What will happen to the veto system currently in place?
As of 18 December 2017, the provisions allowing for directions (or “vetoes”) have been removed from the Adoption Act. This means that the legal ability to lodge a section 27B direction (or “veto”) no longer exists.
Vetoes that are currently in place will continue for 5 years from 18 December 2017, unless the person who has placed the veto revokes the veto earlier. A veto will not be able to be renewed at the end of the 5 year transition period (17 December 2022).
This means that after 5 years, if a party to the adoption applies for the identifying information, that information may be released to them.
Under section 27 (5) of the Adoption Act, the Chief Executive may exercise discretion not to release information if it is determined that to disclose the information would:
- be an unjustifiable intrusion on the privacy of the person to whom the information relates
- give rise to a serious risk to the life or safety of a person
- in the case of information relating to a person adopted before 127 August 1989 - not be in the best interests of the adopted person, taking into account the rights and welfare of the adopted person.
During the 5 year transition period, the Department for Child Protection will provide services to support people whose vetoes are to expire and to people who are unable to obtain information for 5 years.
Support services will also be provided by the Post Adoption Support Services of Relationships Australia SA who can be contacted on (08) 8245 8100. There is no cost for these services.