What is a Statement of Wishes?
A Statement of Wishes is a written statement provided to the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection by an adopted person, birth parent or adoptive parent that sets out their wishes in relation to contact by another party to the adoption.
Statements of Wishes are provided for in section 27B(4) of the Adoption Act 1988, which came into effect on 18 December 2017.
From 18 December 2017, any person who lodged a direction under the 'old section 27B' of the Adoption Act 1988 (known as an 'adoption information veto') may lodge a Statement of Wishes with the department. The person can choose whether they want to lodge a Statement of Wishes - they do not have to.
If a person lodges a Statement of Wishes and another party to the adoption applies for information relating to that person, the department must provide a copy of the Statement of Wishes with any information released.
The Adoption Act requires that the department must provide the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages with a copy of the Statement of Wishes. The Registrar will release this along with any certificates provided to applicants.
A Statement of Wishes is not a veto. It does not prevent the department from releasing information that identifies the person making the Statement of Wishes or information which would enable that person to be traced.
A Statement of Wishes stays in effect until such time as the person making the statement withdraws it.
Who can make a Statement of Wishes?
A Statement of Wishes can only be completed by a person who has previously lodged an 'old section 27B direction' (known as an 'adoption information veto') with the department prior to 18 December 2017.
What can I say in my Statement of Wishes?
You can set out your wishes in relation to contact with another party to the adoption. This may include:
- whether you wish to be contacted by all or some of the other parties to the adoption, or an agency on their behalf
- under what circumstances you wish to be contacted, if at all
- your preferred means of contact (phone, email, letter, face to face).
When can I lodge a Statement of Wishes?
A Statement of Wishes can be lodged from 18 December 2017.
A Statement of Wishes cannot be lodged after 17 December 2022, which is the expiry day for 'adoption information vetoes'.
If you have lodged a Statement of Wishes, you can revoke it or vary it any time before or after 17 December 2022.
How do I lodge a Statement of Wishes?
What happens to my old direction (veto)?
The law allowing for 'old section 27B directions' ('adoption information vetoes') has been repealed.
If you had an active veto that you placed with the department prior to 18 December 2017, it will continue to apply until 17 December 2022, unless you revoke it earlier.
After 18 December 2017, no person can place a new veto or renew an existing veto with the department.
Can I provide other information in addition to my Statement of Wishes?
Yes. You may wish to provide the department with other information, for example family health background you would like the other party to have - even if you are not seeking contact.
In providing this information, you should include the details of the adoption, such as the date of birth of the adopted person and the names and addresses of the parties at the time of the adoption.
You can do this by emailing the information to DCP.FOI@sa.gov.au or posting it to:
The FOI Team
Department for Child Protection
GPO Box 1072, Adelaide SA 5001
This information should be on a separate document to your Statement of Wishes form (PDF, 517.5 KB).
Support for people affected by adoption
If you wish to talk to someone about providing a Statement of Wishes you can contact:
Post Adoption Support Services (non-government)
Phone: (08) 8245 8100
Nunkuwarrin Yunti - Link-Up SA (non-government service for Aboriginal people)
Phone: (08) 8406 1600
Freedom of Information Team
Department for Child Protection
GPO Box 1072
Adelaide SA 5001
Phone: 8226 4399