Key policy documents

Australia’s key policies and documents for prospective adoptive parents and approved applicants are available below.

For information on the intercountry adoption process, including eligibility criteria, immigration requirements and post-adoption support, visit the Intercountry Adoption Australia website.

Protocol for Responding to Allegations of Illicit or Illegal Practices in Intercountry Adoption

The Protocol provides information and assistance to adoptees and adoptive families in circumstances where there have are allegations or concerns about illicit or illegal practices, including:

  • within a country of origin
  • with the subsequent adoption of a child or children to Australia via the Australian intercountry adoption process, or
  • specific concerns raised in individual cases.

The Protocol is available below:

Cooperation between central authorities to develop a common approach to preventing and addressing illicit practices in intercountry adoption

Australia led a working group in early 2011 to develop cooperative measures to prevent illicit practices in intercountry adoption cases.

The following discussion paper was considered by all parties to the Hague Convention:

Interstate transfer guidelines for approved applicants

Prospective adoptive parents sometimes move interstate during the course of their adoption application. The approval of an interstate transfer is subject to the legislation and policy of the jurisdiction you move to. The following guidelines aim to ensure consistent procedures across states and territories and minimise the disruption to the families.

Sending gifts and care packages

Families often wish to send their child a gift to welcome them into their family or to help with their child’s care before taking custody of them. The Intercountry Adoption Harmonisation Working Group developed the policy below about families sending gifts and packages before they travel overseas to bring home their allocated child.

Pre-placement contact

The Hague Convention prohibits contact between prospective adoptive parents and a child’s biological parents or carer until all necessary consents to the adoption have been provided, unless there are specific circumstances. The following document sets out our policy on this issue.

Donations and financial contributions by prospective adoptive parents

The following document outlines the Australian central authorities’ views on financial contributions and donations in the context of intercountry adoption, and provides families with some best practice guidelines. Payments in the course of intercountry adoption must be appropriate, transparent, accountable and not for improper purposes.

Donations and contact by intercountry adoption support organisations

A number of Australian organisations provide:

  • financial and material donations to overseas orphanages or adoption authorities, and
  • support for individual children through child sponsorship programmes.

There are some risks that organisations need to consider to ensure that donations do not lead to improper financial gain, corruption or other negative impacts. The following document should be read in conjunction with the Pre-placement contact policy paper.

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