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Australian, state and territory central authorities

Each country that signs the Hague Convention is required to have a central authority to implement its standards.

The Attorney-General's Department (AGD) is the Australian Central Authority for intercountry adoption under the Convention. There are also central authorities in each state and territory.

The roles and responsibilities of the Australian Government and the states and territories are set out in the Commonwealth-State Agreement for the Continued Operation of Australia's Intercountry Adoption Program.

If you require an accessible version of these documents, email intercountry.adoption@ag.gov.au. Your personal information will be managed in line with our Privacy Collection Notice.

Australian Government responsibilities

From 1 January 2017, Australian Government responsibilities are as follows:

  • Enable the performance of Australia's responsibilities under the Hague Convention (AGD).
  • Manage and review existing overseas adoption programs (Department of Social Services - DSS).
  • Establish any new overseas adoption programs where appropriate (DSS).
  • Provide national leadership and coordination (DSS, with assistance from AGD as the Australian Central Authority as required).
  • Develop national policy on intercountry adoption with states and territories (DSS, with assistance from AGD as the Australian Central Authority as required).

State and territory responsibilities

The responsibilities of the states and territories are:

  • Prepare and support prospective adoptive parents for intercountry adoptions.
  • Assess adoption applications.
  • Provide advice and assistance about procedural aspects of programs.
  • Provide post-placement support and supervision.
  • Function as state and territory central authorities under the Hague Convention.

Further information about the intercountry adoption application process is available on the Intercountry Adoption Australia website, including contact details for each of the state and territory central authorities.

Central authorities' meetings

DSS and the Australian, state and territory central authorities meet regularly to discuss intercountry adoption. The communiqués for the latest meetings are available on the DSS website.