6th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights
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6th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights. 17 – 30 March 2013 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Child heritage vs child familial identity. Roderick Best. Is the legal status of the relationship between the carer and the child relevant

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6th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights

17 – 30 March 2013

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre

Child heritage vs child familial identity

Roderick Best


Is the legal status of the relationship

between the carer and the child relevant

when waiting to preserve the child’s identity

and permit a long term stable placement


3


Continuum of legal relationships for a child away from parents

  • Foster care

  • Guardianship

  • Parenting orders

  • Adoption

4


5


Importance of identity and culture

  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • Aboriginal Placement Principles

  • Cultural Planning

6


Director-General, DoCS vs D (2007) NSWSC 762

  • Removal near time of birth

  • Single placement to time of judgement when child is 4 years

  • Sudanese birth parents

  • Anglo Celtic carers

  • No anticipated restoration

7


Director-General, DoCS Vs D

  • Strong connection with ethnicity and culture of origin

  • Attachment

  • Adoption vs parenting orders

8


Adoptions

  • Establishes a new family

  • Severs significant links with birth family – but ‘open’ adoption

  • Best outcomes the younger the child is adopted

  • Best outcomes with known adoptive parents

  • High levels of emotional security

  • Strong sense of belonging

  • Greater perseverance

  • Contact encouraged

9


10


Tracey (2011) NSWCA 43

  • Lives with family in Cambodia for first 14 months

  • Travels to Australia where put in care following mothers immediate incarceration

  • Placed with mother and adult daughter as carers: neither Khmer

  • No anticipated restoration

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Fostering

  • Limited parenting rights

  • Best outcomes for older children coming into care

  • Difficulties with multiple placements and poorer health and education outcomes

  • Insecurity in placement vs clear connections with birth family

  • Strength through involving kin

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Conclusion

Promote legal relationship that is child centred

by balancing range of issues for child’s welfare

including:

  • Stability

  • Secure loving relationship

  • Cultural identity

15


Thank you

Cartoons courtesy The New Yorker

and Peanuts Worldwide LLC

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