More Australians are choosing to adopt through overseas agencies, and obtain a special Australian visa for their child.
05 February 2010
Australian visa figures show increase in Australians adopting overseas
Increasing numbers of Australians are bypassing adoption laws by adopting children through international agencies while living overseas.
The latest Adoptions Australia report shows that 441 children were adopted in Australia in 2008/09, an increase of just one adoption on the previous year.
The majority of adoptees, 269, came from overseas and mostly from countries with which Australia has an inter-country adoption agreement.
But some 112 children were adopted by Australians through overseas agencies, a cheaper and faster process than using Australia’s inter-country adoption system that can take up to five years.
Children adopted through overseas agencies are granted a special Australian visa, as long as the parents have lived in their adoptive child's country for at least 12 months before returning to Australia with the child.
The number of special residency visas granted by Australian immigration in 2008/09 was up 12 per cent on the previous financial year.
Australia's inter-country adoption system is currently under review and a panel has been set up to investigate ways to speed-up the inter-country adoption process.
The system includes provisions with 14 countries, including China, India, the Philippines and Taiwan, with most of the overseas adoptions in the past year coming from China, South Korea and the Philippines.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.