Adoption (Review) Amendment Bill 2016 - Update

The Adoption (Review) Amendment Bill 2016 has been introduced to amend the Adoption Act. At this stage, the Bill has not been passed and no laws have changed.

Read more about the latest update here.


Review of the Adoption Act 1988 – Review Recommendations

During 2014-15, the South Australian Adoption Act 1988 and Adoption Regulations 2004 were reviewed by independent reviewer, Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan.  The Review report is available here (PDF, 1.8MB) and makes the following key recommendations for consideration by Government.

Key recommendations

Children’s rights

The Act should incorporate a wider statement of Principles and Objectives about adoption being about the best interests of children to emphasise children’s rights.  

Same-sex couples

The Adoption Act should change so that same-sex couples can apply to adopt a child.

Single people

Single people can already apply to adopt a child, but the Report recommends that the rules about single people being placed with a child only in special circumstances should be removed.

Adoption information vetoes

Adoption information vetoes prevent the release of identifying information to another party to the adoption. The Report recommends that adoption information vetoes be abolished and phased out over 5 years and that contact vetoes are not introduced. 

If this recommendation is acted on, this would mean that people who previously had a veto in place cannot replace it after it expires.  It would also mean that people who were previously unable to get their adoption information because of a veto, will be able to eventually get that information.

Adoption of adults

The Adoption Act does not currently provide for adult adoptions.  The Review Report recommends that adoption of adults should be allowed. This would mean that adults may be adopted by people who brought them up for most of their childhood, like foster parents and step-parents.

Keeping a child’s original first name

The Report recommends that when a child is adopted, the court that makes the adoption order should ensure that the child’s original first name is kept except in exceptional circumstances.

Birth certificates

The Report recommends that an adopted child’s birth certificate should provide the truest possible account of the biological parentage of the child.

If this recommendation is acted on, it would mean that in most cases an adopted child’s birth registration details will include both their birth parents and their adoptive parents.  Any certificates issued would ensure that it is clear that the adoptive parents are the legal parents of the child.

Discharge of adoption orders

The Report recommends that a law is introduced to enable a Court to discharge (undo) an adoption order in certain circumstances, such as where the adopted person has been abused in their adoptive family.

Support services

Some people may be concerned or distressed by these recommended changes.

If you need additional support and information about this, please contact the following services:

Adoption Team – Families SA

Phone: (08) 8463 3666


Post Adoption Support Services – Relationships Australia SA (RASA)

Phone: (08) 8245 8100

After hours, you can contact Lifeline’s 24-hour telephone counselling service on 131 114.

The Review Report

The Review report by Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan is available here (PDF, 1.8MB) and on the DECD website.

For queries relating to the review contact:

Adoption Act Review Office

Phone: (08) 8226 6840