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Adopting a local child

The Adoption (Review) Amendment Act 2016 has passed in the South Australian Parliament. This means there are significant changes that may affect you.

See the changes to the Adoption Act page for more information about the changes, and what they might mean for you.

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. 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 Regulations 2004.

  • 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 the Children’s Protection Act 1993, or similar.
  • 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


If you are considering adopting a local child, contact the Adoption Services unit

Adoption services

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