Parents to adopted kids Oscar, 8, and Ava, 3, Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness were excited to learn that the first ever Adoption Awareness Week was to be held in their home town of Sydney, Australia, and they decided to attend the event, even though it was the day before the world premiere of Hugh’s movie Australia.
Twelve years ago, after two miscarriages and multiple attempts with IVF, the couple turned to adoption, only to find the process in Australia extremely difficult. Adoption laws in the country, which have not been changed since 1964, ensure that the process to adopt a child can take as long as six years, and the cost – about $40,000 – prevents most couples from even attempting to adopt, making Australia the second lowest country in the world in terms of the number of inter country adoptions. Hugh and Deborra eventually decided to use their US citizenship to adopt from the United States, a process that only took 9 months and resulted in them taking home a newborn Oscar. Ava was also adopted from the US.
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“People are waiting for so long – a minimum of three years and sometimes up to 10, and you hear there are 133 million orphans in the world. There are families for the children – let’s make it happen faster,” Deborra-Lee said at the event. “I always push for ethical, transparent adoption and parents absolutely should be put through all the hoops, but we can do it faster.”
Deborra-Lee began pushing for Australia’s adoption process to be overhauled, saying, “I would like to feel pride, as an Australian, that we are standing up and contributing. At this stage, I don’t think we’re doing enough.”
Hugh was just named People magazine’s “Sexist Man Alive” for 2008.
Photos: ICON/Fame Pictures
Filed under: Hugh Jackman