Contributed

Australians can now adopt from Latvia and Poland

AUSTRALIAN families will now be able to adopt from Latvia and Poland.

Children from these two eastern European countries will may be offered for adoption in Australia, particularly when they are older, have medical needs or have siblings.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis announced the changes to the intercountry adoption programme this morning.

The Australian Government is also working with Bulgaria and Vietnam to also join the program.

Along with the open doors, the government will give LifeWorks $3.5 million over four years for family support services to help those going through the process of adoption.

International social Service Australia will also be involved to provide counselling, and parental support.

To support Australia's intercountry adoption reforms, dedicated Commonwealth officers from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection have been deployed to key overseas locations, including China, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Chile.

The officers will help prospective adoptive parents access in-country support services and assist adopting families with visas and other citizenship matters.

In 2013, Australian families adopted 15,810 children from abroad.


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