Country Programs

Australia currently has an active intercountry adoption arrangement with 13 countries, including:

  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Latvia
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan, and
  • Thailand.

For more information on Australia’s active intercountry adoption programs, including eligibility criteria and post adoption support, visit the Intercountry Adoption Australia website.

Reactivation of the India-Australia intercountry adoption program

Australia is reactivating the India-Australia intercountry adoption program using a careful, staged approach.

During the initial stage of the reactivation, two jurisdictions – Queensland and Northern Territory (NT) – will be assessing a small number of people and forwarding files of suitable applicants to the Indian adoption authority for consideration and action.

The remaining state and territory governments will monitor processes and be guided by key learnings before determining their future involvement.

A staged approach will allow all Australian governments to closely monitor the initial cases and build our understanding of the new safeguards and standards introduced in India’s revised intercountry adoption program. This approach will help the reactivated program to operate as smoothly as possible.

Interested parties living in Queensland and NT can contact their central authority for further information or to express their interest in the India program:

  • The Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women can be contacted by phoning either 07 3097 5100 or 1800 647 983 (Queensland only) or by emailing ads@csyw.qld.gov.au
  • The NT Territory Families Adoption Unit by phoning 08 8922 5519 or by emailing TF.adoptions@nt.gov.au.

On hold, inactive and closed programs

Bolivia

This program is not accepting any applications.

The program existed between New South Wales and Bolivia. Residents of other states and territories were not eligible to apply. The agreement with Bolivia expired in January 2011. The Bolivian Government is reviewing intercountry adoption arrangements.

In April 2015, an Australian delegation visited Bolivia to discuss intercountry adoption.

Ethiopia

Australia's intercountry adoption program with Ethiopia closed on 28 June 2012. It was consistently Australia's most complex and challenging program.

The following document contains more information on the closure:

The following document provides information about the post-adoption reporting process for Ethiopia, Ethiopian adoption files and post-adoption support services:

Fiji

Australian couples cannot currently apply to adopt a child from Fiji.

Fiji agreed to the Hague Convention in April 2012. It came into force in August 2012. Fiji put the hold in place to give it time to change its legislation to implement the Convention and put in place a framework for intercountry adoption. The central authority in Fiji is the Department of Social Welfare (DSW).

In May 2013, DSW advised that Fiji is in the process of amending its domestic adoption laws to put in place a framework for intercountry adoption consistent with the Hague Convention.

Lithuania

In January 2016, Lithuania’s Ministry of Social Security and Labour confirmed that Lithuanian adoption pathways are unavailable to Australian prospective adoptive parents. This means that the Lithuania program is inactive.

There are two pathways for prospective adoptive parents living outside Lithuania to adopt Lithuanian children:

1. Lithuanian citizens who are resident overseas may apply to adopt children without special needs – this pathway is currently unavailable as there are sufficient care options within Lithuania to meet the needs of these children.

2. Non-Lithuanian citizens may apply to adopt children with special needs – this pathway is also unavailable as Lithuania requires that Australia work through a body accredited by Lithuania, and no such body is authorised to work with Australia. Lithuania is not accepting new applications by overseas countries seeking to work with a body accredited by Lithuania.

The Philippines

  • The Philippines Government advised, in late 2018, that they will not accept adoption applications from Australian authorities until further notice. This also applies to applications from Australians to adopt relative or known children. The Philippines and Australian governments are working on options so that the hold can be reviewed.
  • Any updates about the status of the hold will be provided on the Intercountry Adoption website, www.intercountryadoption.gov.au. Families or individuals who are affected by this hold may wish to seek support from the Intercountry Adoption Family Support Service (1300 543 396 or icasupport@lifeworks.com.au).

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