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.
The Attorney-General's 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 Intercountry Adoption Australia service was launched. The service includes a national website and telephone information line for families adopting a child from overseas.
The service guides 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 available from the Intercountry Adoption Australia website.
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- May 2016
- An Australian delegation visited China from 30 May to 3 June 2016 to discuss the China–Australia intercountry adoption programme. The delegation held productive discussions with the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption; the Bridge of Love Adoption Service; officials from various foreign missions; foreign adoption agency facilitators; and visited child welfare institutions in Shenzhen and Tianjin. Further information on the changing characteristics of children in need and waiting times is available on the Intercountry Adoption Australia website.
- Bulgaria: New intercountry adoption programme commenced.
- February 2016
- Thailand: The Child Adoption Centre advised that Australia is permitted to submit up to 20 adoption application files in 2016. Please contact the central authority in your state or territory to discuss the individual quota for your state or territory
- January 2016
- South Korea: Eastern Social Welfare Society provided Australia with a 2016 quota of 15. Please contact the central authority in your state or territory to discuss the individual quota for your state or territory.
- Philippines: The Intercountry Adoption Board provided Australia with a 2016 quota of 28. Please contact the central authority in your state or territory to discuss the individual quota for your state or territory.
- 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.