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Over the last 25 years (1990–2015), the number of adoptions of children (and young persons) in Australia declined from 1,142 to 292 (25.5 %). Of the 292 adoptions that took place in 2014–15, 83 (28%) were inter country adoptions, with the remaining 209 (72 %) adoptions of Australian children. Very few of the adoptions of Australian children were in New South Wales. In amendments in 2014 to the New South Wales Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and the Adoptions Act 2000, a new emphasis on ‘open’ adoption was introduced. The focus of these amendments is on adoption of children who are in foster care where the New South Wales Children's Court has ruled that there is no realistic possibility of restoration of the child to parental care. This article is about the implementation of this new legislative emphasis on adoption. It does not examine the benefit or otherwise of adoption for children who cannot be safely restored to parental care as this issue has been extensively canvassed elsewhere. This article also highlights the US and English experience of adoption from care in order to place the New South Wales development in perspective. The article concludes with discussion of the issues adoption raises for the parents of a child who is being considered for adoption from care.


School of Social Work

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Journal Article

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