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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Typhoon Haiyan – impact on the Philippines intercountry adoption program
The Philippines Central Authority has advised that the children in its care in the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan are safe and are being relocated to other parts of the Philippines. Intercountry adoption procedures in the Philippines are continuing as usual.
During or after natural disasters, children are often separated from their families and communities and the Australian Government appreciates the interest from Australians wishing to assist children from the typhoon affected areas. Australia shares the view of UNICEF, the Red Cross, International Social Service and other international organisations that in such situations, children affected by natural disasters should not immediately be considered for intercountry adoption and family tracing should be the first priority.
The Australian Government supports assistance being provided to the people and children of the Philippines through alternative means, such as donations to aid organisations involved in the relief effort. To find out more about Australia’s assistance visit the Australian Embassy in the Philippines website. For a list of Australian humanitarian organisations seeking support to assist the relief effort visit the Australian Council for International Development website.
Closure of the National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group
Following the Australian Government’s announcement on 8 November 2013 to abolish or rationalise a number of non-statutory bodies, the National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group will close. The closure of this group is a whole-of-government decision that was taken to simplify and streamline the business of government.
Our department thanks both past and present members for their hard work and commitment to the Group. We will be investigating new ways to continue our engagement with the community and key stakeholders on intercountry adoption programs and policy.
Delegation visit – Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong – August 2013
An officer from the Australian Central Authority visited the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong from 13 to 23 August 2013 and met with intercountry adoption authorities and agencies to discuss the operation of Australia's intercountry adoption programs.
The officer attended the 12th Global Consultation on Child Welfare Services in the Philippines from 14 to 16 August 2013 and presented a paper on Australia's post-adoption experiences and research.
He also met with Australian officials in each country to discuss immigration and citizenship matters and the management of intercountry adoption applications.
The visit highlighted that an increasing focus for Australia's key partner countries is the adoption of older children, sibling groups and children with special needs.
The Australian Central Authority, in consultation with state and territory central authorities, will consider the outcomes of the delegation visits and provide advice to the government on the future management of Australia's intercountry adoption programs with the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
More information on specific outcomes of the delegation visits is available on the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong pages.