On 22 February 2023, the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs announced the commencement of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Past Forced Adoptive Policies and Practices in Western Australia.
The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry are to:
- understand the lived experiences of those affected by historical forced adoption practices;
- examine the role of the State Government, health services and private institutions in these practices;
- identify what measures are currently available to assist persons experiencing distress, their effectiveness, and how those persons may be supported further; and
- consider any other matter that arises during the course of the inquiry deemed to be relevant by the Committee.
The closing date for submissions is 16 June 2023.
Adoptions in Western Australia
Adoptions in Western Australia are facilitated by Adoption Services, in the Department of Communities. The Department of Communities is the only agency in Western Australia able to arrange adoptions.
Adoption in Western Australia is a service for children, which aims to provide a new family for a child who is unable, for a variety of reasons, to live with their own family.
Adoption should only occur in circumstances where there is no other appropriate alternative for the child. The paramount consideration guiding this service is the best interest of the child. Adoption is not about finding children for families but finding families for children.
Adoption Services also provides information regarding historical adoptions in Western Australia. The Adoption Act 1994 acknowledges the importance of information for people involved in the adoption and their relatives. Access to information has improved, particularly for adopted people and birth parents. The type of information that can be obtained will depend upon who is applying for the information and when the adoption occurred.