Adoption is legally regulated in Victoria. The primary objective of adoption is to provide a safe, loving family for a child who cannot be cared for by their birth family. Another permanent arrangement for the care of a non-biological child is a permanent care order made by the Children’s Court.

Contributor

Ben Sayer

Partner, Sayer Jones

Legislation

Last updated

1 July 2020

In Victoria, adoption is governed by the:

  • Adoption Act 1984 (Vic) (‘Adoption Act’);
  • Adoption Regulations 2019 (Vic) (‘Adoption Regulations’);
  • Adoption (Intercountry Fees) Regulations 2012 (Vic); 
  • Supreme Court (Adoption) Rules 2015 (Vic) (‘Adoption Rules’) – Chapter IV: Rules of the Supreme Court.

The Adoption Amendment (Adoption by Same-Sex Couples) Act 2015 (Vic) is also relevant to the provision of adoption services. This amendment allows couples to adopt, regardless of their sex or gender identity.

Note that the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) has conducted an inquiry into the modernisation of the Adoption Act. The final report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament in June 2017. For more information, see the VLRC’s website (www.lawreform.vic.gov.au/all-projects/adoption-act).

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