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    Adoption Australia & Intercountry Adoption Arrangements.

    Article 3: release date 01, February 2021

    In this final article, we attempt to provide more clarity on the timeline and requirement of information, to set out the essentials you may want to know.

    Firstly, some basic requirements must be met.

    The child in a Convention country (see Article 1) – i.e., a person under the age of 18 – must be habitually residing in his or her home country, and the government of that country must be satisfied that adoption will be in the child’s best interests. An assessment may be made to ensure that no other domestic remedy is available.

    As potential parents, you must be habitually residing in Australia (for the sake of this article New South Wales). Proof as suggested in Article 2 is required.

    Secondly, begin the application process.

    As a single person, you (even if a relative of the child) or a couple (defined as two people married to each other or in a de facto relationship), can lodge an expression of interest in adopting a child. After that, you can lodge your application.

    It would be prudent to get legal advice and guidance throughout the entire process.

    Your application must accompany supporting documentation to prove several matters. Much of this documentation you would already have gathered after Article 2, but in addition, you will need to supply to the government statements as to your physical and mental health in the form of a medical report, a certified copy of your marriage certificate, and a certified copy of your birth registration. If you are a couple, both of you will need to provide this information.

    After making the application and providing the required evidence, the Government will notify you of their decision. Hopefully, the decision is a positive one, and you are viewed as suitable prospective parents. The Government does have the power to decline to assess your application but if you have followed the steps, this should be avoidable. Again, legal advice and guidance is extremely important.

    Once you are deemed suitable, you will be on the adoption register, which means it is just a matter of time, in theory, that a child will be placed with your name. Just to ensure everything runs smoothly, the government will need to obtain a medical report of the child from a registered medical practitioner. 

    If you like, you may apply for adoption orders in respect of particular children. In this case, the government will select your name from the register and place you with a suitable adoption service provider. However, do keep in mind, that the parents of the child will need to consent (unless, of course, they have absconded, which unfortunately does happen). Rest assured, all the relevant people involved in this decision would have given reasoned and counselled consent. If possible, the consent of the child will be consulted. Once consent has been obtained, the courts will start hearing the application as put to it by the government, using all the information they have gathered from you.

    It is highly unlikely the courts will refuse an application, unless a serious allegation is made, such as fraud, a criminal offence, or a breach of public policy, which is later found to be accurate. For the majority of prospective parents, this will not be something to consider. When the application succeeds, the adoption order is recognised by law and the child will have the same rights as the parents. With that, and after all the outstanding effort and emotional turmoil, the child comes home to you. Then the fun begins!

    The lawyers at Harbourside Legal are experienced in Australian adoption legislation. The have assisted many clients with adoption within Australia, and across several intercountry jurisdictions. It is an emotive and often challenging time for many prospective parents, and we would like to think our services help, in a significant way, with the process of adoption.

    For more information on the legalities of Australian Adoption, contact Harbourside today.

    Harbourside Legal Services Group – great advice, brilliant Lawyers.

    Call +61 (0) 2 9955 6692 or +61 (0) 2 9299 5815 or email lee@hslegal.com.au  

    You Can Also Find us at:

    www.hslegal.com.au | www.hslegal-commercial.com.au | www.brettslater.com

    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.

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