Appendix D

Appendix D: Adoption Act 1994 (WA) Schedule 2Rights and responsibilities to be balanced in adoption plans

1. Infancy

(1) A significant feature of the infancy stage is that the child needs to be able to trust others to care for and nurture the child. The child has the right —

(a) to be cared for and nurtured; and

(b) to develop attachment to the adoptive family without undue disruption by the birth parents.

(2) Before consenting to the child’s adoption, the child’s birth parents have the right to make an informed and unpressured decision about the child’s future. After consenting to the child’s adoption, the child’s birth parents have the right to negotiate as to the provision of information and the extent of any contact between the parties.

(3) There is no right to adopt a child. The adoptive or prospective adoptive parent with whom the child is placed with a view to the child’s adoption has the right to bond to the child.

2. Childhood

(1) A significant feature of the childhood stage is the development of autonomy and initiative. The child has the right —

(a) to belong to a secure family system, extending to friends, schooling and neighbourhood activities; and

(b) to know about the adoption in a manner appropriate to the child and the child’s stage of development.

(2) The birth parents have a responsibility during this stage to respect the privacy of the child’s adoptive family.

(3) The adoptive parent has the right —

(a) to rear the child without undue disruption by the birth parents; and

(b) to family privacy,

and a responsibility to inform the child of the adoption.

 

3. Adolescence

(1) A significant feature of adolescence is the development of the child’s sense of identity. The child has the right to resolve identity issues and is to be responsible for the effects of his or her actions on others if access to information is made available.

(2) The birth parents have a responsibility to be aware of the child’s needs when responding to requests for information about the child’s origins.

(3) The adoptive parent has the right —

(a) to rear the child without undue disruption by the birth parents; and

(b) to family privacy,

and has a responsibility to support the child during any identity crisis and be responsive to the child’s needs.

4. Adulthood

(1) A significant feature of adulthood is forming and consolidating relationships. The child’s right to information about the birth parents increases in importance as the child approaches adulthood.

(2) The birth parents’ right to information about the child increases in importance as the child approaches adulthood.

(3) The adoptive parent’s right to control the exchange of information and any contact between the child and the birth parents lessens as the child approaches adulthood.

 

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