Australia currently has an active intercountry adoption arrangement with 13 countries, including:
- Hong Kong
- the Philippines
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Taiwan, and
For more information on Australia’s active intercountry adoption programs, including eligibility criteria and post adoption support, visit the Intercountry Adoption Australia website.
On hold, inactive and closed programs
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.
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.
Reactivation of the India-Australia intercountry adoption program
At this stage, it is not yet possible to send adoption applications to India. More information will be available soon.
In August 2018, the Assistant Minister for Children and Families, the Hon Dr David Gillespie MP, wrote to State and Territory Ministers to advise of his decision to reactivate the India‑Australia intercountry adoption program on a small scale.
Any reactivated program will be introduced carefully and slowly, so that Australian authorities can closely monitor the program and ensure that safeguards are operating effectively.
It is the decision of individual Australian states and territories whether to facilitate adoptions from a particular country, and states and territories are currently considering their level of involvement in a reactivated program.
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.
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: