The Adoption Regulations 2008 expire on 25 February 2019 and need to be reviewed and remade.

The primary objective of the proposed regulations is to protect the welfare and interests of children placed for adoption. The regulations seek to achieve this and avoid harms that might occur if adoption practices were to be unregulated. The hierarchy of objectives of the proposed regulations is to:

  • Protect the rights and wellbeing of adoptive children
  • Protect the rights and wellbeing of parents who place their children for adoption
  • Protect the rights and wellbeing of adoptive parents
  • Minimise the administrative burden in achieving the above objectives.

Proposed amendments to the Adoption Regulations 2008

The majority of changes in the proposed regulations relate to updating terminology and administrative forms.

New provisions support the right of the child to genetic identity and the right of the father to consent to the adoption. The regulations provide that where the father has not been identified, approved counsellors must provide information to the mother, as specified in the regulations, about the importance to the child of knowing their origins, because to do so is in the interest of an adopted child’s connection to family, culture and identity and learning about their history.

Approved counsellors must complete a certificate of compliance specifying that the counsellor has given this information to the mother. The proposed regulations also seek to achieve the wishes in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture that are consistent with the Act.

The proposed regulations also introduce adoption plans that will consolidate all of the considerations and decisions made by the parties to an adoption concerning contact and information exchange. The proposed regulations require the applicants understand the importance of forming an adoption plan in relation to a child.

Adoption Regulatory Impact Statement

The Adoption Regulatory Impact Statement, which examines the costs and benefits of the proposed regulations, the draft regulations 2019 and the Human Rights Certificate are available to download and view: