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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

intercountry adoption australia logoOn 17 May 2015, the new Intercountry Adoption Australia service was launched. The service includes a new national website and telephone information line for families adopting a child from overseas.

The new service will guide people 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.

  • November 2015
    • Two new intercountry adoption programmes commenced; Poland and Latvia.
  • September 2015
    • Philippines and Thailand: Representatives of the Australian Central Authority travelled to the Philippines and Thailand on 1-8 September and met with the central authorities of both countries. In the Philippines, the delegation also attended the 13th Global Consultation on Child Welfare Services and gave a presentation on the preparation of prospective adoptive parents in the Australian context. The meetings were valuable for strengthening relationships with country partners and clarifying operational issues.
  • June 2015
    • The Hague: Representatives of the Australian Central Authority and the Department of Social Services travelled 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: During June 2015, a representative of the Australian Central Authority travelled to Hong Kong to meet with Australia’s partner agencies. The meetings were valuable for maintaining relationships with these country partners and updating understandings about adoption applications, timeframes and processes.
    • Taiwan and South Korea: Representatives of the Australian Central Authority and the Department of Social Services travelled to these partner countries from 14-19 June. The meetings were valuable for strengthening relationships with Australia’s partner agencies and for clarifying operational issues. The delegation also learned about South Korea’s progress towards ratification of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.
  • 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
    • South America: Representatives of the Australian Central Authority and the Department of Social Services visited Chile, Colombia and Bolivia from 11-22 April. The delegation met with the Chilean, Colombian and Bolivian central authorities, as well as Australia’s in-country service providers, adoption agencies and representatives from NGOs. All meetings were productive and valuable for strengthening relationships. Through these meetings, the delegation was able to clarify operational issues around adoption applications, timeframes and processes.
  • 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.