Desperate kids are waiting in limbo for years as bureaucracy denies them the stability they urgently need.
Mamamia Investigates: A special report into Australia’s “broken” adoption system, by Mamamia journalist, Emily Purcell.
Jake was only two when he was taken away from his birth mother for good.
The severely neglected toddler had already been temporarily removed twice and placed into the hands of strangers – a heart-wrenching and frightening separation for a tiny child so intrinsically bound to his birth mother.
After being bounced around from home to home with long periods of separation from his mother, he was inevitably returned to her.
But she, suffering from the common trifecta of difficulties – issues with drugs, poverty and homelessness – could not keep the little boy safe.
The Children’s Court permanently removed the neglected boy from his home, as it is called upon to do only in the grimmest of circumstances, and placed him into the care of Alice and her husband.
Initially, the terrified toddler was always on guard.
He would jump at any loud noise, had difficulty sleeping and trouble adjusting to routine – something he had never experienced before.
Now, four years on, the happy and healthy six-year-old is very attached to his foster parents and recently won an award at school for his impressive behaviour.