The number of children adopted in Australia fell by almost 20 per cent during 1997-98, according to a report published today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Adoptions in Australia 1997-98 shows that there were 577 adoptions during 1997-98 - a decrease of 132 from the 709 adoptions in 1996-97. Of the children adopted, 73% (423) were by non-relatives and 27% (154) by relatives.
The number of adoptions has fallen substantially since its peak of almost 10,000 in 1971-72. Co-author of the report, Ms Helen Moyle, said the sharp decline in the number of adoptions for 1997-98 was mostly due to a 32% decrease in the number of Australian-born children adopted by non-relatives.
'During this period, 178 Australian-born children were adopted by non-relatives compared with 263 in the previous year, and 1,311 in 1981-82,' Ms Moyle said.
'The number of Australian-born children adopted by relatives between 1996-97 and 1997-98 also decreased by 13%, and adoptions of overseas-born children by non-relatives by 9%.'
Other findings of Adoptions in Australia 1997-98 include:
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