Alternatives to local, known child and intercountry adoptions

Third-party parental care arrangements

For children and young people in out-of-home care, the importance of achieving permanency and stability is widely recognised and has been reflected in jurisdictional changes in policy and legislation across Australia (AIHW 2016).

These have focused on early planning for permanent placement of children in need, including alternative long-term care arrangements such as:

In 2020–21:

  • 1,288 third-party parental responsibility orders were issued across Australia
  • 70% were from New South Wales (451) and Victoria (445) (Supplementary table S15).

More information on third-party parental care arrangements can be found in the Permanency outcomes for children in out-of-home care: indicators report.

Visa applications and expatriate adoptions

The Department of Home Affairs provides visa and citizenship application data to the AIHW to inform expatriate and other intercountry adoption practices, such as known child intercountry. Expatriate adoptions occur outside of the Australian intercountry adoption program, and are not included in national counts.

In 2021–22, 90 Adoption visas were issued to adopted children of Australians seeking to return to Australia with the child (Supplementary table S18). These include visas:

  • for children adopted by expatriate Australians through an overseas adoption authority
  • for adoptions arranged and supported by Australian adoption authorities.