Adoption has been practiced in almost every country and culture throughout history. Still today there are millions of children all over the world needing shelter, health services, education and a primary carer/family to allow them to reach their potential as young adults. Sadly, adoption is still too often misunderstood, stigmatized and marginalized. Ethical & transparent adoption allows children to have a family and a brighter future.

In Australia, the Federal Attorney-General’s Department provides the following information regarding Inter Country Adoption:

What is Intercountry Adoption?

Adoption is one option used to provide permanent care for children who are unable to live with their birth families. It is a legal process where legal rights and responsibilities are transferred from birth parents to adoptive parents. There are two types of adoption:

  • local or domestic, from within Australia, and
  • intercountry, from other countries.

The Australian Government shares responsibility for intercountry adoption with the States and Territories. Local adoption is solely the responsibility of the States and Territories.

Intercountry Adoption

Australia is party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption establishes principles to ensure that intercountry adoptions occur only where it is in the best interest of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights.

Australia has intercountry adoption programs with a number of overseas countries. These programs are either conducted under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption or through bilateral arrangements. In Australia, intercountry adoptions must be undertaken through State and Territory adoption authorities.

Private Adoption

Private adoption arrangements are illegal in most States and Territories. State and Territory adoption authorities do not support privately arranged adoptions.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will refuse a child an entry visa unless the adoption arrangement meets immigration requirements even if the adoption has already occurred and is lawful in the overseas country.

The only circumstance where a visa may be granted to a child adopted privately overseas is where the adoptive parents’ circumstances meet specific DIAC requirements.

The child also needs to meet the standard immigration requirements, including health criteria.