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A Gift Of Adoption By Candice Shaw

Growing up I was blessed to have a mother and father who loved and adored me. From an early age my only dream was to grow up, get married and become a mum. My husband says he blames my mum for my strong desire for motherhood, it was demonstrated so beautifully to me that I can’t help but want to mother too.

Since I was in primary school I have had a desire to work with orphans and children who without a home.  I would often dream of babies being left at my front door. As a teen this puzzled me at times, but as I’ve matured I’ve learnt that this was a desire put in my heart and DNA and part of the reason I’m alive.
Whilst we have not legally fostered or adopted my husband and I have been carers for several teenagers who’ve come through our home. Many were violent, angry, broken and had been kicked out of home. We had the privilege of opening our doors & hearts to these young men and I am forever changed by the experience.
In 2014 our own daughter Eliana was born which was truly a dream come true. We’ve since welcomed a second daughter, Annabelle, in February this year. As we look toward the future we know our hearts and home aren’t full yet.

The reality is that without legislation and policy shift our family probably won’t be able to adopt.
The adoption lines are long and expensive and there are so many hoops to jump through.
I’ve seen couples get their papers to the front of an international country’s line and be told “Australia is no longer partnering with this country.” They then must go back to the beginning and start all over again for another country. Domestic adoption in Australia is woefully small. There were over 47,000 children in full time care last year, with only 315 adoptions finalised*. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the best case scenario is healthy families reunited and children returned to a safe & loving home with their biological parents but sadly this isn’t always possible.
Many children will spend their entire lives in foster homes, often being moved from family to family. Imagine never having a family that was yours, where you belong.

My dream is that parenting, adoption and placing children in permanent homes will become valued and revered in our society. Where women facing unplanned/unwanted pregnancy’s are given real choices. Options are given so that pregnant mothers can meet potential adoptive parents, build relationships with them and even maintain connections with their babies post adoption. My dream is that children would not spend more than 2-3 years in foster homes before being transitioned into permanent homes. We have a long way to go, but I believe the tide is turning and that majority of Australians want these changes to.
To see my dream become a reality I’m relaunching “The Gift Of Adoption”. An organisation committed to advocating for change. These changes are so desperately needed and include seeing adoption accessible, common and valued within Australia.
To learn more please contact me at

Candice Shaw



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