Adoption in South Australia

Adopting a child

If you are considering adopting a child, you will have to apply through the Department for Child Protection. The eligibility criteria, procedures and costs for adopting a child from overseas or locally will vary, and are available on the department's website.

It is not lawful to arrange your own adoption.

Placing a child for adoption

If you are considering relinquishing your child for adoption, it is important that you contact the Department for Child Protection Placement Services. Social Workers there can assist you through the process, as well as discuss alternatives to adoption, such as foster care, placing your child with relatives, or getting more support for you to raise your child yourself.

Seeking adoption information

You can access adoption information from the original adoption file. Certain relatives of the adopted person may be able to access this information. If you want to find your birth relative, you will need to have this information.

Searching for your birth parent or child

You can apply to Births, Deaths and Marriages to search for your natural parent or child. The Department for Child Protection will need to authorise access to certificates.

Adopted person (over the age of 18)

You can apply for:

  • original birth certificate
  • birth certificate of the birth mother
  • change of name or death certificate of either parent
  • marriage certificate of the birth mother - if birth father wasn't named on the original birth certificate, or if the father was named but the parents weren't married.

Birth parents of adopted children (once their child is 18)

You can apply for:

  • the adopted child's original birth certificate
  • the child's post-adoptive birth certificate
  • change of name certificate of child or death certificate of child.

All applications for searches for marriage, change of name or death entries need to be lodged with a copy of the original birth certificate. This will be returned to you with the search results.

The birth father's name needs to be on the pre-adoptive birth certificate for him to access the record, or for any access to records related to him.

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Page last updated 30 November 2016

Provided by:
Department for Child Protection
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