Adopting a child means transferring all the legal parenting rights and responsibilities from the child’s birth parents or anyone with parental responsibility to the adoptive parents. It is a permanent legal arrangement that cuts the child’s legal ties with their birth family, meaning that birth parents no longer have legal rights over the child and can’t claim back the child. The adopted child takes up their adoptive parents surname and have the same rights and privileges as if born to them including the right of inheritance.
The Australian states and territories are responsible for adoption legislation resulting in eight different systems across the country.
Authority to Arrange Adoptions
In all states and territories, the authority to arrange adoptions except adoption by relatives is restricted to the director of the government department or division responsible for a child or social welfare or by the approved private agencies. Any private arrangements for adoption except through an approved agency are illegal and criminal charges may apply.
Open Adoption Act
Australia practices open adoption for both domestic and international adoptions according to the Adoption Act of 1984 where adopted children grow up with an understanding that they have been adopted and where possible are supported to have a relationship with or knowledge of their original family and cultural heritage.
However, adopting a child in Australia is a complicated process and adoption legislation is different in each jurisdiction which can be very messy and overwhelming but do not worry, we are here to help. We will provide you all the information needed.
Steps for Adoption
If you want to adopt a child, the first step is to research which type of adoption is possible in your state or territory and decide which is right for your family whether it is domestic adoption, intercountry adoption or a permanent care or guardianship of a child. Once you have decided the type of adoption, the next step is to apply for it and can be done through the Department for Child Protection or approved private agencies. As you know that each state and territory has different rules and regulations, but the basic steps are the same including:
- Contacting the relevant state department or accredited agency.
- Attending an information session.
- Undertaking assessment and training.
- Waiting for the match.
- Post-adoptive or placement support.
The Inheritance Law
The inheritance law states that every adopted child has legal rights over the property of their adoptive parents and not biological parents. For example, the adopted child has full rights of property conveyancing of his or her adoptive parents and for this, a property conveyancer will be required to ensure that the legal responsibilities and obligations are followed.
The inheritance law is also applicable for property development in Melbourne, meaning that if the adoptive parents have any property being developed, the adopted child has full legal rights over it as well.
So, these are some of the laws for adoption in Australia.