A new Adoption Act is needed

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                                          

7 June 2017

The Victorian Law Reform Commission has recommended that a new Adoption Act be enacted in Victoria to replace the current Adoption Act 1984.

The Commission’s review of the current Act was completed in February and tabled in Parliament on 7 June 2017. The Commission has made 88 recommendations to modernise the Act and ensure that the best interests of the child are the paramount consideration.

Recommendations include:

  • Adopted people should be able to get integrated birth certificates that have the names of their natural parents and their adoptive parents
  • Adopted people should be able to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate
  • There should be no restriction on single people being eligible to adopt
  • Religious exemptions should not apply to adoption agencies that provide adoption services, and adoption agencies should not be able to refuse to provide services to LGBTI couples
  • An independent children’s lawyer should be appointed for all children in the adoption process.
  • It should be easier for adopted people over 18 to have an adoption order discharged by the court.

Chair of the Commission, the Hon. Philip Cummins AM said: “Although there are many fewer adoptions these days than in the past, there is considerable community interest in the topic.

“The Commission heard that the closed adoption practices of the past caused significant trauma. It is mindful of this fact, and its recommendations will ensure that adoption is voluntary, and consent is free and informed.” 

Members of the public can download the report at the Victorian Law Reform Commission website: www.lawreform.vic.gov.au.

For more information or an interview with the Hon. Philip Cummins AM please contact:
Nick Gadd, Communications Manager, Tel: 03 8608 7824 Mob: 0425 862 119.

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