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Considering adoption for your child

Parents may consider adoption if they need to secure a permanent family to care for their child.

The Adoption Act 2009 sets out information that must be provided to parents before they can consent to their child being adopted. Information in the following brochure explains the adoption consent and revocation processes, the legal and emotional consequences of adoption, the adoption process, and what an adoption might mean for you, your child, and your family in the future.

Before making a decision, parents are encouraged to fully consider all care options available. The options should be discussed with members of their family and people in their support network.

Adoption can only be arranged through Adoption Services. It is an offence to attempt to privately arrange an adoption in Queensland.

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Consenting to adoption

A parent cannot sign an Adoption Consent form until at least 30 days after the birth of their child, and at least 14 days after information has been given and pre-consent counselling has been completed.

Parent/s can express preferences about the type of adoptive family they would like their child to be placed with, including the religion, cultural background, age and lifestyle of the couple. A parent may also express their preference as to whether their child is placed with a single person or a couple (including a couple of the same sex).

Parent/s can also have their say about having ongoing contact with the child and adoptive parent/s.

When selecting the most suitable adoptive parents for each child, Adoption Services considers:

  • all preferences expressed by the child's birth parents
  • the child's particular needs
  • the characteristics of couples assessed as suitable to be adoptive parents.

Revoking consent

After signing an Adoption Consent form a parent has 30 days in which they can revoke the consent.

Open adoption

If birth parents and prospective adoptive parents advise Adoption Services they would like in-person contact between the birth family and the child after the adoption, their planned arrangements must be documented in an adoption plan.

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Adoption Services may facilitate an open adoption arrangement where the delegated officer is satisfied it is likely to be in the child’s best interests.

Open adoption arrangements are voluntary and must be mutually agreed to by all parties to the adoption. When considering open adoption, it may be beneficial for contact between parties to commence through non-identifying correspondence (via the Mailbox Service), and incorporate more openness as parties become comfortable with having greater contact with each other.

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Support provided to parents

Parents can contact Adoption Services any time before or after the birth of their child. All contact is confidential.

When a parent contacts Adoption Services for information, there is no expectation the parent will end up consenting to their child’s adoption.

Adoption Services supports parents by providing:

  • support, information and counselling to help parents make an informed and voluntary decision about their child's future care, as required under the Adoption Act 2009
  • access to culturally appropriate services and support.

Parents may choose to talk with someone they trust, such as a hospital social worker or counsellor, who can make enquiries on their behalf through Adoption Services.

Counselling provided to the parent of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) child must be done in a way, and at a place, appropriate to Aboriginal tradition or Island custom. It may be partly provided by an appropriate ATSI person.

Helpful resources

  • Family Court deals with family law matters. Call 1300 352 000.