1307.8 - Australian Capital Territory in Focus, 2007  
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ADOPTIONS

Each state and territory has responsibility for all aspects of child adoption within its own jurisdiction, and each has its own legislation regarding adoption. In the ACT, legislation governing adoption operates under the Adoption Act 1993.


There are several categories of adoption used:

  • Placement adoptions are those where the child generally has had no previous contact or relationship with the adoptive parent(s). Placement adoptions may be Local or Intercountry. Local placement adoptions are adoptions of children who were born in Australia, or were permanent residents before the adoption. Intercountry placement adoptions are adoptions of children from countries other than Australia.
  • Known child adoptions are adoptions of children who have a pre-existing relationship with the adoptive parent(s). These include adoptions by step-parents, other relatives and carers.

In the ACT, there was a total of 30 adoptions in 2005-06, an increase of 10 adoptions since 2004-05. Of the total adoptions in 2004-05, 21 (70%) were categorised as Placement adoptions. Within this adoption group, one was Local and 20 were Intercountry. The 9 remaining adoptions were Known child adoptions.

8.3 Adoptions, By category - ACT

2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.

Placement adoptions
Local
2
3
1
2
3
1
Intercountry
18
9
15
26
12
20
Total
20
12
16
28
15
21
Known child adoptions
7
11
9
5
5
9
Total adoptions
27
23
25
33
20
30

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Adoptions, Australia, 2005-06 (AIHW cat. no. CWS27).



Access to information

All states and territories have established adoption information services, or information and contact registers. Under the ACT adoption legislation (Adoption Act 1993), once an adopted person turns 18 years of age, they may apply to access identifying information about their adoption. This information consists of a copy of (or an extract from) an entry in a register of births relating to the adopted person, or can be information that may identify a birth parent, birth relative or adopted child (but excludes the address of a place of residence). Birth parents, adoptive parents and birth relatives are also permitted to apply for access to identifying information about the adoption.


The Adoption Act 1993 also allows the registration of contact vetoes, making it an offence for a person who receives identifying information regarding an adoption to try to make contact with the person who imposed the contact veto. Once an adopted person is over the age of 17 years 6 months they have the right to lodge a contact veto. Birth parents, adult birth relatives, adoptive parents, adoptive relatives and certain other relatives also have the right to lodge a contact veto.

8.4 Information applications and contact vetoes lodged(a), By applicant type - ACT - 2005-06

Information applications lodged
Contact vetoes lodged
Contact vetoes in place as at 30 June 2006
no.
no.
no.

Adopted person
31
2
43
Adoptive mother
1
-
17
Adoptive father
-
-
15
Birth mother
8
1
23
Birth father
3
-
1
Other birth relative(s)
2
-
1
Other adoptive relative(s)
-
-
2
Child of adopted person
-
. .
na
Unknown
-
. .
-
Total
45
3
102

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
(a) In the Australian Capital Territory, the release of identifying information cannot be vetoed.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Adoptions, Australia, 2005-06 (AIHW cat. no. CWS 27).


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