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Commonly asked questions about adoption

Adoption is the legal process by which all of the legal rights and obligations of a child are transferred to his or her adoptive parents, with the child joining the family as a recognised family member. The adoptive parents assume all parental responsibility for the child, while the birth parents cease to have any parental rights over the child. Adoption removes the legal relationship between the child and the birth parents.

Adoption arrangements differ depending on the state in which you reside.

Recent changes to the Adoption Act have meant that the adoption process is administered through Community Services in NSW. The process is now more streamlined and fairer for couples, and importantly, the rights of the child are better protected.

Family and Community Services is the government agency responsible for providing adoption services for NSW. The agency works with birth parents who are considering adoption for their child and with families who wish to adopt.

There are set adoption procedures and requirements to follow in applying to adopt a child, including filling out an Expression of Interest form, attending a preparation for adoption seminar, and filing a formal application for adoption. You can find out more about the adoption process for adoptive applicants, including the costs and the criteria for prospective adoptive parents, at the Family and Community Services website.

In Queensland, Adoption Services is responsible for the provision of adoption services. There are very specific criteria that must be met for a person to be eligible to adopt a child. If you meet these criteria, you need to follow an established set of procedures, including filing an Expression of Interest form. Once this is done, you will be notified if you meet the eligibility requirements, and will then have your name entered into the expression of interest register.

If selected from this register, you will be sent a notice of selection for assessment. The number of people to be selected for assessment from the expression of interest register varies each year, as the number of assessments is based on the anticipated needs of children likely to require adoptive placements.

Should you not receive a notice of selection for assessment within two years, your expression of interest expires, and you can then decide whether or not to lodge another expression of interest.

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