Child Adoption Case Study

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Our community and legal system perceive children as being especially vulnerable and unable to protect and enforce their own rights. The care and protection of children, therefore, is a significant legal issue facing family members; particularly during adoption, domestic violence, and divorce and separation. Whilst there are a range of remedies available to family members, the concept of justice is highly controversial and difficult to achieve in relation to family law, due to its highly emotional nature. Issues relating to resource efficiency, responsiveness, and protection of individual rights have also meant that justice is often only somewhat being achieved for family members.

The guiding principle for adoptions is the best interests of the child, as with all other family law matters in Australia. Adoption occurs when biological parents legally surrender
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In 2015–16, there were 278 adoptions of children finalised in Australia, representing the lowest annual number of adoptions on record. A recent article in The Australian, titled ‘Adoption: why is it so hard?’, explained that “adoption in Australia is at its lowest since data collection began in 1968, while the number of children who have been removed from unsafe homes has never been higher.” The incongruity of this data has revealed a weakness of the legal system, with an average four-year wait to adopt a child leading to potentially detrimental trajectories for the children. Thus, with such an extended wait time and the complexity of the legal proceedings, the adoption system is sometimes considered to be resource inefficient and unresponsive. Consequently, the legal system is only somewhat able to achieve justice for family members, in regards to the care and protection of children during

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