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Adoption Information

How adoption works in Australia

The adoption administration and process in Australia is controlled by each State and Territory under the relevant State-level adoption legislation. Post adoption services are also undertaken by the various State/Territory departments.

Intercountry Adoption is governed by the Attorney-General's Department, but is administered by the State departments. The intercountry adoption process used in each State and Territory is similar, but not identical. Legislation in each State and Territory governs intercountry adoption matters.

Differences in process and requirements may also occur in each overseas country that Australia has a program with. Please contact your State or Territory central authority for specific process information.

A general summary of the process is as follows:

  1. Initial contact
  2. Education seminars and formal application
  3. Adoption Assessment
  4. Decision regarding the approval of an application
  5. Preparation and forwarding of adoption application overseas
  6. Waiting period
  7. Placement proposal (the matching of a child with a family) issued by the overseas authority
  8. Immigration application process
  9. Travel to meet the child
  10. Post-placement support, and
  11. Finalisation of the adoption (where required).


Please note that the timeframes for adopting a child vary for a range of reasons and are subject to change. Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that the process can take a number of years.



State/Territory Links

Adopt Change provides information on a range of agencies accross all states and territories in Australia.



Federal Government Links