Interstate transfer guidelines
Some prospective adoptive parents will relocate interstate during the course of their adoption application. These guidelines aim to minimise the disruption to relocating prospective adoptive families.
The approval of an interstate transfer is subject to the legislation and policy of the receiving jurisdiction. As such, the exact policies and procedures vary between states and territories. It is the responsibility of prospective adoptive parents to be aware of how these apply, and to make sure that both state and territory central authorities are aware of any proposed changes. You can find the contact details for all state and territory central authorities on the Intercountry Adoption Australia website.
The ‘Initial Central Authority’ is the central authority in the state or territory in which the prospective adoptive parents currently have an application. The ‘Receiving Central Authority’ is the central authority in the state or territory to which the prospective adoptive parents wish to transfer.
Relocating interstate before application approval
Instances where prospective adoptive parents wish to transfer their file interstate prior to application approval will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the relevant central authorities. This is due to the challenges in transferring an application where the assessment has not been completed.
Relocating interstate before a child match is received
This section applies to families wishing to relocate interstate after their application has been approved by their state or territory central authority but before a child match is received.
If agreed, state and territory central authorities will determine which central authority is responsible for progressing the adoption process, such as assisting the family to travel, post adoption supervision and finalisation in Australia. Please note that adoption orders can only be finalised in the state or territory in which the adoptive parents are habitually resident.
Procedure for transferring an applicant
There are differences in legislation, policy, criteria and fees between states and territories. The key steps for transferring an adoption application to another state or territory are outlined below.
- Prospective adoptive parents should advise the Initial Central Authority of their intention to relocate with as much advance notice as possible. It is the responsibility of prospective adoptive parents to discuss their specific circumstances with their Initial Central Authority prior to committing to relocating.
- The Initial Central Authority will inform the Receiving Central Authority of the pending transfer.
- With the consent of the prospective adoptive parents, the Initial Central Authority will forward the application to the Receiving Central Authority. Please note, this does not constitute an acceptance of the application.
- The Receiving Central Authority will conduct a second assessment to ensure the application meets the criteria and requirements of the receiving state or territory. Approval decisions will be made in accordance with the legislation and policies of the Receiving Central Authority.
- If the application is approved by the Receiving Central Authority, it will inform the relevant adoption authority in the country of origin (where appropriate).
- If the Receiving Central Authority does not accept the file transfer or approve the application, the prospective adoptive parents may request a review of this decision through the Receiving Central Authority’s processes.