Adoption in the ACT
Adoption is the process by which a child ceases to be a member of one family and becomes, legally and permanently, a member of a new family.
Within the ACT, the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support (as a part of the Community Services Directorate) is responsible for all adoptions both locally and from overseas. Its functions are determined by the ACT Adoption Act 1993.
Adoption as a permanency solution is currently being enhanced under the A Step Up for Our Kids – One Step Can Make a Lifetime of Difference five year strategy. As such the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support is reviewing and improving the information it publishes and promotes on the Community Services Directorate website. In the interim the links
below will provide you with some basic information about adoption in the ACT. For more comprehensive information you are encouraged to contact the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support via Child and Youth Protection Services North on:
phone: 6207 1069
For information about adoption and post order support services see:
Adoption information and post order support services pamphlet [HTML] [PDF 392KB]
Information for anyone touched by adoption:
Search and Reunion [PDF 795KB]
The Adoption and Permanent Care Unit has a number of specific functions in relation to Australia's obligations for international adoptions under the Hague Convention
The Australian Government Attorney-General's Department, as the Australian Central Authority under the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, is responsible for ensuring that Australia, as a whole, meets its obligations under the Convention.
A primary recommendation of the Overseas Adoption in Australia Report was
that the Commonwealth, through the Attorney-General’s Department, take on primary responsibility for the establishment and management of Australia’s intercountry adoption program.
The Attorney-General’s Department has now taken on responsibility for Australia’s existing intercountry adoption programs and works closely with the ACT.
Information about Overseas adoption can be found on the Attorney-General’s website
National Apology to People Affected by Past Forced Adoptions
On 21 March 2013, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard , will deliver a national apology, on behalf of the Australian Government, to people affected by forced adoption or removal policies and practices.
For more information www.ag.gov.au/About/ForcedAdoptionsApology/Pages/default.aspx
Apology to People Affected by Past Forced Adoption Practices
The ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher presented a formal apology to people who have been affected by past forced adoption practices in Australia from the late 1940s through to the 1980s on the 14th August 2012 at the ACT Legislative Assembly in Canberra.
The following documents provide information and contact details of organisations that may assist people.
- Assistance, support and advocacy contacts [PDF 44KB] [Word 119KB]
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) [PDF 112KB] [Word 36KB]
- Report of the Senate’s Community Affairs References Committee’s Inquiry into Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices
For information and support contact the Family Information Service in the Community Services Directorate on 6207 1335.
For counselling support contact Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277.
For free and confidential 24 hour telephone counselling for people under stress or in crisis, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14