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Paths to permanency

The permanent placement principles provide guidance on finding the best permanent home option for a child or young person. The principles cover preservation, restoration, guardianship, open adoption and parental responsibility to the Minister.

Open adoption

Adoption orders aim to provide children and young people with a loving home for life as a legal member of their adoptive family.

The status of the adopted person, and of the adoptive parent, is the same as if the child had been part of the family at birth.

Open adoption in NSW is different to past adoption practices. Adopted children are supported to remain connected to their birth family and cultural heritage. Adoptive parents follow an agreed adoption plan, which includes the ways they will support their child’s cultural identity and contact with birth-family members.

Open adoption may be considered if a child cannot be restored to their family and stable care cannot be provided by suitable relatives or kin.

Where it is preferable to any other order, including parental responsibility to the Minister, open adoption is a permanency option for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care (OOHC).

Aboriginal children have access to the same permanency options as any other child in OOHC, including adoption. However, adoption has lower priority under the permanent placement principles outlined in Section 10A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.  Aboriginal children and families have the right to participate in decisions about adoption.

Becoming an adoptive parent

Any person who is an authorised carer may seek to adopt a child from OOHC. Many carers gain dual authorisation, which means that they are considered suitable to provide foster care and to adopt.

Depending on their financial circumstances, adoptive parents may be eligible to receive an OOHC adoption allowance after an order of adoption is made.

To find out more, contact the Open Adoption Hotline on 1800 003 227.


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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019