Adoption in Australia deals with the adoption process in the various parts of Australia, whereby a person assumes or acquires the permanent, legal status of parenthood in relation to a child under the age of 18 in place of the child's birth or biological parents. Australia classifies adoptions as known child adoptions (adoption by relatives, stepparents or carers), local adoptions (placement within the country), and intercountry adoptions (adoption of children born overseas).
Adoptions in Australia are handled by state and territorial government agencies or an approved adoption agency.
When an adoption is completed, the birth parents (also referred to as natural parents) no longer have any legal rights over the child. The adopted child becomes a full member of the adopting family, taking their surname and assuming the same rights and privileges as a birth child, including the right of inheritance. A new birth certificate is issued, in the case of local adoptions. The adopted child also has the same position as a birth child in relation to the extended family of the adopting parents, for example with assuming eligibility under the Succession Act.
Adoption can be a complicated process and we recommend if you are considering adoption, that you contact one of our Solicitors to discuss the process.