Since adoption legislation was first introduced in 1928, around 64,000 Victorians have been adopted. The number of adoptions has decreased since the 1970s.

This is largely due to:

  • increase in social acceptance of single parent families and de facto relationships
  • government benefits for single parents
  • improved access to contraception and abortion. 

Another reason why there has been a decrease in the number of adoptions is that in Victoria adoption only occurs when a child is freely placed for adoption by their birth parent.  

Before the current Adoption Act child were sometimes placed for adoption because the courts had decided a parent could not care for them. 

There are three types of adoption that occur:

Most children in Victoria who are placed permanently with another family are placed by child protection. Such arrangements are made under permanent care orders (External link) not adoption orders. 

The number of permanent care orders made in Victoria every year is much greater than the number of adoptions.