A Guide to Adoption in Australia

If you have decided to adopt a child, you are changing several lives in the process. According to family law, adoption is an opportunity for the parents and the child to have the life they deserve. But you should approach adoption the right and legal way. Whether you are facing infertility or looking to add one member to your household, or longing to help an orphan, there are many good reasons to consider this lifelong commitment. 

Australia has two types of adoption: local and intercountry. 

Local adoption is when a child is permanently living or was born in the country. On the other hand, intercountry adoption is when a child is living overseas, then adopted and brought to Australia. 

There are only 13 countries where you are allowed to adopt a child, based on the intercountry adoption arrangements of Australia. These are referred to as partner countries:

South Korea

Hong Kong

China

Thailand

India

Colombia

South Africa

Bulgaria

Taiwan

Chile

Poland

Sri Lanka

Latvia

The government does not support intercountry adoptions that are not included in their partner countries. 

How to Go About It?

Every state and territory in Australia has its own rules and regulations for adoption. The Brisbane family law of these states and territories indicates different ages of an adult before they can apply to be an adoptive parent. It also includes different guidelines of how much older than the child you should be to become an adopted parent. 

If you are intent on becoming an adoptive parent, find out what type of adoption is available in your state. You can decide whether intercountry or local adoption is suitable for your family. Each department, jurisdiction, and NGO has its own criteria and process for prospective adoptive parents. 

While the assessment processes and criteria are not the same, the basic steps for adoption are:

Get in touch with the relevant accredited agency or state department

Attend an information session

Matching

Placement

Post-adoption support

Adoption can be opened or closed by family law. Open adoption is when the biological parents are in communication with the legal parents and get updates constantly. As the name suggests, a closed adoption is where all pieces of information are kept private or secret.

In Australia, the country promotes open adoption for both local and intercountry types. This is where the adopted child is aware and understands that they have been adopted. They may also be allowed to know about or have a relationship with their biological family.

Known adoption is another thing you should know. This applies when the child is already staying with you in one roof before the start of the adoption process. It is also about formalizing a relationship such as adopting an existing foster child or a stepchild. 

What Is the Legal Process?

You need to procure an adoption order if you wish to adopt a child. This order cuts off any legal ties, rights, and responsibilities of the birth parents to the child, and they are transferred to the adoptive parents. This also removes inheritance from the birth parents, whereas the child will have a right to the inheritance from the adoptive parents. A family law attorney can help discuss inheritance matters with regard to adopting a child. 

The child may also get a new birth certificate to record the name of the adoptive parents as the parents as well as the new name of the child if it is changed. The original birth certificate that has information about the biological parents is no longer valid for legal purposes. 

What Are the Requirements for Adopting a Child?

As an applicant to be an adoptive parent, you must meet the eligibility requirements of your state of territory to qualify for adoption. These usually include:

Your age

If you reside in the state you want to adopt in

If you are pregnant

If you are an Australian citizen

How much older you are than the child

Your health

Criminal, child protection, traffic, and violence history checks

What Are the Advantages?

When adopting a child, here are some of the benefits of pushing through it according to a family law attorney:

Support. Providing support to a child goes beyond physical needs. As the child goes through life, the adoptive parents should also provide psychological support in both good and bad experiences. An adopted child is given the ability to thrive in life.

Education. As with every child, the adopted one deserves a good education and a chance to reach their goals. Apart from education, adoption will give the child financial support to help them accomplish more. The birth parents will have the opportunity to continue their education as well. 

Resources.  Biological parents often give up their child because of their lack of resources. The adoptive parent will provide the financial support and resources, allowing for a lifestyle that they should have. 

Opportunities. When the birth parents decide to put up their child for adoption, it is one way of saving a life rather than resorting to other methods. The adopted child will have better opportunities in life with the help and guidance of better-equipped parents. 

Social Relationships. Although the Foster care system helps children in its own way, it can be difficult for the children to form social relationships. This is because a child usually moves and stays from one home to another. This hinders the child to grow socially. 

On the other hand, when you adopt a child, this enables the child to make long and steady relationships at home, in school, and in the neighborhood. Long-term relationships positively impact the life of the child.Love. Children deserve to grow up in a loving family. When you become an adoptive parent by family law, it goes without saying that you are going to form an emotional bond with the child. The strong parental relationship you develop through the years will have positive effects on everyone involved. The love you give will significantly impact the child, filling the gap that the birth parents are not able to give.

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