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The Institute of Open Adoption Studies

What is open adoption?

Open adoption can provide a permanent and safe home to children and young people who can’t safely return to their families or live with kin. However, in NSW only a small number of children or young people in care are being adopted each year despite the research showing the benefits of adoption.

The NSW Government is working to increase the number of open adoptions from care in NSW. While adoption is not appropriate for all children in out-of-home care (particularly Aboriginal children), more can be done to ensure it is considered as an option when it is in the best interests of the child.

What is the purpose of the Institute?

As part of these reforms, the NSW Government has committed $2.85 million to help establish an independent Institute of Open Adoption Studies. The Institute will:

  • lead local and up-to-date research on adoption practices
  • support organisations that work in adoption
  • establish and encourage a change in culture within the child protection sector around permanency planning and adoption
  • build on reforms that support permanency and safety options for children and young people in care
  • conduct applied research on open adoption from out-of-home care
  • increase awareness about the benefits of adoption from out-of-home care
  • develop resources, training and education programs to help the sector better understand and practice open adoption
  • provide expert reports to support decision making around permanency planning
  • improve support services for people involved in open adoption.

This research will inform how the NSW Government develops adoption policy and practice.

Who runs the Institute?

The University of Sydney will maintain the Institute as an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

How will the Institute be funded?

The NSW Government will spend $2.85 million over three years to establish the Institute.

As the Institute builds its profile it will source its own revenue through research grants and donations.

More information

For more information, please refer to the Frequently asked questions or email openadoptioninstitute@facs.nsw.gov.au.

We received a range of submissions in response to the Issues Paper on Establishing an Institute of Open Adoption. View submissions on the Community consultation on the Institute of Open Adoption page.