Post approval

Once your application for intercountry adoption has been approved by the central authority in your state or territory, you should bear in mind that there are still several steps to go in the adoption process.

Approval by your state or territory—or even acceptance of your application by an overseas country—does not guarantee that a child will be placed with your family.

Following approval by your state or territory, processes can vary depending on where you live and the country you have applied to.

Your documents may not automatically be sent to the overseas country of your choice. This is because some countries operate application management systems and quotas.

If your chosen country has such a system, it may not be possible for your application to be sent until the country calls for more applications. If this takes some time, you state or territory central authority may have to reassess your situation during this period, in case your circumstances have changed.

Once your application has been prepared and sent

The period after your documentation has been prepared and sent to the overseas country may be the most challenging time. Decisions about your application need to be made by the overseas authorities, and it’s not possible to estimate how long this may take.

Importantly, overseas agencies have the responsibility of matching children to the most suitable family.

Even after your application has been received and deemed by the overseas agency to be suitable for adoption, the agency is not bound to place a child with your family.

For some countries, when a child has not been matched to a family, assessment updates may be required every 12 months. All states and territories in Australia also conduct reassessments of applications after a period where there has been no matching. Contact your state or territory central authority for details of these reassessments.

Receiving a placement proposal from an overseas country

When an overseas country matches a child to your application, the overseas agency will send a placement proposal to the central authority in your state or territory for approval. Once approved, your state or territory central authority will contact you regarding your acceptance of the proposal.

This proposal will include vital information about the child in need of intercountry adoption, but the amount of information included varies considerably across countries, and depends on the child’s individual circumstances.

At this point, you need to carefully consider all available details about the health and background (as provided by the overseas country) of the child. Not all recommendations by overseas agencies are suitable or appropriate for every family.

Should you make the difficult decision to decline a proposal, generally you will not be penalised and your position on the waiting list will be maintained.

Should you decide to accept a child placement proposal, further documentation and additional fees may be required.

After your child arrives in Australia

For information regarding how to introduce your child to an Australian lifestyle, or for details about post-placement reporting, we suggest you review the tools and information provided by your state or territory central authority during their information and education sessions.

The education sessions include discussions about Australian culture, attitudes and formalities, religion, clothing and appearance, and cuisine compared with those in the child’s country of birth.

The central authority in your state or territory will also be able to advise on the post-placement requirements of overseas countries, and the possible ongoing reporting requirements after your child arrives in Australia.

If you’d like to know more, please contact us.

If you require personalised post-adoption support, help is available. Please visit Post adoption and support to find out what’s available.

Applying for your child’s birth certificate

Each state and territory has its own process to apply for a birth certificate for a child adopted through intercountry adoption. In most cases families need to contact their local Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages first to register their child’s birth, then they may apply for a birth certificate. You may need to contact your local adoption authority to make this application.

To find out more information, please contact the central authority in your state or territory.