Adoption is a way to provide a permanent family for children who, for various reasons, cannot live with their birth family. The legal adoption process establishes a permanent parent-child relationship between a child and his or her adoptive parents. Adoption also removes the legal relationship between the child and his or her birth parents and extended family.

Adoption Services is responsible for providing services in Queensland for:

  • parents considering adoption for their children
  • children requiring adoptive placements
  • people seeking to adopt children
  • people seeking information or to lodge a contact statement in relation to a past adoption.

Adoption Services provides services in accordance with the requirements of the Adoption Act 2009 and the Adoption Regulation 2009.

It is unlawful to attempt to privately arrange an adoption in Queensland.

Changes to the Adoption Act 2009

On 2 November 2016, Queensland Parliament passed the Adoption and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (the Bill) in response to issues identified in the Review of the operation of the Adoption Act 2009 Final Report (PDF, 868 KB) Review of the operation of the Adoption Act 2009 Final Report (RTF, 62 KB).

As part of the review, more than 350 Queenslanders and organisations had their say on the operation of the Adoption Act 2009.

The results of the review indicated that the Adoption Act 2009 is operating as intended, but that some aspects of the legislation could be enhanced to ensure Queensland is doing its best to promote the wellbeing and best interests of adopted persons throughout their lives.

Key legislative changes include:

  • expanding eligibility criteria to enable same-sex couples, single persons and persons undergoing fertility treatment to have their name entered or remain in the expression of interest register
  • removing the offence and associated penalty for breach of a contact statement for adoptions which occurred before 1 June 1991 (the obligation on the department to communicate information contained in a contact statement, including a person’s reasons for providing a contact statement, will be maintained)
  • improving access to information by:
    • enabling the department to consider the release of identifying information without consent from adoptive or birth parents, in exceptional circumstances
    • broadening the definition of ‘relative’, for the purposes of accessing or consenting to the access of information, to include future generations and persons recognised as parents and children under Aboriginal tradition and Island custom
    • expanding when information about a person who may be an adopted person’s biological father, may be provided to them
  • requiring the court to be satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist before changing a child’s first name in a final adoption order
  • enabling the department to facilitate contact between parties to an adoption during an interim adoption order
  • improving processes for adoption of a child by a step-parent
  • clarifying the intent of existing provisions, correcting drafting issues and making consequential amendments based on endorsed policy objectives.

Information sheets have been developed explaining the legislative changes and what it means for people with an adoption experience. The information sheets are:

The Adoption Act 2009 will be reviewed in another five years’ time to ensure it continues to remain contemporary and relevant for Queenslanders.

My Home - permanent care program

All children and young people deserve to live in a safe and supportive home where they are valued and cared for.

My Home is a permanent care program delivered by Adoption and Permanent Care Services (APCS) to expand placement options for children who are unable to live permanently with their families. 

APCS recruits foster carers for the My Home program from the adoption registers, who can provide stable, permanent and loving homes for children who are in the child protection system where reunification with their family is no longer possible. If a child is placed through the My Home program, APCS work alongside Child Safety staff to strengthen permanency outcomes for the child.

  • Resources and publications

    The content on this web page provides information about the changes to Queensland’s adoption laws. The information resources are currently being reviewed and will be updated as soon as possible.