Adoption is a permanent legal process which transfers parental responsibility from the child’s birth parents to their adoptive parents. The Adoption Order is granted by the NSW Supreme Court (using the Adoption Act) when the judge is satisfied that the child’s best interests will be met, both now and in the future, by the adoptive parents. The Order does not expire when the child turns 18 and it cannot be overturned by the request of birth parents.
If you are interested in only applying to be considered for children whose parents have relinquished them at birth you must satisfy the following criteria:
• The minimum age for an applicant is 23 years and the upper limit for first placement through the Local Program is 43 years. The upper limit for placement through the Special Needs Program is more flexible, depending on the needs of the child.
• Applicants need to have been married, or in a de facto relationship for at least two years. Anglicare Sydney does not place children for adoption with same sex couples.
• The applicant, or one of the joint applicants, must be an Australian citizen at the time when the child is placed with them. Applicants must be domiciled in NSW.
• Applicants must be non-smokers, in good general health with normal life expectancy.
• Applicants who wish to adopt through the Local Program must provide details of their infertility. Where pregnancy would present genetic or health risks a statement from the applicant’s doctor is required.
• All treatments for infertility must cease prior to submitting a formal application to adopt. Infertility treatment cannot resume while an adoption application is active.
• Applicants must live within a 200 km radius of Sydney.
It is important for children to have ongoing contact with members of their birth family. The frequency of this varies from case to case.
Adoptive parents have a high level of independence in facilitating and supervising contact between a child and their birth family. The type and level of contact varies depending on the needs of the child. Anglicare case managers are available to support adoptive parents with contact if necessary.
Infants in the Local Adoption program are placed with their prospective adoptive parents for a minimum of 6 months before an Adoption Order is sought at the Supreme Court of NSW. During this time case managers visit the home and provide casework support to help the child settle into their new family environment.
For children adopted from Foster Care or through the Local Adoption program, once an Adoption Order is granted case workers gradually reduce the regular support provided to a family and prepare them for parenting independently. Anglicare's Adoption & Guardianship team provides ongoing post adoption support to all families as necessary. This support includes things like referrals to specialist services, family finding action and support in managing face to face contact with birth family.
A child placed in your care may be from an Aboriginal or different cultural and ethnic background to your own. They will have a cultural support plan developed, with input from carers, family members and workers, to promote a positive and meaningful understanding of their cultural identity and help maintain cultural connections. Carers and adoptive parents from varied cultural backgrounds are welcome.
The process usually takes around eight to twelve months.
This varies. As placements are based on the needs of the child and the expressed wishes of their parents, some couples are placed within a few months of approval while others may wait several years.
All children have their own strengths and unique capabilities. It is never possible to have absolute certainty about how a child will grow and develop. Sometimes it is not possible to identify all of a child’s biological heritage; this means there are gaps in our knowledge of a child’s genetic history. If a child has a known health issue this information is provided to prospective adoptive parents.
Babies with serious health complications or disabilities are placed through our Special Needs Adoption program. We seek prospective adoptive parents who are able to care for a child with specific additional needs.