- Counselling provided to parents considering placing a child for adoption
- Families who are included on the Register of People Approved to Adopt
- Placements of children
- Adoption orders made in Victoria by year
- Consent from natural parents
- Family contact after an adoption order
- Other court orders
- Applications for adoption records
On this page
Counselling provided to parents considering placing a child for adoption
Parents who are considering placing a child for adoption are provided with counselling. Some continue onto placing a child for adoption, but some do not.
Learn more about considering adoption for a child.
|Placed for adoption||6||13||17|
|Not placed for adoption||32||21||19|
Families who are included on the Register of People Approved to Adopt
Children placed for adoption are matched to families who have been approved and entered into the Register of People Approved to Adopt.
Learn more about adopting a child.
|Local adoption only||47||47||43|
|Local or intercountry adoption||18||16||12|
Placements of children
Most children that are adopted will live with their adoptive parent/s for approximately a year before the adoption order is made. This is known as ‘placement’.
The exceptions are:
- when someone is adopted by a relative or stepparent, or
- if the adoption order is made by a court in another country.
|Total overseas adoption||0||6||3|
The placement of children from Victoria
|Less than 1 year of age||5||12||17|
|Between 1 and 3 years old||1||1||0|
|Between 3 and 5 years old||0||0||0|
|More than 5 years of age||0||0||0|
|Aboriginal children placed with an Aboriginal family||0||0||0|
|Aboriginal children placed with a non-Aboriginal family||0||0||0|
|Total number of Aboriginal children placed||0||0||0|
|Children with at least one natural parent born overseas||2||5||5|
The placement of children from overseas
Over the past 5 years, children from the following countries have been placed in Victoria:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
Learn more about overseas country programs (External link)
When a child due to be adopted from Hong Kong or Thailand enters Australia, their adoption is yet to be finalised. When the child is from Colombia, South Korea or Taiwan, an adoption order has already been made in that country's court.
The table below shows the number of children that have entered Australia each year from each country.
|Total - adoption orders made in Victoria||0||0||1|
|Total - adoption orders made in country||0||6||2|
Adoption orders made in Victoria by year
An adoption order can be made by the County Court or the Supreme Court.
View the number of adoptions registered with Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM) each year (External link)
There are more registered adoptions than reflected in the table below as registered adoptions also include adult adoptions.
|Adoption orders made in Victoria (Thailand, Hong Kong)||0||1||1|
|Overseas relative adoption orders made in Victoria||0||0||0|
Adoption orders made in an overseas court
In addition to the adoption orders made by Victorian courts, some adoption orders are made by the court in the country from which the child was adopted.
Find out more about the process of overseas adoption (External link)
|Children adopted through the Colombia, South Korea or Taiwan programs and adopted in country||0||2||3|
|Overseas relative adoption orders made overseas||0||0||1|
Local adoptions by year the court order was made
As of 1 October 2022, Victoria no longer has approved adoption agencies that can arrange adoptions independently from government. This makes Victoria consistent with most states and territories.
|Arranged by government||2||8||6|
|Arranged by an adoption agency||6||6||8|
Consent from natural parents
Children are placed for adoption when their natural parent provides free and informed consent. If a child needs a permanent safe and supportive family environment and has come through child protection services, this is called ‘permanent care’, not adoption.
Find out more about permanent care (External link)
However, sometimes a parent cannot provide consent for different reasons.
|Consent from both parents||4||6||6|
|Consent from one parent||4||8||8|
|Both consents dispensed with or not required||0||0||0|
|Reason that consent could not be provided||2021-22||2020-21||2019-20|
|Mother could not be found||0||0||0|
|The court dispensed with the mother's consent||0||0||0|
|Father not known||4||7||8|
|Father could not be found||0||0||0|
|Father who was not on the birth certificate, did not respond to letter||0||0||0|
|The court dispensed with the father's consent||0||1||0|
Family contact after an adoption order
When a court makes an adoption order, the order may include:
- information on what contact the child will have with their natural family, and
- a plan detailing how the child will about receive information from their natural family.
|Type of contact||2021-22||2020-21||2019-20|
|Information exchange only||2||1||0|
|Contact and information exchange||5||12||13|
|No contact or information exchange||1||1||1|
Other court orders
Discharge of adoption
The County and Supreme Courts also hear other applications related to adoption. A person may apply to the County Court of Victoria to undo the legal effect of an adoption order. This is known as ‘discharge of adoption'.
Learn more about discharge of adoption.
|Discharge of adoption||6||5||3|
Applications for adoption records
The Victorian Adoption Act 1984 (External link) provides eligible applicants the right to find information about an adoption that is connected to Victoria. Generally, people will be able to apply to adoption services for records.
Find out more about applying for adoption records.
If someone is not eligible to apply or they are not satisfied with the information provided, they may apply to the County and Supreme Courts to provide the information.
People who received adoption information
Adopted people, natural parents and the children of adopted people are able to apply for information that identifies the adopted person and natural parents.
Find out more about who can apply for adoption records.
Other people such as adoptive parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents and siblings can apply for some information. This information is unlikely to identify any person not already known.
|Children of adoptees||74||83||59|