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Australian Capital Territory - Legislation

Adoption Act 1993 (1993 - )

  • Adoption Act 1993

    Adoption Act 1993, courtesy of AustLII: Australasian Legal Information Institute.

Principal Act

The Adoption Act 1993 (Act no. 20/1993) provided access to information for adopted children and birth parents which had previously been restricted. It recognised the 'best interests' of the child as the primary consideration in all aspects of adoption covered by the Act. The 1993 Act, Section 1, commenced on 2 April 1993, sections 3-121 commenced on 31 July 1993.


Repealed the Adoption of Children Act 1974.

The Adoption Act 1993 was amended by Act No.64 1999, Act No.1 2004, Act No.20 2008, Act No.6 2009, and Act No.36 2009.

The Adoption Act 1993 included provisions from the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle.

In 2011, the Adoption Act 1993 was under review in light of major initiatives including the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption and the enacting of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004. Efforts are underway to ensure consistency with the Children and Young People Act 1999, the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and government policies as defined in the ACT Children's Plan and the Canberra Social Plan 2011.


Online Resources


Adoption Act 1993
Adoption Act 1993
AustLII: Australasian Legal Information Institute


Sources used to compile this entry: 'Adoption Act 1993, Bill and Explanatory Statement', ACT Government, 1993,; Report on key findings from the Review of the Adoption Act 1993, Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services ACT Government, 2007,; 'Australian Capital Territory: Provisions of the legislations', in To remove and protect: laws that changed Aboriginal lives, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2009,; Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Northern Territory Legislation', 1 February 2013, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.

Prepared by: Lydia Connell & Christine Moje