Family Court of Western Australia

Applying for an adoption

This page has information on making adoption applications. The before you apply section has information on the adoption process in Western Australia. There are important steps you need to take before applying to the Court.

Child Adoption Application – Adoption Form 4

The Form 4 is to be used for Adoption applications.

The Department of Communities has resources to help you through the adoption process. Before lodging an Application for Adoption, it is important that you contact the Fostering and Adoption Services area of the Department of Communities.

You will need to submit:

  • An Adoption Application (Adoption Form 4) + Cover sheet (Adoption Form 1)

  • An Affidavit with details of:
    • Where the applicant(s) reside
    • Whether you intend to remain in WA
    • Whether the child is present in WA
    • The history of the relationship between the child and applicant(s)

  • Consent(s) of birth parents or an order to dispense with consent.

  • Adoption Plan or order to dispense with requirement of Adoption Plan.

  • Evidence of prior notice to birth parents and the Department of Communities (60 days prior to filing of the application), or an order to dispense with the requirement.

  • A report from the Department of Communities.

  • Certificates including original or certified copies of the:
    • Birth certificate of the child to be adopted
    • Marriage certificate of applicants, if applicable
    • Change of name certificate of the child to be adopted, if applicable
    • Death certificate of a parent of the child to be adopted, if applicable

General Application – Adoption Form 3

A general application is not used to apply for an adoption, but is used for other orders related to adoption applications. For example, and order that the:

  • consent of the birth parents be dispensed with, under s 24 of the Adoption Act 1994.
  • requirement to serve the birth parents be dispensed with, pursuant to s 25(2) of the Adoption Act 1994.
  • requirement for an Adoption plan be dispensed with, pursuant to s 73 of the Adoption Act 1994.
  • adoption is preferable to any other order being made under the Family Law Act.

Adoption by Step Parent

If you are the child’s step parent and the child is under 18 years of age, you may apply to the Court for a determination that an order of adoption is preferable to any other parenting order being made under the Family Law Act. Such applications are made pursuant to section 68(1)(fa) of the Adoption Act 1994.

This is a matter the Court must determine before an adoption order is made.

You will need to submit:

  • A General Adoption Application (Adoption Form 3) + Cover sheet (Adoption Form 1)
  • Adoption Form 2 (Notice of address for service)
  • An Affidavit.
  • Certificates (originals or certified copies) including:
    • Birth certificate of the child to be adopted
    • Marriage certificate of applicants (where applicable).

Adult Adoption Application – Adoption Form 4

You need to submit:

  • A Adoption Application (Adoption Form 4) + Cover sheet (Adoption Form 1)

  • An Affidavit with:
    • Details of where the applicant(s) reside
    • Details of Whether you intend to remain in WA
    • Evidence the adoptee is present in WA
    • Evidence that the applicants were carers or step parents of the adoptee prior to the adoptee attaining the age of 18yrs
    • Evidence that at least 30 days prior, notice has been given to the birth parent(s) of this application, or a order has been made dispensing with this notice.
    • Evidence that the welfare and interests of the adoptee would be promoted by the adoption.

  • An affidavit from the Department of Communities confirming the adoptee and adoptive parent(s) received information and counselling.

  • The written consent by the adoptee to the adoption

  • Certificates (originals or certified copies) including the:
    • Birth Certificate of adoptee
    • Marriage Certificate of the applicant(s) (if applicable)
    • Change of Name certificate of adoptee (if applicable)
    • Death Certificate of the natural parent of the adoptee (if applicable)

  • The Court may request a report from the Department of Communities in relation to the proposed adoption.

Overseas adoptions

Where a child has been adopted in a foreign country the adoptive parents may apply to the Family Court of WA to have the overseas adoption recognised in Western Australia. Read section 138(3) of the Adoption Act 1994.

Applying for a declaration of an overseas adoption order may require filing certificates or documents which are not written in English. Any person seeking to file a document in another language will need to complete an ‘Affidavit of Translation’ and include a translated copy of that document with their application.

You will need to file the following Court forms:

  • A General Adoption Application (Adoption Form 3) + Cover sheet (Adoption Form 1)

  • Form 2 (Notice of address for service)

  • An Affidavit, including evidence that:
    • Evidence that you were living in the country (for at least 12 months) where the adoption order was made at the time it was made.
    • That the adoption order gives the adopted parents rights, superior to those of the birth parents, in relation to all the duties and responsibilities expected of the child’s parents.
    • That the adoption order is in the child’s best interests.

  • Certificates (originals or certified copies) including:
    • Birth certificate of the child to be adopted
    • Marriage certificate of applicants (where applicable)
    • Change of name certificate for the child to be adopted (where applicable).

  • Adoption certificate showing that an adoption ordered has been made by the adoption authority of the child’s home country. You will need to supply a certified copy of the original form, along with a translation.

Last updated: 16-Apr-2018

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