What are the universal laws about the adoption of children?

Adoption process in Australia can seem like a complicated net of stringent laws and regulations with differences thrown in for every state and territory. If you are looking to adopt a child in Australia or to Australia, it will do you good to engage the services of seasoned legal experts like Prime Lawyers who have extensive experience in family law and who can navigate you through the legal complexities of adoption in Australia.

What is Adoption?

According to the Adoption Act NSW 2000, adoption is the process by which the legal rights associated with parenting are transferred from one party to another. An adoption officially occurs when the highest court of the particular state passes the “adoption order”, which deems that all parental rights and responsibilities, guardianship and custody are transferred from the biological parents (or other party that currently has parental responsibility) to the adoptive parents.

Who can adopt?

All adult couples have an equal right to adopt children, after the adoption equality bill was passed in 2018. Australia has adoption equality, as of today. Domiciled, single person of good repute and can fulfil the responsibilities of parent can also appeal for an adoption.

Universal tenets of Adoption Law

Laws in Australia with regard to children are mostly based on what is considered to be in the best interest of the child. When deciding whether to grant an adoption order, the highest court of the state will always consider what is in the best interests of the child.

The main principles of the adoption laws, though the details vary from state to state, are similar in spirit. Some important highlights of these include:

  • to emphasise that the best interests of the child concerned, both in childhood and later life, must be the paramount consideration in adoption law and practice
  • adoption is to be regarded as a service to the child
  • to ensure that adoption law and practice assist a child to know and have access to his or her birth family and cultural heritage
  • if the child is able to form his or her own views on a matter concerning the adoption, he or she must be given an opportunity to express those views freely and those views are to be given due weight in accordance with the developmental capacity of the child and the circumstances
  • to ensure that equivalent safeguards and standards to those that apply to children from originating country apply to children adopted from overseas

In determining the best interests of the child, the decision maker is to give due regard to any wishes expressed by the child along with any wishes expressed by either or both of the parents of the child. Participation of child in decisions is mandated under the law and decision maker is required to disclose all information about the adoption. In cases where the child is between 12-18 years, their consent regarding the adoption will have to be sought.

Adoption is an extensively legal procedure. Engage qualified and experienced legal expertise to fulfil your dream of a complete family.


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