25 January, 2015
Damian Fitzpatrick was just three years old when he was place in foster care.
Over the next four years he lived with seven different families, attending different schools, before child protection charity Barnardos Australia stepped in.
Long concerned at the impact on children being bounced around foster carers, the charity took charge of the seven-year-old before finding him adoptive parents to give him a stable home.
As the federal government moves to fast-trak overseas adoptions, Barnardos Australia urges families to also consider adopting foster children.
Damian, now 28 and living on the Central Coast with his fiancee, said the stability of a permanent family home had helped him deal with the issues many children who enter out-of-home care evenutally grapple with at some time.
While admiting he gave his adoptive parents a tough time as a teen, he is now filled with admiration for them.
"I reckon I'd be in a pretty bad place righ now without them," he said.
"If it's the job of parents to prepare a child for life, they helped me fix myself enough to be able to bond with people and become an adult."
(This article first appeared in the Sunday Telegraph and was written by Linda Silmalis.)