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).

Featured reports

Latest findings

There were 201 adoptions finalised in Australia in 2022–23, compared with 330 in 2017–18

Overseas adoptions rose from 16 in 2021–22, to 28 in 2022–23

Most children (173) were adopted within Australia. Of those 8 in 10 were known child adoptions

In 1971–72, almost 10,000 children were adopted in Australia in what has been known as the forced adoption era

Compared to the peak of overseas adoptions in 2004–05, adoption numbers in 2021–22 have declined by 96% from 434 to 16

After open adoption legislation was introduced in the 1980s and 1990s, domestic adoption numbers fell substantially

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