There are still several steps in the adoption process after you have applied through your state and territory central authority (STCA).
Once you have been approved by your STCA the process is different depending on the country you applied to.
What happens after my application is sent?
The time after you have applied can be the most difficult and the longest part of the adoption process as you wait to hear if a child will be placed with you.
Even after your chosen country has received your application and found you suitable for adoption, it isn’t bound to place a child with your family.
Your application may not be sent to your chosen overseas country straight away. This is because some countries operate application management systems and quotas. If your chosen country has one of these systems, your application won’t be sent until the country calls for more applications.
Your STCA may need to reassess your situation if your circumstances change or where no match has been made after a period of time.
If your chosen overseas country matches you with a child, your STCA will receive a placement proposal.
This proposal will include information about the child. The level of information included varies across countries and depends on your child’s circumstances.
Once you receive the placement proposal, you need to look at all the available information about the child’s health and background. This is because not all proposals are suitable or appropriate for every family.
If you decide to decline the proposal, generally you won’t be penalised and your position on the waiting list will stay the same.
If you accept the placement proposal more documentation and extra fees may be needed.
Bringing your child home
Once you have adopted you child you will need to organise immigration, citizenship and a passport.
Children who are adopted overseas, in circumstances outside of a Hague Convention process, do not automatically have their adoptions recognised in Australia. Children adopted outside of the Australian adoption system need to acquire a permanent visa before they are able to apply for Australian citizenship.
The Hague Convention process does not apply to people who adopt a child from the same country they usually reside in. Australian citizens who are living outside Australia for extended periods of time and have adopted through another country’s legal system may be eligible to apply for an adoption visa for their child if they meet the visa’s expatriate provisions.