What are the benefits of adopting through a state or territory central authority?

Australia's intercountry adoption arrangements are designed to protect both children and adoptive parents by ensuring that children placed for adoption are not victims of child trafficking, are in genuine need of adoption outside of their country of birth, and the adoption is legal in both countries.

Australia must meet its obligations as a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Convention). The Hague Convention specifies that adoptions must always be in the best interests of the child and should only occur when there are no appropriate adoptive families available in the child's country of birth.

Under the Hague convention, the Attorney General's Department acts as the Australian Central Authority and provides national policy leadership and coordination. There are also central authorities in all state and territory child welfare departments who are responsible for day-to-day intercountry adoption matters.

Australia also has intercountry adoption programs with non-Hague convention countries (known as bilateral adoption arrangements) but these only occur if the principles and standards of the Hague convention can be met.

As a prospective adoptive parent, it is recommended that you follow the adoption processes supported by the Australian Government for adopting a child from overseas through intercountry adoption processes.