More overseas adopted

In 1995-96 for the first time more overseas-born children (274) than Australian-born children (217) were adopted by non-relatives, according to Adoptions Australia 1995-96, released by the AIHW. The greatest number of overseas-born children were from South Korea (94), followed by Colombia (40), the Philippines (22), and India (20). Three-quarters of the total adoptions in Australia were by non-relatives.

The report also shows that number of adoptions in Australia continue to fall - from a peak of almost 10,000 in 1971-72 to less than 700 in 1995-96. The number (668) for 1995-96 was 22 per cent lower than the previous year.

"Changing community attitudes to single parenthood and the increased number of alternative legal orders, such a long-term guardianship orders are just some of the reasons for the continuing fall in the number of children available for adoption", one of the report's authors, Ms Rebecca Bentley, said. "The wider availability of birth control and greater options - such as IVF - for infertile couples, also affect the adoption rates."

The report also covers the number of requests made for information and the number of contact and information vetoes lodged by adopted persons, adoptive parents, birth parents and other relatives.

Other findings in Adoptions Australia 1995-96 include:

  • There were over 5,000 applications for information about past adoptions - 11% below the number in previous years.
  • Adoptions by relatives were more likely to be of older children than adoptions by non-relatives.
  • Almost three-quarters of the adoptions by non-relatives were for children under 5 years, and less than 10% of relatives adopted children under 5.

20 June 1997


Further information: Ms Rebecca Bentley, AIHW, ph. 02 6244 1182 or 02 6248 5013 (ah).
For media copies of the report (48pp.): Mark McCarthy, ph. 02 6244 1032.
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