We are responsible for making sure that Australia meets its obligations under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
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.
Australia has arrangements with a number of countries.
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Country programs update
The Australian Central Authority has recently received advice about the number of Australian files that can be submitted to South Korea and Thailand in 2014. More information on Australia’s 2014 file assignments can be found on the South Korea and Thailand pages.
Automatic recognition of adoptions from Taiwan and South Korea
On 4 March 2014, the Prime Minister and Attorney-General announced the commencement of amendments to the Family Law (Bilateral Arrangements-Intercountry Adoption) Regulations 1998. These amendments mean that families adopting through the Taiwan and South Korea programs can have their adoptions recognised in Australia, without needing to go to a state or territory court. The amendments also affect Ethiopian adoptions not yet finalised in Australia. Details about the impact of the amendments can be found on the Prime Minister of Australia website.
For more information on how these changes will apply, families should contact their state or territory central authority.
Interdepartmental committee—call for submissions
On 19 November 2013, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of an interdepartmental committee on overseas adoption. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is chairing the committee. If you wish to share your views and suggestions on this issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments will be considered by the committee and may be shared with relevant Australian, state and territory government departments and agencies. The closing date for input is 20 February 2014.
Our department is represented on the committee.
The committee will investigate ways to improve Australia's intercountry adoption system to help inform discussions at the next Council of Australian Government meeting in April 2014. Further information can be found on the Prime Minister of Australia website.
Expansion of Taiwan program
The Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF) has agreed to accept applications from prospective adoptive parents living in the ACT. General information about the Taiwan program, including CWLF's eligibility criteria, is available on the Taiwan page. If you are interested in finding out more or making an application, please contact the ACT Central Authority.