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Adopting a local child

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:

Eligibility

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
  • 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 2018. 

  First application Subsequent application
Lodging expression of interest $575 $370
Upon application $757 $417
Assessment fee $737 $374
Upon placement $368 $368

Adult adoption

See the adult adoption booklet (PDF 213KB) for more information about adult adoption.

Contact

If you are considering adopting a local child, contact Adoption Services in the Department for Child Protection.

Adoption services

Telephone: 8463 3666 (current adoptions)
Email: adoptions [at] sa.gov.au