15 months ago Craig and Karen Wells adopted Papua New Guinean toddler, Mackalistair to save him from being sold by his biological parents.
Now Mackalistair, or Cal as he’s affectionately known, faces deportation to Manus Island by the Australian government after being denied a visa.
The child has no family to support him and the couple are desperately calling for help as they are fearful of his safety is he is sent back.
Katie Voigt who looks after the little boy at a Brisbane daycare centre has set up a petition on Change.Org and has so far received 26,000 signatures.
"I’m Australian, Karen’s Australian, Mac is our son and he’s Australian," Craig told Mamamia. "It’s against Australian law for us to abandon a child. What sort of cold person would do that?"
Karen worked with the child’s father at a detention camp, who joked about giving her his son. When it became clear the child would be abandoned if they didn’t take him, that's just what the Wells' did.
Over the next 13-months the couple, who have seven adult children between them, continued to attempt to reunite the boy with his father and relatives, according to Mamamia, but said "the parents didn’t want him back."
"We didn’t expect it to be like this. Karen was retired, and my kids were growing up and then Cal’s come along and he’s changed everything," Craig told The Courier Mail. "We can’t not help him now. It’s not about me, it’s not about Karen, it’s about him and his future," he added.
The boy currently remains in Australia on a bridging visa after his visitor’s visa expired and cannot be renewed without his parents signatures. The Wells’ have applied for an orphan visa however this has also been rejected.
The case is currently under review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and a spokesperson from The Department of Immigration and Border Protection are "aware of this case".
"He’s such a happy and cheeky kid, it’s heartbreaking to think he could now get ripped apart from his adoptive parents," adds Voigt in the change.org petition.