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Adoption is one of a range of options used to provide permanent care for children who are unable to live with their families. It is a legal process where rights and responsibilities are transferred from a child’s parents to their adoptive parent(s). The adopted child assumes the same legal rights, privileges and social status as if born to the adoptive parent(s), including the right of inheritance.
Dynamic charts and data on adoptions since 1998–99.
Data tables containing notes on the data used in the dynamic data displays.
Definitions of common terms used in the national adoptions reporting.
The categories of adoption used in national reporting are:
These are the latest figures from Adoptions Australia 2015–16.
in adoptions in Australia in the last 25 years.
known child adoptions were by step-parents.
of local adoptees were under 5.
of intercountry adoptees were under 5.
of known child adoptees were under 5.
of adoptive parents in local adoptions were 40 and over.
of adoptive parents in intercountry adoptions were 40 and over.
of adoptees who came from overseas were from Asia: mainly the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea.
was the typical wait time* for families adopting a child from overseas in 2015–16.
In 2014–15, the wait time was >5 years.
birth mothers of local adoptees were under 30.
Almost all birth mothers (93%) were unmarried.
of local adoptions were ‘open’ (that is, all parties agreed to some contact).
* Wait time is measured from when the applicant became an official client of the department to when a child was placed with them.