Adoption & The Right To Search


Many intercountry adoptees have a great desire and need to access information and reconnect with their biological family, and their country of origin. This can be very difficult for individual adoptees and their families who have little or no knowledge of how to navigate systems overseas and who require professional support and counselling in both Australia and overseas. Australia has facilitated over 10,000 intercountry adoptions since the 1970’s. These adopted people deserve the right to ongoing services. Our aim is to continue to provide professional support to Australian intercountry adoptees to connect with their history and birth families overseas.

Since September 2016, International Social Service (ISS) Australia, a small independent not-for-profit and non-government organisation has provided an Intercountry Adoption Tracing & Reunification Service. This free service provides information, support and counselling alongside facilitating searches overseas for Australian intercountry adoptees and their families.

The Australian Government’s Department of Social Services (DSS) funded the service, however ISS Australia received extremely disappointing news in February 2018 that DSS funding would not be provided past June 2018, noting that ISS Australia would need to seek alternative funding in either the corporate or philanthropic sectors in order to continue the service.

Our mission
The Tracing service has been very successful in its brief period of operation, establishing strong partnerships with overseas tracing partners, achieving many positive outcomes (including locating 50 biological families’ overseas as well as facilitating 15 family reunions) and building up to its current level of over 200 clients. The closure of the service would be a devastating outcome for intercountry adoptees who have begun their search through the service; a service that was launched less than two years ago, offering free search assistance, with such strong hopes and acclaim from service beneficiaries and others in the adoption field around the world.

Why crowdfunding?
The reality is that if ISS Australia cannot obtain alternative funding in this very short timeframe, then the service will need to be closed, with experienced staff made redundant, partnerships with overseas tracing services abandoned and most importantly, over 200 clients left without care and support from the workers they have come to know and trust.

 As one of our clients so eloquently stated: “If a country decides to allow intercountry adoption, by default, the same investment and equal flow of resource and money needs to go into the post adoption services.  This is no longer an ethical or moral understanding, but with all the evidence we now have on hand, this should be built into underpinning policy and procedures on a national level.”

 Unfortunately the Australian Government have decided not to continue funding our Intercountry Adoption Tracing Service, which we know is one of the greatest needs for Australian intercountry adoptees. Therefore in order to continue the service in some form ISS Australia is making a concerted effort to obtain alternative funding through corporate and philanthropic partnerships and have also set up the Go-fund-me page.

 “I was excited to hear ISS has funding for a tracing and reunification service, when I first started tracing my birth family there was no professional service which could help me and I had little support in the end I stopped tracing, so it’s wonderful to work with an organisation and receive feedback from them and also knowing I will have support should I need it regarding reunification.  Tracing is a timely, daunting, tiring and emotional effort and can be costly doing it by yourself.  I think ISS service is 10 out of 10 and I hope ISS can continue to help myself and other adoptees in tracing their birth family and or their birth history.”

 Ways you can help
·  Any contribution amount would be appreciated so please share within your networks. The aim of the Go-fund-me page is to raise money for the overseas search costs.
·  On average ISS Australia pays our overseas search partners $600 AUD per case so if we can raise $75,000 AUD this will at least allow overseas searches to continue for our current caseload of Australian intercountry adoptees.

Please note ISS Australia has DGR (deductible gift recipient) status and can provide tax deductible receipts. Please email ISS to request a receipt, with your full name, at [email redacted].au .



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    • 34 mos
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ISS Australia 
Rushcutters Bay NSW
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