It’s crucial that you’re adequately educated and prepared to care for a child from overseas. Education and information sessions are provided by your state or territory central authority to provide you with the knowledge, tools and information you’ll need—both during the process of adopting and once the adoption process has finalised. As part of the process of adopting a child from overseas, you will be required to attend sessions in your state or territory.
State and Territory education sessions cover what is involved when adopting a child from overseas including:
- The legal framework and roles of all relevant parties for intercountry adoption in Australia
- The realities of adopting a child from overseas and developing and maintaining realistic expectations about adoption
- The preparation involved in applying for, and adopting, a child from overseas, including coping with waiting periods
- adopting children with special needs, including characteristics of special needs, and assessing abilities to care for a child with special needs
- general child development issues, including differences between the needs of adopted children and children born into families
- possible challenges with adopting a child from overseas, including attachment issues, adjusting to a new family life in Australia and how parents can approach a connection with the past for their adopted child
- cultural and ethnic identity issues that may arise and the importance of the adopted child’s identity, and Australia’s policy about name-changing
- managing unexpected developments such as new or inaccurate information about the adopted child, and recognising warning signs for when prospective parents should and can seek help, including State contacts and support networks.
In some states and territories, following the education sessions, there is a time limit for you to lodge your application. Applications are made to the central authority in your state or territory and require detailed information to be provided.