Mother of all parenting dilemmas, The Australian, 26 November, 2004.

Mother of all parenting dilemmas: [1 All-round Country Edition]

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The record low 2003-04 figure was down from 78 children a year earlier, and continues a dramatic 30-year decline in the number ofAustralian children being offered for adoption.
The author of the adoption report, Debbie Noble-Carr, said the decline in the number of Australian-born children available for adoption could be attributed to women making more informed choices about birth control and changing community attitudes towards single parenthood.
Children adopted from China rose from 46 in 2002-03 to 112 in 2003-04, comprising 30 per cent of inter-country adoptions. Adoptions from South Korea and Ethiopia are also on the rise.

ONLY 73 Australian-born children were adopted last year, forcing prospective parents to search overseas to start their families.
The record low 2003-04 figure was down from 78 children a year earlier, and continues a dramatic 30-year decline in the number ofAustralian children being offered for adoption.
Five years ago, 127 Australian-born children were adopted, and in 1980-81 the figure was 1388.
But the total number of adoptions rose 6 per cent to 502 last year as adoptions of overseas-born children reached a 10-year high.
Another 59 Australian children were adopted by a relative or someone who was known to them in 2003-04 — also a record low.
The snapshot of adoption by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare came as the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed yesterday that the nation’s fertility rate remains at a historic low.
The ABS also reported that the median age of women having babies had reached a record high of 30.5 years.
The total fertility rate was 1.75 babies per woman, about the same level it has been for the past six years.
There were 251,200 births registered in Australia in 2003, up 200 on the previous year and the highest since 1997.
The author of the adoption report, Debbie Noble-Carr, said the decline in the number of Australian-born children available for adoption could be attributed to women making more informed choices about birth control and changing community attitudes towards single parenthood.
The number of overseas adoptions reached a 10-year high of 370 in the 12 months to June 30. This compared with 222 overseas children adopted a decade ago.
Children adopted from China rose from 46 in 2002-03 to 112 in 2003-04, comprising 30 per cent of inter-country adoptions. Adoptions from South Korea and Ethiopia are also on the rise.
Despite being put up for adoption before she could talk, Michelle Barnes, 35, holds no grudges.
In fact, Ms Barnes, who now has two children of her own, admires her birth mother for making that difficult decision so that she could have a better start to life.
“It must have been the hardest thing she ever did, but she was thinking of my welfare. It was the era,” she said.
Ms Barnes began the search for her biological family only when she had children of her own.
She discovered her mother, now dead, was 20 when she was born, did not want to marry her father and, given the lack of support and social disapproval of single mothers at the time, thought that she was doing the best thing for her daughter.
Features — Page 13

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