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Intercountry adoption

We are responsible for ensuring that Australia meets its obligations under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

We also have primary responsibility for the management and establishment of Australia's intercountry adoption programmes.

Our department does not process adoption applications. This is the role of the state and territory central authorities. State and territory central authorities assess the eligibility and suitability of people wanting to adopt a child from overseas against criteria outlined in their own legislation. They also manage the adoption application process.

Intercountry Adoption Australia

On 17 May 2015, the new Intercountry Adoption Australia service was launched. The service includes a new national website and telephone help line for families adopting a child from overseas.

The new service aims to reduce the barriers facing Australian families wanting to adopt from overseas while still ensuring intercountry adoption occurs in the best interests of the child.

Information for prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents is now available from the Intercountry Adoption Australia website.

Latest news

If you would like to receive emails when our latest news updates are published, email intercountry.adoption@ag.gov.au. Your personal information will be managed in line with our Privacy Collection Notice.

  • June 2015
    • - Representatives of the Australian Central Authority and the Department of Social Services will travel to the Hague, Netherlands, from 8—12 June 2015 to attend the fourth meeting of the Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the 1993 Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention.

    • - Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea: Representatives of the Australian Central Authority and the Department of Social Services will travel to these partner countries in June.
  • May 2015
    • - Launch of Intercountry Adoption Australia

    • - A delegation from the Singapore Government visited the Australian Central Authority to learn about Australia's intercountry adoption system.
  • April 2015
    • - Bolivia, Chile and Colombia: Representatives of the Australian Central Authority and the Department of Social Services visited partner countries in South America from 11-24 April 2015.
  • March 2015
    • - Thailand: Advice on the number of Australian files that can be submitted to Thailand in 2015.
  • February 2015
    • - Philippines: A delegation from the Philippines Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) visited Australia from 27 February-5 March 2015.