Abbott's plans for easier overseas adoptions

A FEDERAL vow to make major changes to international adoption rules has won support from advocates who want it to lighten the load for those would-be parents living outside capital cities.

Those wanting to adopt a child from a foreign country start the process with their state government, a bureaucratic obstacle course that can span years even before their application is sent overseas.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has previously said the changes would be on the agenda for the Council of Australian Governments meeting in April but on today emphasised the government's commitment to the reforms.

Mr Abbott was joined by National Adoption Awareness Week founder Deborra-Lee Furness - who is married to Australian actor Hugh Jackman, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and NSW Family Minister Pru Goward.

Mr Abbott said the reforms would benefit those children "who legitimately need a safe and loving home" and those wanting to provide that home.

A number of federal departments will now form a committee to consider what reforms were required.

Ms Furness said she was ecstatic and thrilled with the Prime Minister's support.

International Adoptive Families of Queensland spokesman Todd Harris said it was not unusual for some hopeful parents to wait seven years before collecting their adopted child.

Many give up along the way, Mr Harris said, particularly as some countries have age limits of 45 for adoptive parents.

Mr Harris said for those in regional parts of the state, the already challenging was made more difficult.

"I don't think you can lay blame, the agency responsible is located in Brisbane and a lot of the assessment is outsourced to private providers," he said.

"I would say it would be much the same for every state."

Minister Goward said changes for NSW were already in train, not just for those looking abroad but for those wanting to adopt locally.

Queensland Communities Minister Tracy Davis was approached for comment but did not respond before deadline.


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