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ADOPTION ACT 2009

- As at 29 October 2018
- Act 29 of 2009

TABLE OF PROVISIONS

           Long Title

   PART 1 - PRELIMINARY

           Division 1 - Introduction

   1.      Short title
   2.      Commencement
   3.      Dictionary

           Division 2 - Application, object and guiding principles

   4.      Act binds all persons
   5.      Main object of Act
   6.      Guiding principles
   7.      Additional principles concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons
   8.      Act applies despite Anti-Discrimination Act 1991
   9.      References to child’s wellbeing or best interests
   9A.     References to person’s spouse if living separately and apart

           Division 3 - Adoptions under this Act

   10.     Who may be adopted
   11.     Rules of private international law not relevant

           Division 4 - Custody and guardianship

   12.     What is the effect of custody
   13.     What is the effect of guardianship

   PART 2 - CONSENT TO ADOPTION AND RELATED MATTERS

           Division 1 - Preliminary

   14.     Non-application to intercountry adoptions
   15.     References to parent in pt 2
   16.     Requirement for consent
   17.     References to consent

           Division 2 - Requirements about consent

   18.     Form of consent
   19.     Time of consent
   20.     Revocation of consent

           Division 3 - Giving forms, information and counselling to parents

   21.     Obligation to enable understanding
   22.     Parents to be given consent documents
   23.     Parents to be given prescribed information
   24.     Parents to be given pre-consent counselling
   25.     Pre-consent information and counselling for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child
   26.     Parents’ access to legal advice

           Division 4 - Ensuring parents have capacity to consent

   27.     Meaning of qualified person for div 4
   28.     Assessing whether a non-adult parent has capacity to consent
   29.     Declaration of QCAT whether an adult parent has capacity to consent
   30.     Appointment of guardian for adult parent without capacity to consent

           Division 5 - Identifying child’s father and related matters

   31.     Application of div 5
   32.     Establishing father’s identity and location
   33.     Giving notice to father or person suspected to be father
   34.     Chief executive may apply for declaration of paternity

           Division 6 - Dispensing with requirement for parent’s consent

   35.     Application for dispensation
   36.     Notice of application
   37.     Respondent
   38.     Hearing of application in absence of relevant parent
   39.     Court may dispense with need for consent
   40.     Notice of court order
   41.     Discharge of dispensation order if relevant parent not served with application

           Division 7 - Complying interstate consents

   42.     Consent given under a law of another State

           Division 8 - Giving information, counselling and support to child

   43.     Application of div 8
   44.     Child must be given information
   45.     Child must be given counselling
   46.     Counselling for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child
   47.     Child may be given other support

   PART 3 - CUSTODY AND GUARDIANSHIP OF A CHILD AWAITING ADOPTION

           Division 1 - Custody of child under care agreement

   48.     References to parent in div 1
   49.     Meaning of care agreement
   50.     Entering into care agreements
   51.     Effect of care agreement
   52.     No agreement against the wishes of a parent
   53.     Maximum period of care agreement
   54.     Ending of care agreement

           Division 2 - Guardianship of child after consent is given to local adoption

   55.     Application of div 2
   56.     Definitions for div 2
   57.     Chief executive becomes guardian when consent is given or dispensed with
   58.     Child may be placed in care
   59.     Effect of consent or dispensation ending
   60.     Chief executive may place child in parents’ care
   61.     Other ending of chief executive’s guardianship
   61A.    Effect of child’s death on chief executive’s guardianship
   62.     Guardianship under Child Protection Act not affected

           Division 3 - Transfer of guardianship between chief executive and corresponding officer for another State

   63.     Corresponding officers
   64.     Chief executive may renounce guardianship
   65.     Chief executive may ask corresponding officer to renounce guardianship

   PART 4 - RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION OF PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS

