Adoption Australia – Article 1
Adoption Australia & Intercountry Adoption Arrangements.
Adoption is a hot topic but one that remains a challenging subject for most Australians. Whether the parents (or prospective parents) of adopted children remain onshore or located offshore in another country, has very little bearing on the level of understanding and individual rights, when it comes to adoption and Australian legislation.
This series of articles (also in audio) aims to relieve some of the confusion and bring clarity to the subject of adoption. Harbourside Legal Services Group and Brett Slater Solicitors have, for over 25-years, been serving Australians both at home and abroad, in all areas of General, Commercial and Immigration law.
Let’s start with clearing some of the legal chatter.
What is the Hague Convention?
In simple terms, it’s a guide on how Australia deals with intercountry adoption and overseas countries. Its purpose is to protect children and their families from illegal and irregular activities. The Convention supports the need to focus and work alongside other countries to prevent activities such as abduction, sale or trafficking of children. On December 01, 1998, the Hague Convention came into force in Australia.
What Other Countries Are Party to the Hague Convention?
Notwithstanding those countries that have country programs on hold, the following countries are party to the Convention:
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
Each partner country has its own eligibility criteria, which should be read and understood if you are interested in adopting from this country. Furthermore, each State and Territory of Australia also has its own criteria which a prospective parent must first qualify.
A link to the State and Territory Central Authorities can be found here.
Things to Consider.
Understandably, adoption can be a highly emotive subject. It’s a subject that takes a lot of time and preparation to consider, explore, decide and action, if of course this is the preferred route. Adopting can be a life-changing decision, but it is best to keep a clear state of mind when considering adopting. If consideration is being given to adopt a child from another country, it would be equally fair and understandable to reflect upon the impact of cultural and language differences, as well as other differences the child may have from an Australian family and their local community.
Every child deserves a loving and safe family environment. Yet as prospective parents of an adopted child, being aware of all the potential issues that could (and often do) arise, ensures that the decision-making process is thorough and in the best interests of the child, which of course is the most important thing to consider!
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The contents of this article are considered reference only. It should not be considered legal advice of any kind and should not be relied upon. A consultation should always be had with an experienced Lawyer, before proceeding with any action.
Harbourside Legal Services Group is an award-winning law firm.