There are a very small number of children adopted within Australia each year, so it’s not surprising that many families are now looking at international adoption as an option. Each state and territory has its own legislation and policy on international adoption, so the particular details that apply to you will depend on where you live. However, there are some key pieces of information you should know to get you started if you’re thinking about adoption in Australia.
Who is eligible for international adoption in Australia?
You (or your partner) must be an Australian citizen and currently residing in Australia. Additional requirements around age, health, education, religion, finance, criminal record and marital status exist and vary according to each partner country. You will be required to attend education seminars and complete the relevant application paperwork for your state or territory before you will be considered eligible.
Where are we able to adopt from?
Eligible families are able to adopt from countries that Australia has inter-country adoption arrangements with. These can change, sometimes at short notice, and may depend on where you live within Australia. Current active agreements are in place with Chile, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand. It is possible to adopt a child from another country, but these arrangements are generally only considered in exceptional circumstances.
How long does international adoption take?
International adoption in Australia can be a very long process, and it’s not unusual to take several years. There are a number of factors that affect the length of each adoption process, including foreign government requirements that are often out of Australia’s control. The age, profile and needs of the child or children being adopted are also a significant factor affecting adoption timeframes.
What does international adoption cost?
The specific costs involved vary across Australia and across the partner countries. Basic fees can be anywhere from $3,000 to $11,000, not including the foreign government charges and travel costs.
Further information on adoption in Australia?
Further information on adoption in Australia can be obtained by visiting the central authority in your state or territory. A lawyer can provide you with personalised legal advice based on your individual circumstances.