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There are concerns Australia's past with the stolen generation has led to low adoption rates and a looming crisis of children in care.

Now a parliamentary committee is examining whether a national framework is needed to improve those rates and make it easier to adopt children who could be at risk.

More than 100 submissions have been made following concerns the care system is bulging at the seams.

At least 47,915 children are in out of home care, and in 2016-2017 only 246 adoptions were finalised.

It's prompted Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, Liberal MP Julia Banks to declare, "We cannot ignore the statistics any longer".

"We have one of the lowest adoption rates in the world," she said.

"These children who are in out of home care or foster care, they're not going into foster care for some nice respite period. They are invariably fleeing abuse or neglect or violent environments or unsafe environments."

In 2011, then-three-year-old Josiah - who had been through four other foster homes - walked into their lives.

"I fell in love with him when I first met him and I couldn't imagine life without him. We were lucky to foster him and proceed down the adoption route," she said.

But Josiah had a brother, Kaleb - who he'd been separated from for years - so Sarah and Husband James opened their hearts and home to him as well.

Despite their evidence they could care for the children, adoption would take more than three years.

"It's been amazingly challenging at times. The boys are beautiful - they're the two most beautiful boys in the world. It's been incredible, but it stretches every ounce of your character," James said.

"It was the uncertainty never knowing it was going to happen. That was the hardest part, it was like a little black cloud hanging over our heads. And the boys, not having the stability and surety they were going to stay permanently," Sarah said.

In some states adoption can take up to five years to complete because processes vary from state to state.

Many parents even look to adopt children from overseas.

"I would certainly recommend adoption to people who are interested in that path or who can't have children. We went from considering overseas adoption to local," Sarah said.

But Sarah and James want to see changes.

"It needs to be easier. It needs to be more streamlined. It needs to take the pressure off the parents and really act in the best interests of the children. There were times in the process that were very difficult; it requires a lot of patience," dad James said.

"It is a tough journey. Our commitment and love for the boys overrode that."

Sarah said that adoption in Australia is simply too slow.

"We went through Barnardos. It was faster than other agencies but on the whole if you have children in your home for three years and it takes three to four years to adopt them that's too slow," Sarah said.

"It just feels so natural to be their mum and their dad, it's as if I've given birth to them, they're my boys. They're a gift."

Experts see New South Wales as having the best model and processes for adoption in Australia but the state government wants to improve it. It's aiming to have 1,000 adoptions within four years.

NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward told Nine News that "adoption means a child has a safe home for life".

"It means a child is part of a forever family. Last year we managed 129 adoptions from out of home care in NSW compared with 14 for the rest of the country," Minister Goward said.

"I'd love to see other states sharing our experience and making adoption available to people in out of home care," Minister Goward said.

"They're much less likely to develop problems as young adults, mental illness, a greater association with juvenile justice, homelessness and of course young pregnancy."

She held an image of a child, a young girl who had written, "today is my last day in foster care because I'm being adopted".

The girl is pictured sitting in a brown armchair, her eyes are wide and her smile broad as she proudly holds the sign.

Some evidence given to the committee has been emotive but there are concerns that Australia's past with the stolen generation has in part led to the looming crisis.

The Department of Social Services admits that "harmful past policies and practices, including forced adoption and the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children" are just some of the reasons behind a "relatively low" adoption rate.

On Friday, Barnardos CEO Deirdre Cheers gave evidence to the committee.

"Only adoption provides a permanent alternative home when a child's own home cannot be safe for all of childhood. Our experience in foster care is that by its nature impermanent."

"General community attitudes when asked about 'Is it a good idea for a child to stay in foster care where they are experiencing multiple moves from career to carer?' The general community response is 'well that's silly, that's not a good idea'."

"In fact, the child welfare community and the social work community are very impacted by practices of the past, by the fear of making the same mistakes. We would never ever want to repeat those mistakes of the past of forcing adults to give up their children and having closed relationships where children don't know their identity."

"Open adoption practices of today, as we provide them, are fundamentally different from the forced and closed adoptions of the past," Ms Cheers said.

Ms Banks told 9News further change is still needed.

"The main thing a child needs in its life is love and stability, permanency and safety. These children, out there in our own backyard, who are in out of home care, who flee these environments are clearly not being embraced by a well-working, open adoption system."

The committee is expected to table a report with recommendations towards the end of the year.

Sarah Wright has urged other Australians to consider adoption.

"I just think there's more benefits in local adoption. It's a bit faster, the children have contact with their birth family. Their identity is an important part of their journey. If you can't have children it's a great option, as a way of forming a family."

And she looks forward to watching her two boys growing up.

"Yeah I'll be mother of the groom twice over - that's if they leave home," she said with a smile.