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ACT Agencies

State/Territory Agenices:

ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

Government Department

ACT Government Community Services

Adoption is a way for you to provide a new, permanent family for a child who for various reasons cannot live with their birth parents. Adoption legally and permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities for a child from their birth family (or legal guardians) to you, their adoptive family.

In the ACT, adoption is organised through Child and Youth Protection Services and decided on by the ACT Supreme Court. There are different types of adoption. These are:

  • Local adoption: Where you have no previous relationship with the child to be adopted, and the birth parents decided on adoption when their child was born.
  • Out of home care adoption: Where you adopt a child who is in foster or kinship care.
  • Step-parent adoption: Where you are looking to adopt the child of your partner – your step-child.


The information on this page relates to local adoption.

In reality, there are very few local adoptions – it is more common for children to be adopted from out of home care. In considering local adoption, we encourage you to also think about adopting a child who is in out of home care. To adopt from out of home care, you do not need to already be the child’s foster carer, and both adoption processes can run at the same time (so you don’t have to decide one way or the other to begin). The processes are a little different, so please also look at the information provided at  Adopting a Child from out of home care..  

If you are actually looking to adopt your step-child, please go to Adopting a step-child where you will find information more relevant to your situation.  

Major Agencies


ACT Department of Community Services

The ACT Department of Community Services facilitates all adoptions in the ACT, both local and inter country. Contact the Adoptions and Permanent Care Unit for all enquiries.

More infomation can be found at Adoption section.


Barnardos Australia

Barnardos Canberra's Children’s Family Centre specialises in providing care for children aged 0-18 years who are unable to return to their birth families. A caring family environment that is stable and supportive is provided for children who are separated from their families.Children can only be referred to Find-a-Family by ACT Care & Protection or the Department of Community Services. The Find-a-Family Program receives funding from the ACT Department of Community Services.

Visit Barnados Australia website for more information.

State/Territory Agenices:

ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA