When a child’s biological parents are not able to, or don’t want to, look after a child, they can give all the rights and responsibility of that child to other parents; this is called adoption. The child that is adopted will have the same rights as if they were a biological child of the new parents.

Things to know if you have been adopted

If you were adopted you may be able to access your original birth record and other details about your adoption once you turn 18. This depends on when and where you were born. If you are under 18 you need the consent of your adoptive parents and the biological parents.

If you want to find your biological parents or are pregnant and are considering placing the child for adoption, you can contact Centacare Tasmania or the Adoptions and Permanency Services of the Department of Health and Human Services on 03 6233 2273.

There is an Adoption Information Register that holds and gives information about the families and individuals involved in adoption. You can register your wishes about contact and the giving of your information with the service.

Before you are given information from the Adoption Information Register you need to have counselling. This is to make sure you have considered the consequences of obtaining information and/or meeting your biological parents.

Relationships Australia offer a Past Adoption Support Service, including counselling sessions specifically for individuals and families affected by Forced Adoption Practices.  You can contact Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277, and they have offices in both Hobart and Launceston.

Things to know if you want to place a child for adoption

Adoption is one option parents can consider if they feel unable to look after a child themselves. The adoption process in Tasmania is governed by the Adoption Act 1988 and the Adoption Regulations 2006.

If you are thinking about placing a child for adoption, you can contact the Adoption Officer with the Department of Health and Human Services.  The Adoption Officer can help you determine if adoption is the option for you, and if so, will also be able to guide you through the process.  You can contact an Adoption Officer by calling 03 6166 0422, or by emailing them.

For adoption, the birth father of the child will need to sign his consent for an adoption to take place if he is married to the mother of the child, if his name is on the child’s birth certificate, or if he has been required to pay child support. You can find more information about placing a child for adoption on the Adoptions and Permanency Services website.

Things to know if you want to adopt a child

Local Adoptions

People wishing to adopt a child must be assessed and approved as suitable prospective parents.  This is true for both local and overseas adoptions.  If you are considering adopting within Tasmania, you can contact Adoption and Permanency Services and register your interest to attend an information session.

Overseas Adoptions

Overseas adoptions are also sometimes called intercountry adoptions.  Intercountry adoptions take place when a child cannot be placed with a family in the child’s country of origin.  Intercountry Adoption Australia is a service run by the Australian Goverment, and provides information through their comprehensive website and through a telephone advice line.  For more information, you can call 1800 197 760, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Adopting a step-child

Step-parent adoptions are now rare in Tasmania.  For more information regarding step-parent adoptions, click through to the Adoption and Permanacy Services website here.