When the word “adoption” is mentioned, it is rare for anyone to bat an eye. Simple right? A parent takes a child into their care, applies for some orders and is given parental responsibility for that child, ta-da!
Unfortunately, for individuals wishing to adopt a child, the process is far from simple.
Take the example of a couple wishing to adopt a child from out-of-home care in New South Wales:
Jane and John are looking to adopt a child. They live together in Maitland in a property that they own, and are both in their 30’s.
Jane and John read “Thinking about Adoption” on the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) website and complete the Adoption Information Package order form together. Once the package arrives, they submit the Expression of Interest form for the Local Adoption and Permanent Care Program.
After a few weeks, they receive an invitation to attend a three day preparation seminar from Adoption and Permanency Services. At the conclusion of the seminar, Jane and John are given an Adoption Application Package.
Jane and John have 6 months to lodge their formal application to adopt. Once the application is received, Jane and John will be contacted by Adoption and Permanency Services to schedule a number of assessments.
As part of their “Adoption Assessment”, Jane and John will need health, police and referee checks. They will also need to undertake formal interviews with an adoption assessor to determine their suitability.
A few weeks after the interviews, John and Jane are contacted by FACS notifying them of the decision. They are overjoyed to be accepted as approved adoptive parents. However, their journey is not yet over.
As they applied through the Local Adoption and Permanent Care Program, Jane and John are placed into the pool of approved applicants. They prepare a profile for consideration by birth parents. Their approval was valid for four years, and on the third year, they are selected by a birth mother.
Shortly after the choice is made, Jane and John meet with the birth mother, FACS representatives, and their new daughter Ann. FACS representatives work with John and Jane to complete the necessary forms to be filed in the Supreme Court.
Finally, four years after their journey began, Jane, John and Ann arrive home to begin their life together as a family.
Of course, reality is never so simple, and there are many hurdles which prospective adoptive parents must overcome in their own journeys.
If you or someone you know is looking to adopt a child, then you should seek quality legal advice. Due to the complexity of the process, and the many rules and regulations that govern adoption in NSW, it is important to have quality legal advice from Joplin Lawyers to guide you on your journey to parenthood.