Key Assets is only able to offer the fostering to adopt service in NSW. Our vision for open adoption is that all children and young people are supported to achieve to their full potential and grow into happy and healthy adults. Open adoption means that the child knows and maintains contact with their birth families.
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Fostering to Open Adoption (NSW)
Key Assets are here to support and guide you in your journey to becoming a prospective adoptive parent for a child or young person (aged 0 – 17). All children and young people need stability and permanency to achieve their full potential and open adoption is a pathway to support this.
Open Adoption means children and young people can often feel a sense of belonging to their adoptive family who will ensure they remain connected to their parents, relatives, and culture because this is a special part of who they are.
Who are Key Assets?
Key Assets recruit, train, and assess carers and prospective adoptive parents to meet the needs of children and young people in foster care. Key Assets believe that every child and young person has the right to feel safe and grow up in a permanent, secure, loving, supportive and nurturing family environment that can meet their developmental needs during childhood and beyond. Key Assets recognises the value of open adoption as a permanency option, when children and young people cannot return to the care of their parents.
What is Fostering to Open Adoption?
Children and young people enter foster care when it is deemed no longer safe for them to remain at home, which can occur for a variety of reasons. When children enter foster care, they have experienced varying levels of trauma and will need nurturing, healing, and stable environments, that can be offered through permanent homes with prospective adoptive parents.
At times children and young people are unable to remain living at home with their parents and will enter foster care. This can occur for a variety of reasons where it’s deemed that the child or young person was not safe to remain in their parent’s care. Children and young people in care have experienced varying levels of trauma which may impact on their brain development, this can affect their emotional wellbeing, behaviours and their health. Due to the impact of trauma prospective adoptive parents will need to demonstrate the capacity to provide a nurturing, healing, stable and permanent home for a child or young person from adoption into adult hood.
Key Assets follow the placement principles (Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment (Permanency Planning) Act 2001), which considers all permanency options available to children and young people who have entered Out-of-Home-Care. This includes restoration, kinship options (extended family and significant others), open adoption, guardianship and lastly long-term foster care.
Open Adoption offers a child
Open adoption will only be considered when it is deemed to be in the child’s best interests, a thorough assessment will be conducted to ensure that the prospective adoptive parent/s can meet the child’s needs now and later in life. Openness is an attitude that assists in building relationships between a child and young person and their adoptive family, parents and their extended family.
There are two paths to adopt a child through Key Assets:
- Current carers can enquire about adopting a child in their care
- New applicants can apply to be dually authorised as a Foster Carer and Prospective Adoptive parent (PAP).
Key Assets’ main priority are the needs and welfare of children and young people, which are at the centre of the adoption process. Open adoption practice in NSW is guided by the principles of the Adoption Act 2000 and the Adoption Regulations 2015, they state:
- Adoption must be in the best interest of a child, both in childhood and later life, must be the paramount consideration in adoption.
- Adoption is a service for the child concerned not for the prospective adoptive parents.
- Adoption practice should ensure a child has knowledge and access to his or her birth family and cultural heritage.
- The child’s given name or names, identity, language and cultural and religious ties should, as far as possible, be identified and preserved.
- Openness in adoption is encouraged, both openness in attitude, and in actions.
Parents, children and young people’s views are important and will be actively sought and taken into consideration throughout the open adoption process. Adoption is a permanent and lifelong legal order transferring the parental responsibility from the Minister to the adoptive parents.
If it is determined through the fostering to open adoption process that adoption is not in the best interests of the child now and later on in life, the adoption process will cease and another permanency pathway will be pursued
Dual Authorisation applicants must meet all the criteria to be an Authorised Carer and the criteria to be a Prospective Adoptive Parent:
Authorised carer must:
- Be child focused
- Have a spare room
- Be flexible
- Demonstrate the capacity to meet the child’s needs
- Demonstrate the capacity to be trauma informed in their care
- Have the time available to care for a child who has experienced trauma and/or abuse
- Live within one hours’ drive of one our three NSW offices: Botany, Blacktown and Wallsend
Prospective Adoptive applicants must (including the above):
- Be a resident or domiciled in NSW (not planning to move out of NSW)
- Be of good repute and fit and proper to fulfil the responsibilities of parenting
- If in a relationship, have lived together for at least 2 years
- Have stable physical and mental health for at least 5 years
- Not have a criminal history for the previous 5 years
- Be financially stable
- Support the child’s identity though openness with their parents and family, support their culture, religion and beliefs
Prospective Adoptive Parents must be:
- Over 25 years of age
- Be at least 18 years older than the child they would like to adopt.
- Be aged 45 years or younger to adopt a child of any age (including ages 0 –5)
- Be aged 50 or younger to adopt a child who is 5 years or older
- Be aged 55 or younger to adopt a child who is 10 years or older.
Deciding to apply to become an authorised carer and prospective adoptive parent is a significant life changing decision and we encourage people to:
- Explore adoption and if it’s suited to your family
- Consider all types of care for a child or young person
- Talk through this decision with your family and friends
- Take into consideration that children and young people’s needs change over time and open adoption is a commitment to providing care whatever the future holds
- Explore the impact of trauma on children and young people to help your understanding of caring for a child with this background
- Consider that open adoption can never be guaranteed and the impact this may have on you and your family
If you meet the above criteria and are interested in discussing fostering to open adoption with our Key Assets team? Please complete the below form and we’ll be in contact with you.