The NZCPR has an expanded version of my earlier blog post as their guest commentary this week.
"New Zealand (as represented by the child protection authority and its practices) is currently officially anti-adoption. The anti-adoption groundswell that built over the nineteen seventies and eighties grew out of an abhorrence of the past removal of babies from unmarried mothers. Today most feel repugnance for the practice.
But isn’t wholesale shunning of adoption an over-reaction? There are many instances whereby newborns go directly into the care of CYF. The prospects for these children are bleak yet their rights seem trumped by the rights accorded to their birth parent and extended family. Babies aren’t simply removed from mothers by dint of being ‘illegitimate’. These babies are removed because their mothers are criminal; are incarcerated or live on the streets; have abused prior siblings and pose a serious threat to their newborn. The principle of redemption or second chances is all well and good when offered to the adult individual. But how many times should a child be exposed to known risks in order to satisfy liberal impulse?
Children’s lives shouldn’t be gambled with. And they needn’t be if we once more considered adoption."
Muriel Newman's associated column provides an excellent summation of the Expert Panel report into CYF and concludes:
"It is an unfortunate fact of life that at the heart of the child abuse crisis are government incentives for women to have children they are ill-equipped to provide for. Until the State stops paying women to have babies, children will continue to suffer. The State is no substitute for a loving mum and dad, and no role model for a child. In fact it’s a tragedy that idealists have exerted such influence on policy and brought us to the systemic failure we have today.
The child abuse crisis is a national disgrace. Only the State could fail children on such a monumental scale. Anyone concerned should read the Expert Panel’s report. It helps to explain why, in spite of the very best efforts of those who are trying to help, the child abuse crisis continues unabated."