           Division 1 - Planning

   66.     Chief executive must plan for future need
   67.     Deciding number of parents to be assessed

           Division 2 - Making expressions of interest

   68.     Who may make an expression of interest
   69.     Form
   70.     Nomination relating to local or intercountry adoption
   71.     Other requirements for expressing an interest
   72.     Person may express an interest despite previous expressions
   73.     Changes to current expression of interest or relevant information
   74.     No expressions of interest while register is closed

           Division 3 - Expression of interest register

   75.     Expression of interest register
   76.     Eligibility for inclusion in register
   77.     Notice and information to persons entered in register
   78.     Notice to persons not entered in register
   79.     Automatic removal from register
   80.     Other removal from register
   81.     Chief executive may require further information
   82.     Obligation to notify chief executive of changed or new information relevant to eligibility
   83.     Inclusion in register does not confer entitlement

           Division 4 - Closing and re-opening expression of interest register

   84.     Chief executive may close register
   85.     Notice of closure
   86.     Periodic review of closure
   87.     Re-opening the register

           Division 5 - Selections for assessment

   88.     Selection to meet anticipated future need
   89.     Selection to meet needs of particular child
   90.     Joint selection of spouses
   91.     Notice of selection and fees

   PART 5 - APPLICATION BY PERSON WISHING TO ADOPT STEPCHILD

           Division 1 - Making an application

   92.     Who may apply
   93.     Requirements for application
   94.     Refusal of application
   95.     Obligation to notify chief executive of changed or new information relevant to application
   95A.    Withdrawal of application

           Division 2 - How chief executive must deal with accepted application

   96.     Definitions for div 2
   97.     Application of div 2
   98.     Obtaining consents
   99.     All consents not obtained
   100.    Automatic lapsing of application
   100A.   Other lapsing of application

   PART 6 - ASSESSMENT OF PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS

           Division 1 - Preliminary

   101.    Who is assessed
   102.    Suitable adoptive parents register
   103.    This part applies despite the Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986

           Division 2 - Purpose and scope of assessment

   104.    Purpose of assessment
   105.    Scope of assessment—persons selected to meet anticipated future need
   106.    Scope of assessment—persons selected to meet needs of particular child
   107.    Scope of assessment—persons wishing to adopt stepchild

           Division 3 - Assessment process

   108.    Joint assessment of a couple
   109.    Assessment process
   110.    Timing and pace of assessment
   111.    Consent of household members to assessment
   112.    Fees

           Division 4 - Information to assess suitability

   113.    Application of div 4
   114.    Chief executive may require information
   115.    Obligation to notify chief executive of changed or new information relevant to eligibility or suitability
   116.    Police information
   117.    Traffic information
   118.    Consultation with appropriate Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
   119.    Other information gathering

           Division 5 - Bases for deciding suitability

   120.    Application of div 5
   121.    Unacceptable risk of harm
   122.    Health
   123.    Guiding principles
   124.    Capacity to be adoptive parent generally
   125.    Good character
   126.    Attitudes to children and parenting
   127.    Adoptive parenting
   128.    Quality of relationship with spouse
   129.    Infertility
   130.    Matters relating to step-parent
   131.    Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children
   132.    Other cultural matters
   133.    Other prescribed matters

           Division 6 - Action following decision

   134.    Application of div 6
   135.    Chief executive must give notice of decision
   136.    Removal from expression of interest register
   137.    Entry in suitable adoptive parents register
   138.    Preparation of report

           Division 7 - Interstate register

   139.    Registration of person on interstate register

           Division 8 - Re-assessment of person listed in suitable adoptive parents register

   140.    When a person may be re-assessed
   141.    Conduct of re-assessment
   142.    Re-assessment may be limited
   143.    Notice of re-assessment

           Division 9 - Removal from suitable adoptive parents register

   144.    Automatic removal from register
   145.    Removal after re-assessment
   146.    Other grounds for removal

           Division 10 - Investigative information

   147.    Police commissioner may decide that information about a person is investigative information
   148.    Appeal from decision that information is investigative information
   149.    Court to decide matters afresh
   150.    Consequence of successful appeal

