Adoption in South Australia

Adopting a child

If you're considering adopting a child, you'll have to apply through the Department for Child Protection (DCP). 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's illegal to arrange your own adoption.

Placing a child for adoption

If you're considering relinquishing your child for adoption, it's important that you contact DCP 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'll need to have this information.

Searching for your birth parent or child

You can apply to DCP for information regarding your natural parent or child. The department can authorise the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to issue pre-adoption birth certificates.

Adopted person over 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 the 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 over 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 the child.

All applications for searches of 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 original birth certificate for him to access the record, or to access any records related to him.

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Page last updated 28 September 2021

Provided by:
Department for Child Protection
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