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Please find below a selection of ISS Australia’s major reports, papers and articles:

General Publications

(2020) COVID-19 and return applications under the 1980 Hague Convention


ISS Australia lawyers write about how COVID-19 affects a court’s decision under the 1980 Hague (Child Abduction) Convention to order the return of a child to Australia.

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(2018) Intercountry Adoption and Search for Origins: A Guide for Adoptees


ISS Australia and the ISS network’s Geneva-based IRC (International Reference Centre for the rights of children deprived of their family) have jointly produced a guide for intercountry adoptees seeking to search for their origins.

This informative and easy to read guide provides adoptees with an overview of a search for origins process as well as the practical implications. It offers intercountry adoptees concrete information on each and every stage of a search for origins process, as well as on the danger signals an adoptee may encounter on their way.

ISS Australia believes it is a must-read for Australian intercountry adoptees when they request access to their adoption records with plans to embark on their search for origins.

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(2018) Towards a Greater Capacity: Learning from Intercountry Adoption Breakdowns


An ISS General Secretariat handbook providing comprehensive information on the complex and painful phenomenon of intercountry adoption breakdowns. With chapters from adoption professionals throughout the world, including two from ISS Australia’s own Lizzie Gray and Sandi Petersen.

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(Jun 2018) Review of ISS Australia’s Intercountry Adoption Tracing and Reunification Service
A thorough review of ISS Australia’s DSS-funded Intercountry Adoption Tracing and Reunification Service was conducted in the first half of 2018 by Social Work student Rose Zwiers.
Please click below for the full Review or the Executive Summary.
Download PDF – Full Review
Download PDF – Executive Summary
(Dec 2017)  Protect, Defend and Support
An annual report of ISS Australia on its performances and key achievements in 2016 – 2017
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(July 2017) The Colour of Time: A Longitudinal Exploration of the Impact of Intercountry Adoption in Australia


A book compiled by  Intercountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) founder, Lynelle Long, with the assistance of ISS Australia and The Benevolent Society’s Post Adoption Resource Centre (PARC).

As a sequel to PARC’s important 2001 publication ‘The Colour of Difference’, this publication is a collection of personal experiences as told by intercountry adoptees in the Australian context. The stories shared touch on themes of identity, race, cultural integration, belonging, search and reunion, and parenthood, and are explored across different generations. Through these stories, The Colour of Time provides adoption professionals and those affected by adoption with invaluable and insightful understandings of the adoptees’ self-discovery journeys.

ISS Australia’s Intercountry Adoption Service was honoured to receive funding from the Australian Government, Department of Social Services (DSS) to accomplish this project. The book was officially launched on 23 June 2017. 2000 copies of ‘The Colour of Time’ were printed and have already been given away free. This important resource is also available as an E-book on iTunes, Amazon Aus and Amazon US.

(2017) UN News Release – Children must be top of global migration agenda, UN experts say


This UN Release details the importance of Children’s Rights within the context of international migration. These issues are complex and each individual case is unique, however children in particular tend to feel the worst effects of these issues and need special attention and care throughout this process. ISS is committed to protecting children’s rights and encouraging greater understanding of this important issue.

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(July 2013) Preserving the Best Interests of Children: ISS Network’s Call for Action on International SurrogacyThe ISS network has issued a coordinated Call for Action on International Surrogacy, a practice continuing to increase around the world and lacking any consistent, coordinating legal framework. The Call for Action commits ISS, among other things, to advocating for a General Comment on surrogacy by the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and for a new convention on the issue under the system established by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HccH).


Download the Call for Action here.

(May 2013) Home Safe Home: A report on children who migrate to Australia for kinship care

Prepared by researcher Siobhan Kavanagh, the Home Safe Home report presents the findings of a key research project funded by the Barr Family Foundation as part of ISS Australia’s “Support Me, Support My New Home” project (see project page here).
The research sought to develop a greater understanding of the issues experienced by children, young people and carers in international kinship care arrangements, with a particular focus on those arrangements that do not involve assessments of carer suitability or post placement support. The report makes five recommendations, including a call for changes to the Orphan Relative visa application process which would make assessment of any potential carer’s suitability mandatory.
The report was officially launched on 29 May 2013 at the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.

