Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1987

Volume 12 Issue 1

Love is Not Enough: Breakdown in Intercountry Adoption

Juliet Harper

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Juliet Harper


1 Maquarie University, N.S.W.

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Intercountry adoption (ICA) is a relatively new phenomenon in Australia and it is only since the plight of abandoned children was brought to world awareness at the end of the Vietnam War that it has become an accepted means of eradicating or extending a family. However, the major impetus for this situation has been the rapid decrease in the availability of local infants for adoption and this appears to be an outcome of the greater social acceptability of single parenting and the introduction of the supporting parent benefit which has provided single women with the financial means to keep their babies rather than give them up for adoption. While the numbers of children available for adoption have decreased the demand for them has not and so one is faced with a problem of supply and demand which has lead many persons who would otherwise have not done to consider ICA. It is of course recognised that not all adoptive parents of overseas children come into this category, although increasingly this is becoming the case. If one Is honest then it is suggested that ICA is rarely a first choice as a way of creating a family, indeed, one might say that it is a third choice for those whose age precludes them from adopting an infant. Objectively then, the risk of adoption failure leading to breakdown is a real possibility and one that needs to be thought about and prepared for before the number of ICA accelerate and the probability of breakdown increases.

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