Australians adopting in Thailand
Adoptions amongst Australians are at an all-time low with more than a 74% decline over the past 25 years. During the period of 2015 there had only been a total of 292 adoptions and these has been mainly local adoptions. See the article listed below for more details.
Australians adopting in Thailand
Inter-country adoptions had been 49 Hague adoptions and 34 non-Hague adoptions. This is very low however Thai adoptions still occur with Australians. Below is a breakdown of the process.
Adoption Stats (Australia / Thailand)
For the period of 2014/15 the majority of adoptions had been from Taiwan with 30 adoptions. This was followed by the Philippines with 22 adoptions and Thailand with 13 adoptions. Half of all adoptions during this period from Hague Convention countries came from New South Wales. The top adoption States in Australia was New South Wales, Victoria and followed by Queensland. These three States made up more than 70% of Australian intercountry adoptions.
The reason for the higher adoption rates for certain countries may be reflected in the average duration of the process. According to the Australian Government report “Adoptions Australia 2014/15” the median time for the adoption process to be completed for Taiwan was 41 months, the Philippines was 65 months and Thailand was 80 months. China however takes on average 95 months (8 years).
Adoption Process for Australians
The adoptions process starts with you making the enquiry at a registered and authorised adoption services centre. The Australian government keeps a list of these organisations which you can see here. The next step is to attend the education sessions and seminars which need to be completed. Normally before you attend these, you need to have a pre-assessment of eligibility before you attend. They will look at your motivation, financial ability and your employment and housing arrangements. You will then have to make a formal request with the government agency in your area. This would be the same adoption service centre where the process started from.
Once you have done this, they will then start vetting you as an adoptive parent. The approval process may include everything from your health, police clearance and also referee checks as well as interviews with an adoption assessor (social worker or psychologist). If approved, the length of time your approval is valid depends on the state or territory you live in.
Once this has been done which is also called a ‘home study’, the documents will be forwarded to DSWD in Thailand which is the government Department of Social Welfare. Once this is done, they will reply with an offer for the child. DSWD will forward the placement proposal which includes the social and medical information about the child, for approval by the central authority in your state or territory.
Once all the formalities have been seen to and you have had an interview in Thailand with the Adoptions Board in Thailand and the adoption is approved, the child needs to get a Thai passport and you will then need to apply for an Australian Adoption visa (subclass 102) which needs to be applied for at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok.
Speak to a lawyer in Thailand for more information on the adoption process for Australia.