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).
More reports and statistics on adoption can be found under Child protection and Children & youth.
03 Dec 2021
From 1996–97 to 2020–21, 124 Indigenous children were adopted: nearly 3 in 5 through known child adoptions
Adoption numbers in Australia declined by 63% over the past 25 years – from 709 in 1996–97 to 264 in 2020–21
Known child adoptions (where a child is known to the adoptive parent) made up 69% of all finalised adoptions in 2020–21
The majority of local adoptees (95%) and intercountry adoptees (71%) were aged under 5
The 264 adoptions finalised in 2020–21 are the lowest number on record
Adoption by carers was the most common type of known child adoption (55%), followed by step-parents (42%)
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.