Adoption is one of the options used to provide permanent care for children who are unable to live with their families. The adoption process establishes a permanent, legal parent-child relationship between a child and their adoptive parent(s).

Featured reports

Latest findings

There were 208 adoptions finalised in Australia in 2021–22, a 34% decrease from the 315 adoptions finalised in 2016–17

Following the peak of known child adoptions in 2019–20, numbers decreased 35% from 249 to 161 in 2021–22

Overseas adoptions declined from 37 in 2019–20 to 16 in 2021–22, a decrease of 57%

In 1971–72, almost 10,000 children were adopted in Australia in what has been known as the forced adoption era

Compared to the peak of overseas adoptions in 2004–05, adoption numbers in 2021–22 have declined by 96% from 434 to 16

After open adoption legislation was introduced in the 1980s and 1990s, domestic adoption numbers fell substantially

More reports and statistics on adoption can be found under Child protection and Children & youth.