   PART 7 - SELECTION OF PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS

           Division 1 - Requirement to select persons as prospective adoptive parents

   151.    Application of div 1 for initial selection for local adoptions
   152.    Application of div 1 when further selection required
   153.    Chief executive must select prospective adoptive parents

           Division 2 - How selection must be made

   154.    Application of div 2
   155.    Child’s wellbeing and best interests generally
   156.    Child’s particular needs
   157.    Preferences of parents
   158.    Characteristics of persons who may be selected
   159.    Eligibility
   160.    Placement with sibling
   161.    Other children in adoptive family
   162.    Initial period of full-time personal care by adoptive parents
   163.    Additional provisions relating to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children

           Division 3 - Facilitating matters between parents and selected persons

   164.    Facilitating agreement or adoption plan

   PART 8 - ADOPTION PLANS

           Division 1 - General

   165.    What is an adoption plan
   166.    Parties
   167.    Purpose
   168.    Nature of plan and limitations on operation
   169.    Chief executive to help

           Division 2 - When is plan required

   169A.   In-person contact between child and birth family while interim order is in force
   170.    In-person contact between child and birth family after adoption
   171.    Child protection order
   172.    Particular Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander placements
   173.    Adoption plans otherwise not compulsory

   PART 9 - ADOPTION ORDERS

           Division 1 - General matters

   174.    Court may make adoption orders
   175.    Consents and pre-consent counselling and information
   176.    Particular documents not to be served on prospective adoptive parents
   177.    Proceedings about whether parents have consented
   178.    Child subject to child protection order
   179.    Child able to form and express views
   180.    References to prospective adoptive parents

           Division 2 - Local adoptions

   181.    Application of div 2
   182.    Application for interim order
   183.    Requirements for making interim order
   184.    Period of operation of interim order
   185.    Effect of interim order
   186.    Discharge of interim order
   187.    Application for final adoption order if interim order is in force
   188.    Application for final adoption order in favour of approved carers or long-term guardians
   189.    Requirements for making final adoption order
   190.    Notice of order

           Division 3 - Intercountry adoptions

   191.    Application of div 3
   192.    Custody and guardianship if no guardian under Commonwealth Act
   193.    Custody and guardianship if interim order in force
   194.    Order ending custody or discharging interim order
   195.    Application for interim order
   196.    Requirements for making interim order
   197.    Period of operation of interim order
   198.    Chief executive to supervise child’s wellbeing and interests
   199.    Application for final adoption order
   200.    Requirements for making final adoption order
   201.    Discharge of interim order on application for final order
   202.    Notice of order

           Division 4 - Adoptions by step-parent

   203.    Meaning of suitability report
   204.    Application by step-parent
   205.    Notice of application
   206.    Respondents
   207.    Chief executive must file report
   208.    Requirements for making final adoption order
   209.    Notice of order

           Division 5 - Adoptions by residents of a convention country

   210.    Application of div 5
   211.    Selection of prospective adoptive parents
   212.    Application for final adoption order
   213.    Requirements for making adoption order

           Division 6 - Effect of final adoption order

   214.    Effect on relationships
   215.    Child’s name
   216.    Effect of adoption orders in relation to property
   217.    Bequest by will to an unascertained adopted person
   218.    Transfer or distribution of property by trustee or personal representative

           Division 7 - Discharge of final adoption order

   219.    Grounds for discharge
   220.    Who may apply
   221.    How to apply
   222.    Respondent
   223.    Hearing not to be in public
   224.    Hearing of application in absence of party
   225.    Court orders
   226.    Effect of discharge

