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Adoption. Richard, Lachy , Somi & Leonie. What is it?. Legal surrender of parental rights and responsibilities from biological parents to another couple Unlike fostering, adoption is a permanent transfer of legal rights and responsibilities

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Adoption

Adoption

Richard, Lachy, Somi & Leonie


What is it
What is it?

  • Legal surrender of parental rights and responsibilities from biological parents to another couple

  • Unlike fostering, adoption is a permanent transfer of legal rights and responsibilities

  • Formally introduced into NSW in 1923  Child Welfare Act 1923 (NSW)


Who can adopt
Who can adopt?

  • Couples must meet certain criteria before they can adopt:

    • Need to provide medical evidence that shows couple are unable to have children

    • Express willingness by one adoptive parent to give up work once baby placed

    • Demonstration that couple are ‘fit and proper persons’

    • No more than one child already in the family

    • Must be above 18

  • Married couples, de-facto couples and single persons (not same-sex couples)

  • Preference given to couples whose names have been on the waiting list the longest


Consent giving up the child
Consent (giving up the child)

  • If married: both mother and father must consent

  • If unmarried at time of birth: only mother’s consent usually required

  • If the result of ongoing de facto relationship: mother and father must consent

  • Only right that father of ex-nuptial child has is notification of proposed adoption  14 days to apply for custody

  • If child is over 12, must consent to adoption


Legislation
Legislation

  • State matter (residual power), uniform adoption laws were passed in the 1970s

  • Adoption of Children (Amendment) Act 1982 (NSW);adopted children have same legal rights & status as children born into marriage  treated by law same as natural children of adoptive parents

  • Adoption Information Act 1990 (NSW); allows adopted children to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate & allows biological parents to obtain a copy of the amended birth certificate to identify an adopted child


  • Various Acts relating to adoption issues have been incorporated into Adoption Act 2000 (NSW)

  • Australia is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention)

    • Australia is a “receiving country” only  no outgoing inter-country adoption program to place Australian children with families seeking to adopt from overseas.


Issues
Issues incorporated into

  • Changing social values towards ex-nuptial children & greater social security support for single mothers  fall in number of babies available for adoption from 9798 adoptions in Australia between 1971-72, to only 566 in 1999-2000

  • Lengthy process


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