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Federal government proposes changes to some foreign adoption requirements

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  • Evan Kalaitzis
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  • January 28, 2015

Federal government proposes changes to some foreign adoption requirements

On the 29th of May 2014, the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Intercountry Adoption) Bill 2014 (Cth) was introduced before the House of Representative. This bill looks to amend sections 19B and 19C of the Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) by changing the requirements for the adoption of children outside Australia.

Speaking before Parliament, Prime Minister Tony Abbott noted that:

The purpose of this bill is to facilitate the grant of Australian citizenship to children adopted by Australian citizens under bilateral adoption arrangements between Australia and countries that are not party to the Hague convention on intercountry adoption.

In effect, this bill intends to ease procedural requirements in that it removes the requirement that children adopted by Australian citizens, from countries that are not signatories to the Hague adoption convention, need to provide a passport from their country of birth and then apply for an Australian adoption visa before being granted Australian citizenship. Instead, the bill proposes that if a child is adopted from a country which Australia has a bilateral adoption agreement with, then the child is granted citizenship upon finalisation of the adoption.

It is important to note that this bill does not change the matters to be considered when overseas adoption applications are decided, but instead allows the child, once adopted, to travel to Australia as an Australian citizen.

The bill passed the House of Representatives on the 22nd of September 2014, and is currently before the Senate.

Further Resources:

Australian Parliament Bills Digests:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd008

Full text of Bill and Second Reading Speech:

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fbillhome%2Fr5254%22

Full text of the Hague Adoption Convention:

http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.text&cid=69