Pre-placement contact

Under the Hague Convention, intercountry adoption applicants must generally not engage in pre-placement contact. Pre-placement contact is any form of contact, prior to an adoption being formalised, between a person who has formally expressed interest in adoption and a child who may be in need of intercountry adoption, a person or body caring for those children, or an overseas adoption authority.

Australian central authorities only support pre-placement contact after the country of origin and relevant state or territory central authority have confirmed it is appropriate.

Before you make any pre-placement contact, we strongly recommend you ask the central authority in your state or territory for advice, even if your child’s country of origin has different processes and procedures.

This is because pre-placement contact may:

  • be viewed as seeking to influence the decision of overseas governments and agencies
  • affect the decision of the overseas authority to honour the placement of the child (if the child has already been placed with a family)
  • jeopardise the placement prospects for a child
  • jeopardise the transparency or future of Australia’s intercountry adoption program with that country

Under the Hague Convention, pre-placement contact may be appropriate in limited circumstances after a placement proposal has been accepted, including where:

  • the child has expressed their consent for pre-placement contact
  • the contact is desirable or unavoidable
  • the overseas authority requests pre-placement contact
  • it is an intercountry relative adoption.

If you are travelling for reasons unrelated to the adoption process (for example to gain a greater understanding of the country you want to adopt from) you must not have any contact with individuals or organisations that care for children who may be placed with an Australian family. This is particularly important if you are travelling to a country where you have a current adoption application.

For more information about pre-placement contact, contact the central authority in your state or territory by email, telephone or via their website.