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About local adoption

Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) is the government agency responsible for providing adoption services in NSW. We work with birth parents who are considering adoption for their child and families who wish to adopt.

The number of couples included in the pool of approved local adoptive applicants is limited. DCJ aims to have a pool of approved applicants of varying backgrounds and characteristics to enable us to meet the various needs of the children for whom adoption is being considered.

See adoption process for adoptive applicants for more information about the costs, criteria for prospective adoptive parents and process.

Birth parents are involved in helping select adoptive parents for NSW infants or young children under 2 years of age.

A small number of children aged over 2 are referred to our program for placement each year. If you are considering adopting an older child, previous experience with children or direct parenting experience is an advantage, as these children's needs can sometimes be challenging.

Dual authorisation

In NSW, people can be assessed, trained and authorised to become both a foster carer and adoptive parent at the same time. This process is called dual authorisation. It means the applicant does not have to undergo the authorisation process multiple times.

Applicants who have dual authorisation provide children in out-of-home care with safe, permanent and loving homes.

Following a period of time for the child and carers to get to know each other, adoption may be agreed on as the best permanency plan for the child.

Other approved adoption agencies

There are a number of accredited adoption agencies who also provide adoption services in NSW. The agencies listed below can assist with dual authorisation, out-of-home care adoption and local adoption. You may express interest with a number of agencies or programs, but you can only have an application with one program at a time.

Anglicare
1800 663 441

Barnardos Australia Adoptions (Find-a-Family)
Adoption of children from birth to 12 years 
1800 663 441

Family Spirit Adoption Services
13 18 19

Key Assets
02 8336 5700

Life Without Barriers
1300 592 227

Couples and families in the NSW local, intercountry or OOHC adoption process can also contact the Adoption and Permanent Care Association of NSW (APA) for support and recommendations. The APA is formed and run by parents who have formed their families through adoption and permanent care.

Adoption and Permanent Care Association of NSW
02 8091 5157

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Last updated: 18 Nov 2020