News alert: Australia’s barriers to adoption

What’s the story?

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Australian families facing long waiting periods for intercountry adoptions. An intercountry service launched last year aims to assist couples who wish to adopt a child from overseas, however, these types of adoptions have been on a steady decline. Figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that intercountry adoptions have declined from 129 in 2012-13, to 83 in 2014-15, with new figures to be released next week.

The Australian Government has opened adoption programs with a number of new countries in the past year, including Poland, Bulgaria and Latvia. There was also a previously planned program with the US that will not go ahead, and an ongoing investigation into an adoption arrangement with Vietnam.

The Chief Executive from the adoption lobby group, Adopt Change, has said that adopting a child from overseas can take up to five years, and so it would take some time to measure whether the federal government’s changes were making a difference, however, foreign adoptions are currently under increasing scrutiny following accusations of child trafficking.

“There are over 40,000 children in out-of-home care yet in the 2014-15 year we only saw 209 domestic adoptions occur.” – Assistant Minister for Social Services & Multicultural Affairs, Zed Seselja.

Last year, there were fewer than 100 foster care adoptions in NSW, and just seven outside NSW. In 2014-15, only 0.5 per cent of Australian children hoping for adoption were given new families. The Department of Family and Community Services figures reveal that more than 3500 children enter out-of-home-care each year, and this has increased by 373 per cent over the past 20 years. There is now a greater need for more foster carers to enter the system, to give these children the care they need.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person


The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:




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