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Paths to permanency

The permanent placement principles guide preservation, restoration, guardianship, open adoption, and parental responsibility to the Minister

Open adoption

When a child or young person cannot return to the care of their parents, and a guardianship order is not appropriate, open adoption should be considered before placing a child into foster care.

Open adoption in NSW is different to past adoption practices. Where it is in the child’s best interests, open adoption is a permanency option for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care (OOHC).

Open adoption as a permanency option is considered after restoration, guardianship and parental responsibility to the Minister. Each of these options must be thoroughly explored and ruled out before adoption.

Aboriginal children should have access to the same permanency options as any other child in OOHC. Aboriginal children and families must be given the opportunity to participate in decisions about adoption.

Importantly, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principles still apply.  When returning an Aboriginal child to their family is not considered possible and they are unable to live with relatives or kin, a placement with a non-related person in the Aboriginal community or a suitable person may be considered. This will be done according to the child’s best interests and we will work closely with the Aboriginal community to make these decisions.

Download the infographic — What you need to know: About how we’re working to increase the number of  open adoptions in NSW so that more children and young people can enjoy the security of a permanent home.

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