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Hugh Jackman's wife Deborra-Lee Furness speaks out against adoption stigma

Deborra-Lee Furness believes there is still too much "ignorance" surrounding adoption.

Deborra-Lee Furness has urged Australians to be outspoken about their desire to help vulnerable children.

The actress, who is mother to adopted children Ava, 11, and Oscar, 16, with her Wolverine star husband Hugh Jackman, is an advocate for adoption and co-founded organisation Hopeland to address the global issue of orphans and abandoned children.

In an interview with Mamamia about the challenges facing Australian couples looking to adopt, the 61-year-old spoke of the stigma that surrounds the process of helping vulnerable children.

"I think there is still a lot of ignorance around adoption. I have personally encountered people saying uninformed and insensitive things in relation to adoption," she told the parenting website.

"In some countries, adoption is culturally shunned, and I do think the shame still exists. However, through creative re-positioning of perspective, I believe this can be addressed and shifted."

The adoption activist, who is also one of the creators of National Adoption Awareness Week in her native Australia, has urged prospective parents to speak up, and to lobby their parliament members to overhaul the system which she insists is leaving too many children "growing up without a permanent, loving family to support them through their early lives and into adulthood".

"Australians who care about vulnerable children, and particularly those wanting to adopt, need to be vocal and outspoken... By speaking out you are advocating for a child to find a home," she urged.

However, the mother-of-two said she felt hopeful for the future and praised the "courageous politicians" who do speak out in the hope of creating a better system.

On Saturday (11Mar17), Deborra-Lee was honoured with a Leadership Award from the UN Women for Peace Association for her advocacy work by friend and Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett.

The ceremony took place at the 2017 UN Women for Peace Association March Luncheon at ONE UN in New York.

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