Brendan, Shannon & Julie
Julie adopted Brendan and Shannon after first fostering them. The brothers say that adoption gave them a sense of security that foster care didn’t provide. They are in an open adoption, but since the age of 12 have decided to only have minimal contact with their biological mother.
Khaled & Rosemary
Khaled pushed for his own adoption. He’d been fostered by Rosemary since he was a baby, but at 12 years old he decided it wasn’t enough. Khaled has a good relationship with his biological mother – he refers to both her and Rosemary as 'mum".
Nick went through 26 foster homes growing up. He admits that he was a troubled kid and some of the carers couldn’t handle his behaviours. He sometimes wonders if life would have been different if he was adopted. But he believes that, with the right carers, there’s little difference between foster care and adoption.
Katelin was addicted to drugs when her daughter was removed by child protection authorities. Katelin was able to get clean and, after three years, she got her daughter restored to her care. She says people in her situation can need a long time, and significant supports, in order to turn their lives around and prove they can parent.
Marian adopted 3 children from foster care in the UK. She thought that a loving home would be enough to heal any wounds that the children had brought with them from their troubled past. But she struggled to cope and went through bouts of depression. Marian says there must be significant supports in place for people adopting kids from foster care.
Pru Goward is the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services. She is advocating for legal reforms that would make it easier to adopt young children who have been permanently removed from their parents by child protection authorities. She would like to see adoption prioritised over foster care for these children as a way of giving them permanency at a young age.