By GYNNIE KERO
A Brisbane couple is fighting to keep their adopted two-year-old son who will be deported to Manus Island unless he is granted permanent residency in Australia, according to Australian media.
The AAP this week reported that Craig and Karen Wells have cared for the child, who they have called “Cal”, for more than a year and have not been able to contact his parents since Christmas.
The couple, from Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, claim the boy’s Papua New Guinea-based father, who worked with Wells at the Manus Island Detention Centre, gave them permission to raise the child when he visited Australia last year.
The Wells said Cal’s father told them he did not have the means to take care of Cal himself and the boy was going to be given away to another village.
The couple has set up a change.org petition to put pressure on the Australian immigration department to overturn its decision to reject a permanent residency application for the boy.
“He is a beautiful, funny, cheeky little boy who just wants to be loved and cared for and we are fighting the decision to deport him.”
The couple did apply for Cal to be placed on an orphan visa but that has been rejected.
The Wells said they had to travel back and forth to PNG every three months to renew Cal’s temporary visa, which has put the family under strain financially, physically and emotionally.
The Australian High Commission in Port Moresby yesterday told The National that the Australian immigration department was “aware of this case”.
By GYNNIE KERO