If you are considering intercountry adoption, you should check whether you meet the requirements of both the Victorian program and the overseas country program.
In some countries, for reasons such as war, famine or poverty, children are unable to be cared for by their family or any other family in that country. In these cases, children can be placed with Victorian families.
It’s important to remember that for these children, international adoption is always a last resort. It only happens if they can’t be cared for in the community and culture into which they were born. The overriding consideration in intercountry adoption, as with all adoptions, is always the best interests of the child.
In Victoria the Intercountry Adoption Service is responsible for arranging intercountry adoptions.
Adopting a child from overseas
We are looking for eligible Victorian families who are willing and able to adopt a child with special needs from a range of overseas countries.
Intercountry adoption is only considered when a country has exhausted all options to care for a child.
Intercountry Adoption Victoria (IAV) is responsible for assessing the families that are interested in providing a permanent, legal family for children who require adoption from an approved overseas country.
IAV facilitates the adoption process and supports and supervises the child and family as they transition to their new lives together.
Children who require adoption
In recent years, the majority of children placed with Victorian families have been 4 years and older.
The children who require adoption are likely to have special needs as a result of their life experiences. Many will have lived in orphanages for most of their life and not had the individual care and attention that children need. They will have experienced multiple caregivers and are unlikely to have formed a strong and healthy bond to a primary carer. Many will have complex and challenging family backgrounds.
Despite the best efforts of orphanage staff, these children are likely to have had poor or limited access to health care, education and other developmental opportunities. Most will have health and developmental issues.
Children with these sorts of life experiences need careful and consistent parenting to help them heal from their traumatic experiences. Considered and insightful parenting will help these children realise their full potential.
It can be challenging for a family to provide the consistent care and nurturing that a vulnerable child needs, however intercountry adoptive families agree that the rewards are immeasurable. There are a range of resources designed to help you including an education program and ongoing access to support and training through various support groups. Our duty workers would be happy to discuss these and your individual circumstances.
Alternatively, there is always a need for families to provide care for a range of Victorian children who cannot live with their families. There are a small number of infants who require adoption each year and a large number of children who require permanent care.
You may also be interested in exploring the option of becoming a foster carer of children. Visit the Fostering Connections website to find out more and apply online.
If you would like to talk to someone, contact Intercountry Adoption Victoria.
To find out who's eligible, how to register your interest and how applications are assessed see the following information.