Adoption is a legal process whereby all the parental rights and responsibilities for a child are transferred from the birth parents to the adoptive parents as if the child was born to them. There are different types of adoption including: local, inter-country and out-of-home care.
Current adoption practices recognises that although adoption ends a child's legal relationship with birth parents, the emotional and genetic relationships remain. Adoption today embraces issues of identity, openness and the value of a child's cultural and racial heritage.
Children may still have contact with their birth families once adopted. Birth family contact is now facilitated by their adopted families. Children and young people can have mixed emotions at this time as this means that they will no longer be living with their birth families. They can feel happy, sad and relieved as well as confused.
Some of the experiences of young people at this time are illustrated on the right.
- Time consuming and difficult to access information on birth family in the current system
- Locating birth mother or/and father to involve in the adoption process
- Accessing online social media to assist in the search for parent(s)
- Lack of available technology to capture photographs/video footage of parent(s) for the child to keep
- Difficult to gather information for reporting purposes as information is stored manually in spreadsheets as well as current system
- Manual setting of reminders for key dates such as consent timeframes
- Manual matching process of prospective adoptive parents with child
- Manual tracking of payments received in spreadsheets
- Difficult to find out about the Family Court processes which differ from those of the Children's Court
Things that will help
- Adoption will take less time to process due to more efficient systems
- Better informed of the process and progress through YOU (the child/young person website)
- Able to message their birth family through YOU
- Access to their birth family history and cultural information
- A single view of all information about children and their families
- Assessment tools which allow caseworkers to take photos and videos
- Automatic reminders such as consent process reminders
- A digital matching tool to help find the right adoptive parents for children
- Access to latest policies and procedures including information on court processes
Supporting ChildStory tools
The following tools can be used by carers, adoptive parents, young people, workers and families to support children and young people during adoption.