Adoption law changes criticised

NEW adoption laws coming into effect from Monday will allow more than 3000 Queenslanders to view information they were previously banned from seeing.

However, according to Bundaberg adoption campaigner Mick Gray, the changes are a “band-aid solution to a broken leg”.

Mr Gray criticised the legislation, saying adoptees who view the documents first must sign a waiver saying they will not contact their parents, or hold the government responsible for any past decisions.

Under the new laws, which will come into force on Monday, adopted people and birth parents will have the right to identifying information regardless of when the adoption took place.

Mr Gray, 35, who is an adoptee himself, says the Act will still prevent him from locating his sister because his mother signed a veto to contact.

“To see the documents you’ve basically got to sign a waiver,” he said.

“They are still treating us like second-class citizens. It’s a natural birthright to know who we are.

“It makes the adoptee feel shameful.”

Acting Child Safety Minister Karen Struthers said the Adoption Act would mark the most significant reform of Queensland’s adoption laws in more than 45 years.

“The new laws balance peoples’ right to information about their birth parents or son or daughter who was adopted, with the right of others to maintain their privacy,” she said.

“The new Act will give these people the right to access information about their own identity or that of a son or daughter for the first time.”

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