This should be a much bigger issue than it is.
NZ baby adoptions plummet
Adoptions of New Zealand babies have plummeted in the past decade but hundreds of Kiwis are opening their homes to children from overseas.
In 1997, 591 children were adopted within New Zealand, the majority by one of the child’s parents and their spouse or by other relatives, according to Child, Youth and Family figures.
By 2006 the number of local adoptions had almost halved to 294, with only 87 of these children taken in by non-relatives.
The change is mainly due to social factors such as more support for single parents and greater availability of contraception and abortion.
Forty years ago, there were 4,000 Kiwi to Kiwi adoptions per year.
We adopted two Kiwi kids in 2006, so our family alone accounted for more than 2% of the Kiwi to Kiwi adoptions in that year.
With nearly one in 12 couples experiencing fertility problems, there is a huge unmet demand for babies out there.
I am a supporter of legal abortion, but there seems to be an obvious imbalance here.
While the DPB has made a huge difference, we should remember that there are approximately 17,000 abortions per annum.
The biggest problem with increasing adoption, in my experience is that the adoption unit of Child Youth and Family, is forbidden from recommending adoption as an option for expectant mothers.
A mother has to practically demand that her baby be put up for adoption before the unit can act.
As the adoption culture has almost disappeared over the last 30 years, few expectant mothers are even aware of the option.
While I have nothing but praise for the social workers who handled our case, I believe that they are operating under overly restrictive conditions.
In order to get more kids into families that can really look after them, I believe the adoption unit should be increased in size and be given a more appropriate brief.
Even better would be more private sector involvement in adoption, but I’ll leave that for another time.