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Minister slaps down claims new adoption law risks ‘another stolen generation’

Chris Smith

Debate will take place today in NSW Parliament on a law that Labor and the Greens claim could risk “another stolen generation”.

The laws announced last month aim to shake up foster care and ensure children are adopted or placed under legal guardianship within two years of entering the system.

In New South Wales alone, there are close to 18,000 children and young people in out-of-home care.

Some languish in the system for more than a decade, with many having up to more than 30 foster care placements.

This year, fewer than 140 of those 18,000 children have been adopted.

“That’s an extraordinary statistic,” says Chris Smith.

“So I don’t know how you could possibly argue against making this better.”

But the Greens are.

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Greens MP David Shoebridge says the laws are history repeating.

Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward says his claims are offensive.

She tells Chris Smith the Department of Family and Community Services “needs to be greater in its sense of urgency”.

“Don’t have anyone tell me that I am not interested in ensuring children’s first choice… is not our serious pursuit.

“This is all a fantasy on the part of the Greens and the Labor Party and they know that this isn’t right.”