Can I adopt?
The following are some details on who is eligible and ineligible to adopt a child in Australia. We provide these recommendations so that prospective adoptive parents can quickly determine whether there are any issues which may prevent them from adopting at the outset. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it instead includes details of some of the most common issues that can affect people's chances of being able to adopt a child.
CRIMINAL CONVICTIONSCriminal convictions are problematic, and these will be reviewed as part of the adoption process. However any convictions relating to children will invariably mean the applicant is prohibited from being able to apply to adopt a child. This step is done of course with regard to the child's well-being.
AGEThe adoption rules will typically prohibit a female prospective parent older than 50 from being able to adopt. While we do not necessarily agree with this ourselves, this is typically the rule which is applied across all states. It is put in place for the benefit of the child.
FERTILITY TREATMENT CURRENTLY UNDERWAYIn most cases, if you are presently undertaking fertility treatment, it is not possible to apply to adopt a child. This provision is put in place to avoid the predicament where, if fertility treatment is successful, the adopted child may not receive the care and attention afforded to the biological child.
AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIPIn order to get the adoption process underway in Australia, you must be an Australian citizen.
ALREADY HAVE A NUMBER OF CHILDRENIn several states, if you already have four children, whether biological or adopted, you may be unable to adopt any further children. This step is put in place to ensure that a prospective adoptive parent will have the time to care for all of the children to a suitable standard.
SERIOUS PHYSICAL/MENTAL HEALTH ISSUESAny health issues that could impact on the well-being of a child may be cause for an adoption application to be rejected. This is particularly true in instances where a prospective adoptive parent may have a terminal illness, or a condition such as arthritis, which may directly impact their ability to care for the adopted child.