Overview

Adoption is one of the options used to provide permanent care for children who are unable to live with their families. The adoption process establishes a permanent, legal parent–child relationship between a child and their adoptive parent(s).

More reports and statistics on adoption can be found under Child protection and Children & youth.

Featured reports

Latest findings

‘Known child’ adoption—where the child is already known to the adoptive parent(s)—increased over the decade (124 to 249)

The main country of origin for intercountry adoptions varied between Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea

Overall adoption numbers declined 50% over the past 25 years—from 668 in 1995–96 to 334 in 2019–20

The median waiting time for families adopting from overseas was 2 years and 9 months

Of the 249 known child adoptions finalised in Australia, 171 or 69% were by carers, such as foster parents

The majority (97%) of overseas adoptees were from Asian countries, and the most common country was Taiwan (43%)

Highlights