• Glossary Term



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). The first adoption law to be passed in Australia was in the Colony of Western Australia in 1896, and other jurisdictions followed with their own legislation. However, adoptions did take place in Australia before adoption legislation existed. Adoptions also occurred outside of legal frameworks, these are referred to as “de facto” or “informal” adoption. Many of the organisations that ran children’s institutions were also adoption agencies, and ran institutions for pregnant single women and single mothers from which adoptions were arranged.

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