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Adoption Law

At Kells we understand adoption can be a complex and emotional process. 

What is adoption?

Adoption is the term and process used to transfer the legal parental rights and parental decision making associated with parenting a child from one person to another. An adoption order is made by the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Once an adoption order is made all parenting rights and responsibilities, guardianship and custody are transferred from the biological parent (or another party that currently has a parental responsibility), to the adoptive parents.

What is parental responsibility?

Parental responsibility is a phrase used to describe all the rights and responsibilities for a child that a parent owes in relation to a child including matters such as schooling, religion, education and medical treatment.

Who can apply for adoption?

The majority of adoptions will take place by foster parents, carers or step parents and grandparents who are already taking care of the child in question. Couples seeking to adopt a baby or child that are not already in their care are advised to contact their state or territory authority for an information package and to initiate the process.

Which organisations apply in New South Wales for adoption?

The Department of Family and Community Services (also known as FACS) is the government department that deals with adoptions in New South Wales. There are some other non-government agencies that are permitted to provide adoption services in New South Wales such as Anglicare Adoption Services, Australian Families for Children (AFC), Barnardos Australia Adoptions and Catholic Care Adoption Services.

Is adoption a good idea?

The reasons for wanting to adopt a child are many and varied and those seeking advice in this area may include couples who are unable to conceive naturally, foster parents, couples in same sex relationships, and “step parents” who are looking to legally adopt the child from their current partners previous relationship.

Who can apply for adoption?

According to the Adoption Act 2000 (New South Wales) an adoption order can be sought by a person or a couple. Same sex couples can also adopt in New South Wales.

What is involved in the adoption process?

The adoption process can be a complicated and lengthy procedure and may take many years to complete. There are several steps in the adoption process and each individual agency will have different processes to achieve the same. There are application forms that need to be completed by the proposed adopting parent and submitted to the agency that is supervising the adoption process. You will also need to attend seminars and have your expression of interest application form to consider whether you are eligible to be an adoptive parent. Once you complete the seminar programs you will need to undergo an assessment to be approved as adoptive parent/parents.

Is it difficult to adopt a child?

The agency involved will have strict criteria which must be fulfilled for your assessment to be successful.

Can I adopt a child from another country?

Inter country adoption is the process of adopting a child from another country in which you as the adoptive parents are not a resident or a citizen. This process is also governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Australia is involved in this international agreement which governs the protection of children and cooperation between countries in respect of adoption.


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