Young people with experience of adoption have had a say on the proposed changes to the Adoption Act 1994 for the first time since it was legislated 25 years ago.
Commissioner Colin Pettit said that a recent statutory review of the Adoption Act had recommended 31 changes and it was important that young people had an opportunity to provide input and comment.
The Commissioner consulted 17 young people under the age of 25 and their views along with the Commissioner’s recommendations have been published in his Speaking Out About Adoption report.
The report has been provided to the Department of Communities and Minister for Child Protection.
Mr Pettit said that all of the children and young people who took part in his consultation have had positive experiences of adoption, with stable, loving families who have always been open about their adoption.
“Even when adoption is a positive experience, issues such as having good information, or parties that do not participate in adoption plans, can impact the identity development of children and young people,” Mr Pettit said.
“After hearing the views of children and young people I have made recommendations to enhance and strengthen the rights of children and young people within the Adoption Act 1994 and across adoption process in WA.”
“I have also recommended that the Department of Communities ensure that children and young people with experience of adoption be consulted in all future reviews of the Adoption Act 1994.”
Mr Pettit thanked the 17 young people who shared their experiences and their families who supported them in speaking out.