   PART 10 - COURT PROCEEDINGS

           Division 1 - Preliminary

   227.    Application of pt 10

           Division 2 - Constitution of court and procedural provisions

   228.    Court’s constitution
   229.    Court’s paramount consideration
   230.    Evidence
   231.    Court to ensure parties understand proceeding
   232.    Expert help
   233.    Right of appearance and representation
   234.    Right of appearance of departmental coordinators
   235.    Separate legal representation of child
   236.    Support for child
   237.    Legal representation of more than 1 child
   238.    Child can not be compelled to give evidence
   239.    Court may hear submissions from non-parties to proceeding
   240.    Transfer of proceedings
   241.    Hearing of applications together
   242.    Costs

           Division 3 - Appeals

   243.    Who may appeal
   244.    How to start appeal
   245.    Stay of operation of decisions
   246.    Hearing procedures
   247.    Powers of appellate court

   PART 11 - ACCESS TO ADOPTION INFORMATION

           Division 1 - Preliminary

   248.    Identifying information
   249.    Meaning of relative
   250.    References to birth parent—who is a biological father
   251.    Application to persons who have died
   252.    Prescribed documents
   253.    Release of altered documents
   254.    How request for information is made

           Division 2 - Access to particular identifying information while adopted person is a child

   255.    Application of div 2
   256.    Request by, or on behalf of, adopted child
   256A.   Additional information about identity of person who may be biological father
   257.    Request by birth parent
   258.    Taking steps to obtain consent to disclosure
   259.    Support for persons involved in disclosure of information
   260.    Adoption plan may include consent or request not to be asked for consent
   261.    Access to information is subject to court order

           Division 3 - Access to particular information when adopted person is an adult

   262.    Application of div 3
   263.    Request by adopted person
   263A.   Additional information about identity of person who may be biological father
   264.    Request by adult relative in place of adopted person
   265.    Request by birth parent
   266.    Request by adult relative in place of birth parent
   267.    Request by pre-adoption sibling
   268.    Limitations on access to information

           Division 4 - Contact statements and related matters

   269.    Contact statements
   270.    (Repealed)
   271.    Contact statement obligations
   272.    (Repealed)
   273.    Currency and revocation of contact statements
   274.    Persons making contact statements presumed to be living

           Division 5 - Miscellaneous

   275.    Court order restricting access to information
   276.    Chief executive may obtain or disclose non-identifying medical information
   277.    Intercountry adoption

           Division 6 - Mailbox service

   278.    What is the mailbox service
   279.    Other definitions for div 6
   280.    Who is eligible to take part
   281.    Exchanging non-identifying information
   282.    Exchanging identifying information
   283.    Notice of intention to take part
   284.    Receipt and review of documents
   285.    Document with no identifying information or concerning matter
   286.    Document with identifying information or concerning matter
   287.    Photographs of persons more than 2 years old

   PART 12 - REGISTRATION OF ADOPTIONS

   288.    Definitions for pt 12
   289.    Chief executive must notify registrar
   290.    Entitlement to certificate, information or source document relating to particular entries
   290A.   Application for notice of adoptions in another country
   290B.   Deciding applications for notice of adoptions in another country
   290C.   Registrar to record information about adoptions granted in another country

   PART 13 - RECOGNITION OF ADOPTIONS AND RELATED MATTERS

           Division 1 - Recognition of interstate and overseas adoptions

   291.    Recognition of Australian and New Zealand adoptions
   292.    Recognition of adoptions granted in convention countries
   293.    Recognition of adoptions granted in non-convention countries

           Division 2 - Simple adoptions

   294.    Definitions for div 2
   295.    Simple adoption does not end parent-child relationship
   296.    Conversion of simple adoption in convention country
   297.    Conversion of simple adoption by Childrens Court

           Division 3 - Other matters concerning overseas adoptions

   298.    Chief executive to have limited supervision of adopted children
   299.    Declarations of validity of overseas adoptions

   PART 14 - OFFENCES

   300.    Definitions for pt 14
   301.    Territorial application
   302.    False representation about arranging adoption
   303.    Giving or receiving consideration
   304.    Advertisements and other published matters
   305.    False or misleading information
   306.    Improperly witnessing a consent
   307.    Fraud or undue influence

