Skip to content Learn about the access keys available for Aristotle Open Metadata Registry

Definition

The Adoptions Australia collection contains data relating to two populations of children, those subject to:

  • Finalisations- children who were the subject of a finalised adoption order during the reporting period. This includes orders that were made in Australia and in the case of some intercountry adoptions, where the full adoption order was made in the country of origin.
  • Placements- children, regardless of the status of their adoption order, who were placed with their adoptive family during the reporting period. 'Placed with their adoptive families' refers to when the child enters the home.

Adoption is the legal process by which a person legally becomes a child of the adoptive parent(s) and legally ceases to be a child of his/her existing parent(s). Adopted children include people aged 18+ years. The Adoptions data set specification (DDS) describes data collected from state/territory departments responsible of adoptions within the specified reporting period.

The DSS excludes adoptions by Australian citizens or permanent residents who have lived overseas for 12 months or more and have adopted a child through an overseas agency or government authority. This type of intercountry adoption falls outside the jurisdiction of the Australian state and territory departments responsible for adoption.

For local and intercountry adoptions, children are placed with their adoptive families before their adoption order is finalised. Some children placed for adoption during the reporting period may not have their adoption finalised until a following year. In addition, some adoption orders finalised in the reporting period may relate to children who were placed in previous years.For local and intercountry adoptions, children are placed with their adoptive families before their adoption order is finalised. Some children placed for adoption during the reporting period may not have their adoption finalised until a following year. In addition, some adoption orders finalised in the reporting period may relate to children who were placed in previous years.

Metadata items in this Data Set Specification

Below is a list of all the components within this Dataset Specification.
Each entry includes the item name, whether the item is optional, mandatory or conditional and the maximum times the item can occur in a dataset.
If the items must occur in a particular order in the dataset, the sequence number is included before the item name.


Data Elements

Reference Data Element Data Type Length Inclusion #
Adoption—access arrangement type, code N
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on adoption being a 'local' adoption.
Number 1 optional 1
Adoption—adoption consent, code N
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on adoption type being a 'local' adoption.
- - optional 1
Adoption—adoption organisation sector, code N
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on adoption type being a 'local' adoption.
Number 1 conditional 1
Adoption—application for information type, code N - - optional 1
Adoption—application identifier, code N[N] - - optional 3
Adoption—number of children adopted as part of a sibling group, total N[N]
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on adoption type being a 'local' or an 'intercountry' adoption.
- - conditional 1
Adoption—relationship of person who lodged an application, code N[N] - - optional 1
Adoption—veto type, code N - - optional 1
Adoptive family—sibling composition, type code N - - optional 1
Birth mother—marital status, code N
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on adoption type being a 'local' adoption.
Number 1 conditional 1
Person—adoption order type, intercountry adoption code N
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on adoption type being an 'intercountry' adoption.
Number 1 conditional 1
Person—adoption type, code N[N] - - optional 1
Person—age, total years N[NN]
Specific Information:

Age in years is collected up to five times: once for the adopted child subject to a finalised adoption; once for the adopted child subject to placement; once for the birth mother; once for the adoptive parent(s); and, once for the adult adopted person (aged 18 years or older) if they lodge an application for information. If age is unknown, use code 999 (unknown/not stated).

When collecting for the adopted child, the age for the child of a 'known' adoption is counted at the date the adoption order was granted. For a local or intercountry adoption, the age of the child is counted at the date of placement with the adopted parent(s).

When collecting for the birth mother, age is at the birth of the child. Ages 48 and above are grouped in the 48+ category.

When collecting for the adoptive parent(s), the age of both the adopted mother and adopted father should be collected if relevant (some adoptions may be by single parents or same sex-couples). The age of the adoptive parent(s) is the age completed in years and is counted at the date of placement of the child. Ages of parent(s) are grouped in the following age ranges: Less than 25; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54, 55+.

