The question of adoption can be raised by the child, the carer, the birth family, or by the child’s caseworker. It is recommended you talk with family members to see whether they are supportive of the child becoming a permanent member of the family. Adoption is a major decision, it’s important to be sensitive to the feelings of the birth parents. Discussions with birth parents about adoption are usually initiated by the child’s caseworker. How long does it take? Adopting a child in your care in NSW can currently take from six months to three years, depending on a range of circumstances and assessment process for your family and the child in your care. How can I adopt? There are a number of accredited adoption agencies who currently provide adoption services in NSW through ‘Foster to Adopt’ programs: Barnardos Australia Adoptions ph: 02 9281 5510 Adoption of children over two years CatholicCare Adoption Services ph: 02 8709 9333 Anglicare Adoption Services ph: 02 9890 6855 However, under the new legislation, which merges the standards for Statutory Out-of-Home-Care and Adoption, streamlined processes will enable many more agencies to provide both out-of-home-care and adoption services. Community Services is the government agency responsible for the provision of adoption services in NSW. They work with birth parents who are considering adoption for their child and families who wish to adopt. Foster carers applying to adopt a child or young person in their care are required to participate in a Preparation for OOHC Adoption Seminar before they can progress to the next stage in the process. This seminar is designed to provide an understanding of the differences in parenting a child who is under the parental responsibility of the minister to parenting an adopted child, and represents an important way for carers to learn about adoption and providing a ‘safe home for life’ for the child in their care. Financial assistance Financial assistance will be provided to carers who adopt a child in their care through an annual lump sum payment of $1500, which is a means-tested support payment. Find out more. This payment can only be paid for families living in NSW. For carers considering adoption of a child with a disability, Community Services and/or Agencies will work closely with families and carers to provide support. Parents may be eligible for some Commonwealth services and financial supports for a family where a child has a disability. Further information To find out more about adopting a child in out-of-home care contact: your caseworker, or one of the NSW non-government Adoption Agencies listed above offering adoption services. Community Services Out-of-Home Care Adoption Team on (02) 9716 3006. Family & Community Services website.