Adopting from overseas: intercountry adoptions

FACS is currently the only agency in NSW which can arrange intercountry adoption.

Waiting times

In recent years waiting times across most intercountry adoption programs have increased significantly.

Also, the number of children requiring overseas adoptive families is declining as these countries are better able to place children with families within their own country.

Understandably this is difficult for prospective adoptive applicants who invest a great deal of time and energy into the adoption process.

We encourage you to refer to the Intercountry Adoption Australia website for up-to-date information on the existing intercountry adoption programs and their relevant waiting times.

Fees and charges

For information about the fees for intercountry adoptions, see the fact sheet on fees and costs. FACS acknowledges that there are circumstances where the fee structure may disadvantage applicants with lower incomes.  Fee relief provisions are detailed in the Hardship Policy.

Support organisations

There are many organisations which exist to support and assist families who wish to or have adopted a child from overseas. Find an organisation to suit your needs.

Ethics and rights

All intercountry adoptions are governed by the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, which places obligations on both the child’s country of origin and the receiving country.

FACS works to safeguard and protect the rights, welfare and interests of children being adopted, while providing applicants with a professional adoption service.

We work only through overseas government adoption authorities or their accredited agencies.

FACS is very strict about which adoption programs we support, and will only facilitate the adoption of a child if we're satisfied that every alternative which would have enabled the child to remain in their country has been explored.

Illegal adoptions

Adoptions in NSW can only occur through FACS or an accredited adoption service provider.

FACS is currently the only agency in NSW which can arrange intercountry adoption.

Private adoption arrangements are illegal and there are penalties for all involved in such arrangements.

FACS will not support applications to independent adoption agents in another country.

The Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP) will refuse a child an entry visa to Australia if the adoption arrangements are not initiated by FACS and approved by the agency prior to placement of a child.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)