Adoption and Permanent Care Statistics

Statistics

Since 1928 when the first legislation for adoption was introduced, over 64,000 people have been adopted in Victoria. Only 17 infants were placed for adoption in 2005-06, and this reflects a range of changes in society over the past 30 years. The following statistics illustrate the continuing decline in local infant adoptions since the 1980's, and the increase in adoptions from overseas. The number of infants placed for adoption has levelled out since 2000.

Number of infant adoptions

The decrease in the number of adoptions since the early 1970's was the result of a number of interrelated factors including:

  • Increasingly tolerant community attitudes towards exnuptual births and single parenthood.
  • Improved contraception
  • The widespread availability of pregnancy terminations.

The introduction of government benefits for single parents in 1972 was the most significant identifiable factor in this pattern.

Trends

The most notable change in adoption and permanent care patterns over the last fifteen years is the decrease in infant adoptions, and the increase in adoptions from overseas. In addition, permanent care orders were implemented in 1992, and grant exclusive custody and guardianship to approved permanent care parents. The greatest number of placements for children born in Victoria is for children for whom a court has decided cannot live safely with their birth families because of risk of abuse or neglect. This reflects the philosophy that children who are unable to grow up within their birth family are placed in permanent alternative families wherever possible.

Table of placements made by Adoption and Permanent Care Teams and by the Intercountry Adoption Service

Adoptions:

1987-88

Infant

75

Intercountry

68

Special Needs

61

1988-89

71

46

77

1989-90

65

50

60

1990-91

60

36

63

1991-92

31

45

92

1992-93

29

40

101

1993-94

29

48

70

1994-95

39

62

64

1995-96

27

59

78

1996-97

23

55

77

1997-98

27

50

94

1998-99

32

70

83

1999-00

20

70

74

2000-01

15

66

91

2001-02

15

77

61

2002-03

19

94

68

2003-04

10

100

64

2004-05

17

105

61

2005-06

17

81

64


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Intercountry adoptions

Currently, Victoria has working arrangements with various countries for the purpose of intercountry adoption, either under the Hague Convention or through bi lateral country to country arrangements.

There were 81 children placed for intercountry adoption in Victoria in 2005-2006. Children come from a number of countries including Chins, Korea, India, Thailand, Ethiopia, Fiji, Philippines and Hong Kong.

Some facts about the Adoption and Family Records Service (A&FRS)

Since 1984, more that 32,000 people have registered for information with the A&FRS. Two-thirds of these are people who were adopted; the others are birth parents, adoptive parents and other relatives. In 2005-2006, approximately 504 people received information fro the service. Most people contacted by the A&FRS agree to contact or the exchange of information. After an initial leap in enquiries when the A&FRS opened in 1984, requests for information gradually increased each year until 1990-1991, when they started to level off.

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Table of People Registering with the Adoption and Family Records Service

Year Adopted Persons Birth Parents Birth Relative Adoptive Parents Adult Child of Adopted Person Total

1991-92

766

150

140

10

46

1112

1992-93

797

150

111

22

36

1116

1993-94

814

174

110

18

27

1143

1994-95

842

179

109

18

37

1185

1995-96

882

173

99

7

22

1184

1996-97

842

179

146

18

0

1185

1997-98

814

174

110

18

27

1143

1998-99

797

150

111

22

36

1116

1999-00

755

150

140

10

46

1101

2000-01

664

116

119

13

32

944

2001-02

598

86

131

4

52

871

2002-03

566

93

127

3

36

825

2003-04

451

71

93

5

47

667

2004-05

471

75

88

5

34

673

2005-06

392

30

56

2

24

504

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