Applying to adopt an infant in Victoria

You need to attend an information session to help you understand what the adoption process involves.

Who can apply?

You do not need any special qualifications to be an adoptive parent. The experiences and skills of all families are welcome. Whether you have the potential to meet the needs of children needing an adoptive family is the most important consideration. The Adoption Act 1984 does require, however, that you have been married or in a stable de facto relationship for at least 2 years before you apply. You will be required to provide documentary evidence for this.

Is there an age limit?

There is no age limit in the Adoption Act 1984, but there is an expectation that you should be fit and healthy enough to care for a child safely through to adulthood. Broadly speaking, this means that you need to fit within the spread of ages at which most people become parents.

How much does it cost?

There are no fees for the Infant Adoption Program, although you'll have to pay legal costs when you apply for the adoption order at the County Court.

How do you apply?

Here's an overview of the adoption process.

  • Step 1: Contact an Adoption and Permanent Care Service

    If you feel you have the qualities to become an adoptive parent, the first step is to contact the adoption and permanent care service by completing the Adoption and permanent care online enquiry form

    You may prefer to ring your local program direct and a staff member will assist you. See the adoption and permanent care contact list for a service in your area.

  • Step 2: Information sessions

    Information sessions are the best place to get answers to your questions about adoption, and aim to help you decide if it could be right for you. The sessions will help you understand the processes and what you have to do to move on to Step 3: Training sessions.

    They're held regularly throughout Victoria, and you must attend one before you can proceed further with an application.

    Schedule of dates

    For the current scheduled dates for sessions, see Infant adoption program of Victoria information and training sessions in Related resources or contact your local Adoption and Permanent Care Services contacts.

  • Step 3: Training sessions

    Once you've attended an information session, and you wish to continue with your application, the next step is to attend training sessions.

    These sessions will help you understand the adoption process and provide more detailed information about what adoption in Victoria is like today.  They will also help prepare you for the challenges of bringing an adopted child into your family.

    If you've undertaken fertility treatment, you must have completed it at least 6 months before attending a training session.

    Schedule of dates

    For the current scheduled dates for sessions, see Infant adoption program of Victoria information and training sessions in Related resources.

  • Step 4: Application

    Once you've completed the training sessions, you'll complete a detailed application, which involves:

    • Police checks
    • Medical checks
    • A working-with-children check
    • References
    • If you're in a de facto relationship, documentary evidence will also be required.
  • Step 5: Assessment

    A social worker from your regional Adoption and Permanent Care team will meet with you a number of times to prepare an assessment report for a committee, which will then consider your application. You are given a copy of the report and are invited to participate in the committee meeting.