In Victoria, adoption is governed by the:
- Adoption A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. 1984 (Vic) (‘Adoption Act’);
- Adoption Regulations 2019 (Vic) (‘Adoption Regulations’);
- Adoption (Intercountry Fees) Regulations 2012 (Vic);
- Supreme An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. (Adoption) Rules 2015 (Vic) (‘Adoption Rules’) – Chapter IV: Rules of the Supreme Court.
The Adoption A change made to a legal document or Act of parliament. (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).