The Adoption (Review) Amendment Act 2016 has resulted in changes to birth certificates and adoptive names. These changes came into effect on 15 December 2018.

What is the new law about adopted children's names?

The new law says that in all cases the Youth Court, at the time of granting the adoption order, will not change the first name of the child unless:

  • the first name is offensive or unsuitable; or
  • another child of the adoptive parents has the same first name.

If the Court does change the first name of a child, then this should be changed to be the child's middle or second name - or a name that is significant to the child.

This will not affect adoptions that occurred before 15 December 2018.

What should I do if I want the Court to change my child's first name at the adoption hearing?

If you believe that there are circumstances for your child that mean their name should be changed, you will need to explain this to the Court in the documents that are part of the application for an adoption order.

The decision will be up to the Court.

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)

Phone: (08) 8245 8100

Department for Child Protection Adoption Services (government)
Phone: 1800 512 355