Key information

  • Adopting a child from overseas is called intercountry adoption.
  • The prospective adoptive parent must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, who is residing in Australia.
  • The child must be adopted from another country through the relevant authorities in their Australian State or Territory.
  • The Department for Education, Children and Young People is the only agency in Tasmania that can arrange intercountry adoption.
  • If you would like to talk to someone about adoption, you can contact us on
    (03) 6166 0422.

Interested in adopting a child from overseas?

Adopting a child from overseas is called intercountry adoption.

Intercountry adoption can involve long waiting times. With the number of children needing adoptive families outside of their birth country declining.

We encourage you to refer to the Australian Government’s Intercountry Adoption Australia website for information.

The Intercountry Adoption Australia Website contains a range of information, including:

  • an overview of the intercountry adoption process
  • important things to consider before applying
  • information on each overseas partner country
  • links to support services and more.

Hague Convention

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

The Hague Convention aims to ensure that intercountry adoption only occurs when it is in the best interests of the child.

Tasmania shares responsibility for intercountry adoption with the Australian Government.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is responsible for ensuring that Australia, as a whole, meets its obligations under the Convention. It is also responsible for the establishment and management of Australia’s intercountry adoption programs.

DSS works with State and Territory authorities, who are responsible for the delivery of intercountry adoption services.

Assessment and approval process

Parenting a child born overseas presents special challenges. Increasingly, children in need of intercountry adoption are older and may have special needs.

Families wishing to adopt a child from overseas must have their capacity assessed. This is to determine that they are able to care for an intercountry child. This includes the ability to help a child to stay connected with their culture and country of origin.

The assessment and approval process for prospective adoptive parents is set out in the Adoption Regulations 2016Applicants must pass the approval process before they can be placed with an overseas child. Applicants must meet Tasmania’s suitability requirements, and criteria set by the child’s country of origin.

Are you interested in adoption?

If you are interested in attending an information session about adoption, please contact the Adoption team on:

Phone: (03) 6166 0422