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An adoption plan is a written document that sets out all the information about:

  • how you will keep a connection with your child to give you both the opportunity to build a relationship
  • how your child will learn about who they are and where they came from
  • how the child will be supported to stay connected to their culture or background.

The adoption plan will usually set out how many times per year you will have contact with your child.

If you disagree with anything in the plan you should talk to your caseworker and tell them about how often you would like to see your child. If the plan is that you will see your child less after adoption, you should ask the caseworker why they are making that recommendation.

Your registered adoption plan can be reviewed by the Supreme Court if the arrangements are no longer suitable or if birth and adoptive families cannot reach an agreement about contact.

Registering an adoption plan

If you agree to keep contact with your child as detailed in the plan, but you are worried that you might not get the contact you’ve been promised, you can ask your caseworker to have the adoption plan ‘registered’. If you have questions about how an adoption plan can be registered, you should talk to a lawyer.

Before the adoption plan can be registered, you will need to agree to the plan and sign it. Signing the adoption plan does not mean that you consent to your child’s adoption.

If the adoption plan is registered, it becomes like an order of the Court. This means that everyone has to follow it, just like a court order. If a registered adoption plan is not being followed, you should speak to a lawyer about whether you can go back to court to enforce it.

If you do not agree with the plan for your contact, you should speak to a lawyer about your options before you sign the adoption plan. It may be possible to go to a mediation about your contact, or you could oppose the adoption order in court.

Please refer to the guides provided below to decide if the adoption plan should be registered and how to do it.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019
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