1,052 adoptions orders were made in the year 1 July 1991 to 30 June 1992—a decrease of 8% from the previous year. This represents a decrease of 65% since 1981-82 and a decrease of 89% since 1971-72.

The majority of adoptions were by non-relatives (72%), with adoptions by step-parents accounting for 25% and by other relatives 3%.

Children  adopted by non-relatives are usually younger than those adopted by relatives: 80% of children adopted by non-relatives are under 5 years of age compared to 13% of children adopted by relatives.

Of children adopted by non-relatives, 45% were born overseas. Of these, 55% were girls.

Just over half of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children adopted were placed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The number of adoptions by relatives in 1991-92 was about the same as in the previous year, while the number of adoptions by non-relatives—both Australian-born and overseas-born—was lower.