Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett has opened up to UK’s Harper’s Bazaar about her baby daughter, Edith.
Cate and her husband, playwright and screenwriter Andrew Upton, quietly adopted Edith in February this year. While the couple are already parents to Dashiell, 14, Roman, 11, and Ignatius, 8, Blanchett says that it feels like she is a mother for the first time again.
“You don’t know anything about the child you’re going to meet,” she said. “It’s always the first time. Always.”
Earlier this year, Blanchett shared that the couple had been planning to adopt for 14 years but this is the first time she has opened up in detail about the story of Edith’s adoption.
“We got a phone call earlier this year and we adopted a little girl,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “You’re on the list and then you get the call.”
Blanchett is unlikely to be out of the limelight anytime soon.
Her role in Carol, a film about an aspiring photographer (Rooney Mara) and an older woman (Blanchett) going through a divorce, is expected to earn her several award nominations this season. And she may use the platform to talk about an issue very close to home.
In the Harper’s interview, Blanchett discussed adoption law, explaining why she chose to adopt in America rather than Australia. She argued that the relevant laws in Australia aren’t progressive, and still hold some of the issues that were present for the Stolen Generations.
“In Australia, it’s an understandable hangover from the Stolen Generations. When a country has a history of children being immorally and insensitively ripped from their parents and their place of origin and it doesn’t get resolved, the adoption laws swing, understandably, not in favour of the child.”
“The laws have to shift towards the best interests of the children,” she said.
“Otherwise, what happens is these children end up being shunted back and forth through the foster system.”
She also acknowledged, “We’re going to see a new wave of orphans coming out of the Syrian crisis and Europe, and the rest of the world is going to have to respond. It’s a world issue.”
Perhaps Blanchett’s voice in this area, alongside Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness also crusading for changes in Australia’s deeply flawed system, will help Australia stride towards meaningful reform.