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Changes about same-sex couples and adult adoptions

Provisions enabling same-sex couples to adopt have been proclaimed into law. This happened on 17 February 2017. 

Same-sex couples

I am in a same-sex relationship - can we apply to adopt?

Yes. 

Since 17 February 2017, same-sex couples have been able to apply to the Department for Child Protection to adopt a child.

Applications by same-sex couples will be treated the same as applications by different-sex couples. 

For more information contact Adoption Services on (08) 8463 3666.

Can we adopt a child relinquished in South Australia?

Yes. 

Same-sex couples are able to apply to the Department for Child Protection to adopt a child born in South Australia who has been relinquished for adoption. 

For more information see Adopting a local child or contact Adoption Services on (08) 8463 3666.

Can we adopt a child from another country?

Each country has its own laws about who can adopt their children.

Only two countries - South Africa and Colombia - will accept overseas adoption applications from same-sex couples. 

Now that the new law is in place, you are able to apply to the Department for Child Protection to adopt a child from South Africa and Colombia. 

For more information see Adopting an overseas child or contact Adoption Services on (08) 8463 3666. 

Can I adopt my partner's child? 

Yes. 

A formal application needs to be made to the Youth Court of South Australia. 

Your application will be treated in the same way as applications by people in different-sex relationships. 

When you make an application to the Court, the Court will notify the Department for Child Protection. This is because the department is responsible for providing the relevant consents and a report on the application to the Court. 

I am a single person - can I apply to adopt a child?

Single people can apply to adopt a child, but a child may only be placed with them in special circumstances. 

Not all overseas countries accept applications from single people for intercountry adoption. 

For more information see Adopting an overseas child or contact Adoption Services on (08) 8463 3666. 

Adult adoptions

How can I apply to be adopted as an adult?

Before the Court can make an order for an adult to be adopted, the Court must be satisfied that before they turned 18 years of age, a significant parent-to-child relationship existed between the person to be adopted and the prospective adoptive parent or parents. 

The Court must also be satisfied that the person to be adopted understands the consequences of the adoption on their interests, rights and welfare. 

A formal application needs to be made to the Youth Court of South Australia by the people who intend to adopt you. A report by a social worker from Adoption Services in the Department for Child Protection about the application may be provided to the Court.  

If so, the social worker will need to interview everyone concerned.

You will need to consent to your adoption and this will be arranged for you by the social worker. Your parents will also need to consent to the adoption.

Any other person who has a proper interest in the application may make submissions to the Court.

For more information contact Adoption Services on (08) 8463 3666. 

If I am adopted by my foster parents, do my birth parents need to be notified?

Your parents will need to be notified about the adoption application. They or your guardian, or any other person who has a proper interest in the application for your adoption, may make submissions to the Court (either personally, or through a representative) as part of your adoption proceedings.

Your parents will also need to give their consent for you to be adopted as an adult. It is possible to ask the Court to order that parental consent is not required (order to dispense with consents).

Can I adopt a new immigrant who is being supported by my family?

No. 

This new law provides for the adoption of an adult by someone who has cared for them as a child, such as a step-parent or a foster parent. 

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

Contact

Adoption Support

To talk to someone about getting support for how these changes might affect you, you can contact:

Post Adoption Support Services (non-government)

Email: passinfo [at] rasa.org.au
Phone: (08) 8245 8100

Department for Child Protection Adoption Services (government)

Email: adoptions [at] sa.gov.au
Phone: 8463 3666

Adoption Act Review Office

Policy staff are available to help you with your queries about the Act. 

Email: DCPAdoptionReview [at] sa.gov.au
Phone: 8226 6840