   PART 14A - PROCEEDINGS BEFORE QCAT

           Division 1 - Preliminary

   307A.   Application of pt 14A
   307B.   Definitions for pt 14A
   307C.   Object of pt 14A
   307D.   Principles for tribunal in matters relating to this Act

           Division 2 - Notice for proceedings

   307E.   Government entity may nominate decision-maker

           Division 3 - Proceedings

   307F.   Constitution of tribunal and hearing of compulsory conference
   307G.   Hearing must usually be held in private

           Division 4 - Children in proceedings

   307H.   Requirements about ensuring proper understanding of tribunal proceedings
   307I.   Separate representation of children
   307J.   Children must not be compelled to give evidence
   307K.   Child’s right to express views to tribunal
   307L.   Children giving evidence or expressing views to tribunal
   307M.   Questioning of children

           Division 5 - Confidentiality

   307N.   Confidentiality order
   307O.   Limited access to tribunal’s register of proceedings
   307P.   Limited access to tribunal’s record of proceedings
   307Q.   Certain information not to be published

   PART 15 - GENERAL

           Division 1 - Matters about offences and proceedings

   308.    Types of offences
   309.    Proceedings for indictable offence
   310.    Limitation on who may summarily hear indictable offence
   311.    Limitation on time for starting summary proceeding
   312.    Evidentiary provisions for proceedings under this Act
   313.    Proof of adoptions

           Division 2 - Confidentiality

   314.    Confidentiality of information obtained by persons involved in administration of Act
   315.    Publishing identifying material
   316.    Disclosure to other jurisdictions

           Division 3 - Miscellaneous

   317.    Adoption contract workers
   318.    Meaning of appropriate Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
   319.    Right of review against particular decisions
   320.    Delegation
   321.    Protection from liability
   322.    Convention countries
   323.    State central authority
   324.    Research
   325.    Assistance to adoptive parents and others
   326.    Approved forms
   327.    Further review of Act
   328.    Regulation-making power

   PART 16 - REPEAL, SAVINGS AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

           Division 1 - Repeal

   329.    Repeal of Adoption of Children Act 1964

           Division 2 - Savings and transitional provisions for Act No. 29 of 2009

   330.    Meaning of commencement day
   331.    Adoption orders
   331A.   Interim orders
   332.    Correction of adoption orders
   333.    Application by step-parent
   334.    Special Needs Children’s Adoption List
   335.    Review of decision to remove name from adoption list
   336.    Expression of interest register
   337.    Uncompleted review of decision to remove persons from expression of interest register
   338.    Suitable adoptive parents register
   339.    Current applications to Supreme Court or Childrens Court
   340.    Consents to adoption
   341.    Chief executive’s guardianship
   342.    Current applications to chief executive to convert simple adoption
   343.    Particular objections continue in force as contact statements for pt 11
   344.    Current application to chief executive to disclose particular information
   345.    Entitlement to particular records
   346.    Transitional—effect of adoption orders in relation to property

           Division 3 - Transitional provisions for Adoption and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016

   347.    Definition for division
   348.    Effect of s 61A on chief executive’s guardianship
   349.    Expression of interest not decided before commencement
   350.    Right to review and existing reviews of particular decisions under ss 78, 80 and 146
   351.    Eligibility for persons currently in expression of interest register
   352.    Particular persons selected for assessment
   353.    Eligibility for persons currently in suitable adoptive parents register
   354.    Time limit on particular reports under s 138 and applications under s 204
   355.    Child’s name for final adoption order
   356.    Request for information under pt 11
   357.    Consent of adoptive parent not required for particular request by adopted child under s 256
   358.    Persons transitioned to suitable adoptive parents register under s 338
           SCHEDULE 1
           SCHEDULE 3


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