The following are among the main findings of the report:

  • In the year 1994-95, there were 855 adoptions in Australia—91 more than the previous year. Part of this difference was because data on privately arranged adoptions by step­ parents in New South Wales were previously not included. Without these adoptions the increase from 1993-94 to 1994-95 would be 6%.
  • The majority of adoptions (535 or 63%) were by non-relatives; adoptions by step­ parents accounted for 313 (37%) and adoptions by other relatives seven (1%) of the total number of adoptions.'
  • The majority (73%) of children adopted by relatives were aged between five and 14 years, whereas 45% of children adopted by non-relatives were aged under one year, and a further 37% aged between one and four years.
  • Of children adopted by non-relatives, 42% were born overseas. There were almost equal numbers of boys and girls (110 and 114 respectively) in the group of overseas-born adoptees.
  • The number of overseas-born children adopted peaked at 420 in 1989-90, but fell by 46% to 1992-93 and has remained virtually unchanged since then.
  • The majority (82%) of adoptions of Australian-born children by non-relatives involved an ex-nuptial child.
  • There were 243 ex-nuptial Australian-born children adopted by non-relatives in 1994-95, a decrease of 11% since the previous year, and a decrease of 54% from 1988-89.
  • There were 99 more adoptions by step-parents in 1994-95 than in 1993-94. This difference was mainly accounted for by an increase of 43 adoptions by step-parents in Western Australia, and the inclusion of 48 privately arranged adoptions by step-parents in New South Wales.
  • Seven of the 12 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children adopted were placed with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In 1994-95, 6,252 applications were made for information about past adoptions in Australia.