Anglicare refused to assess the Aboriginal aunt of an Aboriginal baby as a long-term carer because she was in a same-sex relationship and, with the knowledge of the New South Wales government, sought to have the baby adopted to a non-Indigenous couple, a court has heard.
The nine-month-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons and is known to the court by the pseudonym Daisy, has complex needs. At four days old Daisy was discharged to the Anglicare adoption agency and placed with a non-Indigenous couple as “authorised pre-adoptive carers”, court documents show.
In October, the DCJ filed a care plan with the court, as required by law. In it, DCJ recommended the baby be adopted. It did not tell the court it was aware there were other family members who could be assessed and had applied to care for Daisy.
But the same day, a DCJ caseworker filed an affidavit in which she claimed Anglicare did not even assess the cousin and would not assess the aunt because she was in a same-sex relationship.
The magistrate said the act “requires that Daisy, because she cannot be restored to the care of a parent, should be placed with a relative, kin or other suitable person in accordance with a guardianship order”.
“[DCJ] was not able to explain why Anglicare was being paid to case manage … when seemingly not willing to make decisions in accordance with the Care Act,” Sheedy said.