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Adoption and Permanent Care in Queensland

Where to Start

If you are considering taking on the permanent care of a child (including through adoption), we recommend you first read our information on How Adoption Works in Australia.

As each state has its own legislation, agencies and variables, the next step is to assess the options for providing a permanent home to a child in WA and determine which is right for you.

Currently in Queensland there are four possible pathways:

  • Local adoption
  • Intercountry adoption
  • Adoption from foster care
  • Long-term foster care

Local Adoption

Usually there are only a small number of children each year requiring adoptive placements in Queensland, and generally they are children aged up to two years of age.

The initial steps are:

  1. Contact the QLD Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and arrange to attend an information session
  2. Complete the Adoption Expression of Interest form
  3. You will be notified if you meet eligibility requirements

 

If you meet eligibility requirements you will be placed on the expression of interest register. This does not guarantee that you will be selected to undertake an assessment. If you do not receive a notice of selection for assessment within 2 years, your expression of interest expires. You may then lodge another expression of interest.

Assessment is a comprehensive process and may include:

  • criminal, domestic violence, traffic and child protection history checks
  • home visits for assessment interviews
  • talking with you, your partner (if applicable), children, other adult household members and nominated referees if required
  • obtaining information about your health

Intercountry Adoption

The Queensland Government manages intercountry adoption applications and assessments for those applying to adopt children through one of Australia’s intercountry adoption programs.

The initial steps for intercountry adoption are the same as those for local adoption:

  1. Contact the QLD Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and arrange to attend an information session
  2. Complete the Adoption Expression of Interest form
  3. You will be notified if you meet eligibility requirements

 

If you meet eligibility requirements you will be contacted and placed on the expression of interest register.

You must also meet the eligibility requirements of the overseas country from which you wish to adopt a child. Information about the requirements of each partner country can be found at the Intercountry Adoption Australia website.

It is also a good idea to speak with someone who has adopted from the country that you are considering applying to.  International Adoptive Families Queensland (IAFQ) offers information and support to prospective adopters on the website.

Costs

There are administrative and legal costs relating to a local and intercountry adoption in Queensland.

Additionally intercountry adoption involves costs such as airfares when you travel to meet and bring home your child, and visa and immigration fees.

For both local and intercountry adoption you should also factor in the time you will spend away from the workforce in order to support and form a relationship with your adopted child when they return home with you.

More information about costs can be found at Adoption fee section.

Long-term Foster Care

Foster care is an option for children who have been removed from their birth families for their safety and well being, and it has been decided that they are unable to return home. Long-term foster care involves caring for children until they reach adulthood (usually 18 years) and are ready to live independently. Parental responsibility of the child remains to the chief executive of Child Safety. In Queensland, long-term foster care is currently the most common option for providing a long-term home for a child in statutory care.

The process for becoming a foster carer in Queensland is:

  1. Complete an application form
  2. Complete a blue card application (required for all people working with children in Queensland)
  3. Undergo assessment – home safety, referee checks, medical checks and interviews
  4. Complete pre-service training

Permanent Care

In July 2017 the Queensland Government announced changes to the Child Protection Act, which will include a new permanent care order for children who cannot safely live with their birth families. A permanent care order means that a child would stay with their carer until they reach the age of 18.

These changes are still being implemented, and it is not yet established as to whether the existing long-term guardianship orders currently possible in Queensland will continue or will be replaced by the new permanent care order.

Currently a Long-Term Guardianship Order (either to a suitable person, or to the chief executive of Child Safety) is possible. You can download pdf read more about this type of orde.

Adopt Change will update our information when the changes are implemented.

More information

To find out about becoming a Long-Term Foster Carer call 1300 550 877 or visit website.

For intercountry adoption, the Intercountry Adoption Australia: your guide to overseas adoption website is a useful starting point, and has information about the eligibility requirements and related costs of each partner country.

To apply to adopt a child through the intercountry adoption program in Queensland visit website.