When collecting for an adult person who lodged an application for information, age is at the time of application. Ages are grouped in the following age ranges: 18-19; 20-24; 25-34; 35-44; 45+.

Number 3 optional 4
Person—Indigenous status, code N
Specific Information:

Indigenous status is collected up to three times: once for the adopted child subject to finalised adoption; once for the adoptive parent(s) of indigenous children; and, once for the adult adopted person (aged 18 years or older) if they lodge an application for information. If the adoptive parent is either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or both, they are recorded as Indigenous. Where only one adoptive parent is Indigenous, the adoptive parents should be coded as Indigenous. Where a person's Indigenous status is unknown, that person should be included in the category 'Other Australian' (neither Aboriginal nor Torres Strait Islander origin).

Number 1 optional 3
Person—intercountry adoption living arrangement status post arrival, code N
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on adoption type being an 'intercountry' adoption.
- - conditional 1
Person—pre-adoption relationship to adoptive parents, code N
Conditional Inclusion:
Conditional on adoption type being a 'known' adoption.
- - conditional 1
Person—sex, code N
Specific Information:
Sex is collected up to three times: once for the adopted child subject to a finalised adoption; once for the adoptive parent(s); and, once for the adult adopted person (aged 18 years or older) if they lodge an application for information. When collecting for the adopted child or adoptive parents use code 9 (not stated/inadequately described) if sex is unknown. Note that when collecting for the adoptive parents, some children may be adopted by single parents or same-sex couples.
Number 1 optional 3

Comments

Guide for use:

Adoption categories

Intercountry adoptions—adoptions of children from countries other than Australia who are legally able to be placed for adoption, but who generally have had no previous contact or relationship with the adoptive parents. Expatriate adoptions are not included in this category of adoption.
Local adoptions—adoptions of children who were born or permanently residing in Australia before the adoption, who are legally able to be placed for adoption, but who generally have had no previous contact or relationship with the adoptive parents.
‘Known’ child adoptions—adoptions of children who were born or permanently residing in Australia before the adoption, who have a pre-existing relationship with the adoptive parent(s) and who are generally not able to be adopted by anyone other than the adoptive parent(s). Known child adoptions include adoptions by step-parents, other relatives and. Intercountry known adoptions are not included in this category of adoption.

Hague/non-Hague countries

An adopted child's country of origin is categorised as either a 'Hague' or a 'non-Hague' country. A Hague intercountry adoption is where the adoptive child's country of origin has ratified or acceded to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, and the applicant(s) file was sent after the Convention entered into force in that country. By ratifying or acceding to the Hague Convention a country is legally bound to apply the Convention.

In some cases, the categorisation of a country as either 'Hague' or 'non-Hague' may vary at different stages of the overseas adoption process (for example, a country may have signed but not yet ratified or acceded to the Hague Convention when an applicant's file is sent to that country, but by the time the adopted child enters Australia and is placed with their adoptive parent(s), the country may have ratified or acceded to the Convention and the Convention has come into force). By signing the Hague Convention a country expresses, in principle, its intention to become a party to the Convention. However, signature does not, in any way, oblige a country to take further action (towards ratification or not). A country is party to the Hague Convention if it has ratified or acceded to the Convention - this involves the legal obligation for the country to apply the Convention.

The lists of 'Hague' countries, (ie. countries that ratified or acceded to the Hague Convention) can be found here. The listed date the Convention came into effect can be used to determine which countries had ratified the Convention before the end of the reporting period for the Adoptions DSS 2011-13 (i.e. 30 June 2013).

Comments:
For local and intercountry adoptions, children are placed with their adoptive families before their adoption order is finalised. Some children placed for adoption during the reporting period may not have their adoption finalised until a following year. In addition, some adoption orders finalised in the reporting period may relate to children who were placed in previous years.

References

Related content

Relation Count
As a numerator in an Indicator 0
As a denominator in an Indicator 0
As a disaggregation in an Indicator 0