allowance of 3,300 lei. Also, adopters get up to 40 hours per year without wage penalties for evaluations necessary for issuing the adoption certificate and for practical matching.

The law will enter into force after the publication in the Official Journal of Romania sometime in 2016.
The new law allows for intercountry adoptions of Romanian children only by:
1. Relatives of the fourth degree of kinship,
2. The spouse of the child’s natural parent,
3. Romanian citizens who are habitually resident abroad.

Asociata Catharsis in Brasov, Romania, is a government Registered Adoption Agency.

Romania- Domestic Adoption Improvements

Chamber’s Labour Committee approves child adoption bill
BY DANA.PURGARU •   FEBRUARY 3, 2016 AT 8:47 AM

CHAMBER’S LABOUR COMMITTEE APPROVES CHILD ADOPTION BILL
The Labour Committee of the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday approved a bill amending and supplementing Law 273/2004 on child adoption to simplify procedures and provide for a leave of absence of at most one year for the adoptee and the foster parents to get to know each other.

The chamber passed an amendment providing for the one-year leave of absence in the case of adoptees 2 years old and over. The leave is granted upon request and the parent qualifies for a benefit of 3.4 times the social reference indicator, which means 1,700 lei a month, which is $600.00 Australian. Screen shot 2016-02-04 at 1.42.42 PM

For children under 2 years of age the rights provided for under the child rearing legislation will apply.

Attending last week’s debate in the Labour Committee, Chair of the National Children’s Rights Protection and Adoption Authority Gabriela Coman argued that the amendments of the legislation in force are designed to get rid of difficulties in the conduct of adoption procedures for Romanian children in Romania.

The Chamber for Deputies is the decision-making chamber in this case.

http://www.nineoclock.ro/president-iohannis-signs-into-law-bill-simplifying-adoption/- 9th. of April, 2016.

Romania – Domestic Adoption Improvements

Romania’s Government recently approved a bill that sets a more flexible adoption process, for both domestic and international adoptions.

The bill includes a series of procedural provisions which will allow an adoption to be completed in a shorter period of time. For example, the term of appeal in court will be reduced from 30 days to 10 days, and the first hearing will take place 15 days after the application is registered, reports local Hotnews.ro.

The bill also includes an adaptation holiday with a maximum duration of 90 days, and a monthly allowance during the time the child is entrusted to the family who wants to adopt him. The allowance is to be given to any of the spouses who makes taxable income in Romania. The leave shall be granted for the adoption of a child aged over 2 years old.

Moreover, those who want to adopt a child can require free time, in the limit of 40 hours per year, to carry out the evaluations required for getting the certificate and achieving practical suitability. Free time will not be affecting the person’s remuneration.

The law will enter into force in maximum 4 months after being published in the Official Gazette.

According to Gabriela Coman, president of the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption, the adoption process now takes about 14-15 months, reports Hotnews. A total of 840 children were adopted in Romania last year.

Romania brings together child protection and adoption activities within newly created institution

Over 58,100 children in Romania’s special protection system

Over 80,000 Romanian children’s parents work abroad

Irina Popescu, irina.popescu@romania-insider.com

Foster Children Need to be Adopted

Research report finds Australians want to improve adoption rates

Media Wednesday, 26 August 2015 14:26

Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja has today welcomed the Modern Families: Attitudes and Perceptions of Adoption in Australia research report, released by Adopt Change this morning. The report follows the Senate Inquiry into Out of Home Care which concluded last week in Parliament.

“This morning I helped launch the Adopt Change research report and spoke with other Australians who agree that adoption should be a more viable option for at-risk children,” Senator Seselja said today.

“The report suggests that there is an overwhelming sense from the community that Australia can be doing more for adoption by removing the red tape that currently makes it so hard.

“During 2013-14 there were just over 200 adoptions from within Australia. This rate is simply too low. During the same period there were over 50,000 children in arrangements including kinship care, foster care, and guardianship. A child can experience an average of 6 placements during their time in care.

“The uncertainty for these children can be extremely damaging as they are moved from home to home. Until we allow more adoptions within Australia too many kids will continue to be denied the benefits of genuine permanency.”

Senator Seselja last week joined Queensland Senator Joanna Lindgren in calling for the Federal Government to start the process of making adoption easier within Australia.

“I hope to see this Government take the lead on this issue and bring the states and territories together to make adoption a more viable option for at-risk children so more children get the new start they deserve,” Senator Seselja concluded.

The Modern Families: Attitudes and Perceptions of Adoption in Australia Report can be found via http://www.adoptchange.org.au/research.

Romanian Domestic and International Adoption Statistics.

The above stats. have been translated from Romanian by Valentin Nas.
Italy Leads the Way; Romanian migrants in Italy adopting abandoned Romanian children.