Govt under fire over India adoption response

Date: 2008-09-03
Source: abc.net.au

Govt under fire over India adoption response

September 3, 2008

The Federal Government has defended its response to allegations that children stolen from their parents in India have been adopted by Australian parents.

The Government is still waiting for information from Indian authorities about claims of a child trafficking racket linked to adoption agencies.

But it has announced it is freezing applications to adopt Indian children from agencies that it has credible concerns about.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland says support and advice is being offered to Australian families affected but it is up to the courts to handle any custody claims.

"That's far too complex an area for politicians to intrude in and I am deliberately saying, and will repeat again, that is not an appropriate role for a politician or an attorney-general," he said.

"That is the responsibility of the courts and in particular the courts having regard to the best interests of the children.

"It is grossly irresponsible for a politician purporting to be in a position to determine the rights of children."

But shadow attorney-general George Brandis says Mr McClelland has failed to outline the rights of Australian adoptive parents.

"The response failed to provide clarity as to what are the respective rights of the parties," he said.

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