Known child adoption in Australia

Known child adoptions refer to adoptions of children who were born or permanently residing in Australia before the adoption, who have a pre-existing relationship with the adoptive parent(s) and who are generally not able to be adopted by anyone other than the adoptive parent(s). Known child adoptions include adoptions by step-parents, other relatives and carers.

The diagrams below presents a simplified overview of the known child adoption processes in Australia.

Diagram: Overview of the known child adoption processes in Australia

Step-parent and relative adoptions

Overview of the known child adoption processes in Australia, step-parent and relative adoptions

Carer adoptions

Overview of the known child adoption processes in Australia, carer adoptions

Detailed information on known child adoptions can be found in the AIHW Adoptions reports and on the state and territory websites found on the Adoptions links & other information.

Known child adoptions are administered and/or recorded by the department responsible for adoption in each state and territory. The majority of known child adoptions are by step-parents wishing to incorporate children into a newly formed family, or by long-term carers, such as foster parents.