The Department for Child Protection is the only agency in South Australia that can organise an adoption.

Adopting a locally born child is a 4 step process and obtaining approval as a prospective adoptive parent may take up to 2 years from the time you first express an interest in applying.

The process for adopting a child born overseas is different.

There is no guarantee a child will be placed with you due to the small numbers of children placed for adoption in South Australia.

If you are considering adopting a child born in South Australia refer to the following documents first:


To be eligible to adopt a locally born child, you must meet all of the following criteria. These requirements are set out in the Adoption Act 1988 and Adoption (General) Regulations 2018.

  • You must be a resident of South Australia and living here.
  • You must be a permanent resident of Australia.
  • You must be an Australian citizen, and in the case of joint applicants, at least one of the applicants must be an Australian citizen.
  • You cannot be registered as a prospective adoptive parent if you had a previous registration that was cancelled on the grounds that it was improperly obtained.
  • You cannot be registered if a child has, at any time, been removed from your care and become the subject of an order made under child protection legislation.
  • You cannot be registered if you have been convicted of an offence involving:
    • violence towards a child
    • abuse of a child
    • abduction of a child.

Local adoption process

There are 4 stages in the local adoption process including:

  • initial screening and expression of interest
  • education, application and assessment
  • allocation and placement
  • after the adoption order.

Fees and additional information

The following fees relate to adopting a local child in South Australia. These fees are current at 1 July 2022.

 First applicationSubsequent application
Lodging expression of interest$638$411
Upon application$841$463
Assessment fee$820$415
Upon placement$408$408

Adult adoption

See the adult adoption booklet (PDF, 228.9 KB) for more information about adult adoption.


Adoption Services

Phone: 1800 512 355 (current adoptions)