AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Data integration Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Burden of disease Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources
Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
In 2009–10, Australia recorded the lowest number of adoptions since the early 1970s, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The report, Adoptions Australia 2009–10, found that there were 412 adoptions in Australia during this period; a 7% decline on the previous year. Since the early 1970s, there has been a 21-fold decrease in the number of adoptions in Australia.
‘The long-term decrease in adoptions can be attributed to significantly fewer Australian children being available for adoption,’ said Tim Beard, of the Institute’s Child and Youth Welfare Unit.
‘However, the decrease over the past 12 months can mostly be attributed to the reduced number of adoptions from China and South Korea.
‘Since 1999–2000, intercountry adoption has been the dominant category of adoptions. In 2009–10, intercountry adoptions represented 54% of all adoptions, compared with 10% of adoptions in 1984–85.’
Over four in five intercountry adoptees (82%) came from the Asian region. The Philippines (22%) has now overtaken both China (14%) and South Korea (14%) as the most common country of origin. Outside Asia, Ethiopia was the most common country of origin, accounting for 15% of intercountry adoptions.
In 2009–10, 15% of adoptions were local (Australian children) and a further 31% were ‘known’ child adoptions (adoptions of Australian children who have a pre-existing relationship with the adoptive parent(s), such as step-parents, other relatives, or carers).
Overall, 65% of adopted children were aged under 5 years. For local and intercountry adoptions nearly all children were aged under 5 (100% and 86% respectively).
‘This changed when the child already knew the adoptive parent, with two-thirds of children in ‘known’ child adoptions aged 10 years and over,’ Mr Beard said. ‘Of these adoptions, 57% were by step-parents, and a further 41% by carers.’
Over half (57%) of adoptive parents of children in local and intercountry adoptions were aged 40 years and over, and a similar proportion (58%) had no other children.
‘The vast majority (92%) of local adoptions could be considered ‘open’, where all parties are happy to allow contact between the adoptive and birth families,’ Mr Beard said.
‘In the remaining 8%, the birth parents had requested no contact or information between them and the adoptive family.’
Less than five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were adopted in 2009–10, with a total of 63 Indigenous children being adopted over the last 15 years—the majority of whom were adopted by Indigenous Australians.
Canberra, Wednesday 15 December 2010
Further information: Mr Tim Beard, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1270, mob. 0418 271 395For media copies of the report: Publications Officer 02 6244 1032
Adoptions Australia 2009–10
Report summary Full report