Download the report here

(2012) International Student Welfare in Australia
A research report prepared by Daniel Pejic for ISS Australia. The report examines international student administration in Australia, with a particular focus on ensuring student welfare. It recommends strategies to enhance security and protect the rights of international students studying in Australia.
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(June 2012) The Right to Information for Donor Conceived People: Lessons Learnt from Adoption
This paper outlines the effects of Australia’s past adoption practice. It examines the many similarities and differences between donor conceived people and adoptees, in order to argue that the practice of donor conception should rightly be compared to, and learn from, adoption practice.

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(2012) Solomon Islands Social Welfare Needs Analysis

A research report prepared by Sophie Fisher on behalf of ISS Australia. This report analyses the support for, and barriers to, strengthening the child protection system in the Solomon Islands. This paper articulates the urgent social need that is present in Solomon Islands.

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(July 2011) International Kinship Care: Observations from the Australian context

A research report prepared for ISS Australia by Siobhan Kavanagh, focusing on the obstacles to international kinship care and suggested models of best practice in resolving some of these issues. The report was developed as part of an ISS Australia project entitled Kinship Care Across Borders, generously funded by the R.E. Ross Trust.

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(July 2011) ISS Australia response to the Senate inquiry into international child abduction

ISS Australia made a submission to the Australian Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee inquiry into international child abduction to and from Australia.

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(March 2011) ISS Australia response to the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies

ISS Australia made a submission to an inquiry by the Australian Senate’s Standing Committees on Community Affairs into the Commonwealth’s contribution to former forced adoption policies and practices.

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(January 2010) ISS Network Statement – Earthquake in Haiti: Intercountry Adoption Cases

A paper from the International Reference Centre for the Rights of Children Deprived of their Family (ISS/IRC), part of the global ISS network.

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(August 2009) Hague Children’s Conventions: the Need for an Advocacy Response to Protect Children in the Context of International Parental Child Abduction

A paper on social work practice in the context of two international Hague Conventions concerning children. Based on a research report prepared by ISS Australia, the paper proposes arguments for the viability of social work practice in the context of the 1996 Convention on Parental Responsibility and Child Protection, and highlights the benefits of casework practice and mediation-based services for families which can be offered by social work.

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(January 2009) Intercountry Adoption in Australia

A background paper on intercountry adoption in Australia prepared by Damon Martin, NSW Service Coordinator.

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(September 2008) 1996 Convention Report

ISS Australia undertook research into the 1996 Hague Convention, in particular its potential application to ISS Australia’s inter-country casework involving children. The report formed part of a project generously funded by the Ian Potter Foundation, “Boosting Outcomes for Australian Children Using International Laws.”

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(May 2007) Family Safety and Child Abduction Planning and Prevention Resource Kit

This Resource Kit is for parents who may be considering leaving Australia with their child in order to escape domestic violence and for community workers and volunteers working with such parents.

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(May 2007) Learning from the Links between Domestic Violence and International Parental Child Abduction

This research report reviews available material on the links between domestic violence and international parental child abduction and reports findings from interviews undertaken with a small sample of affected parents and domestic violence services that have worked with these parents.

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(October 2005) Journey of Discovery

A Report on the three-year Travel Fund for Former Child Migrants managed by ISS Australia.

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(February 2005) Living in Limbo

A call for an Australian support service for families experiencing international parental child abduction.

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(January 2005) After the Tsunami

A paper on the assistance ISS internationally may offer in the 26 December tsunami aftermath.

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(August 2004) A Call for International Standards

A joint ISS-UNICEF project calling for guidelines to improve protection for children without parental care.

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(May 2007) ISS Open Day Celebrated the UN ‘International Day of Families’

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(July 2006) Parents now more likely to flee with kids

Liz Porter, Sunday Age, 9 July 2006.

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