Adopt a child
With Wesley Dalmar
We believe all children deserve a loving and safe place to call home. Wesley Dalmar operates in NSW to give children most in need a permanent new home with caring parents who will love and support them for the rest of their lives.
Through the adoption process, children are permanently and legally re-assigned to a new family, where they gain the same status as any other biological child within the adoptive family.
How does the adoption process work?
If you’d like to adopt a child, know you’ll be making a positive difference in that young person’s life.
Children who are being considered for adoption are currently in foster care and under the guardianship of the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services.
If you’re contemplating adopting a child, you’ll go through an approval process to ensure you’re an appropriate guardian for a child.
If you wish to be considered as a prospective adoptive parent, Wesley Dalmar offers a dual authorisation process where your suitability is assessed against the criteria for foster carers and adoptive parents.
This process will equip you with the expectations and requirements of what it means to be a foster carer and an adoptive parent. It also provides us with helpful insights when choosing a child to become part of your family.
If you’re approved during this process and you’re not already caring for the child as a foster carer, the child will be placed with you. Wesley Dalmar caseworkers will regularly review how the child is settling into your home, assess their ongoing needs and provide you with the support needed to enable a smooth transition.
When an adoption is approved, an adoption order transfers all parental responsibilities from the Minister to the adoptive parents. This is a very exciting day for a family! The child is issued a new birth certificate with their adoptive parents’ names listed.
What is Open Adoption?
We’re committed to providing children the opportunity to have a relationship with their birth family. For children in foster care who are unable to return to family or live with relatives, Open Adoption gives a child and their birth family opportunities to preserve, build and maintain meaningful connections.
Open Adoption provides opportunities for the child to:
- understand and value their background
- develop and maintain relationships with their birth family
- develop a strong sense of identity
- feel a sense of security within their adoptive family, and
- feel free to love both families, without a sense of being torn or having ‘split-loyalties’.
Open Adoption is a lifelong commitment to the child and provides them with a sense of stability and permanency that is formalised through an adoption court order.
At Wesley Dalmar, you’ll be given the opportunity to be ‘dually authorised’ as both a foster carer and prospective adoptive parent.
Prospective adoptive parents must accept that adopted children have more than one set of parents and place value on continued contact and information sharing, both before and after an adoption order.
What's the difference between Open Adoption and permanent foster care?
Permanent foster care is for children who cannot live with their birth families and need another family to care for them until their birth family circumstances change or they turn 18.
Children in permanent care often have complex physical and/or emotional needs. We ensure carers are supported to meet these children’s needs and make important decisions about each child. Children in long-term care retain contact with their birth families.
Adoption is a permanent arrangement that is made by the court if it’s in the best interests of the child and there is adequate evidence that the carer can meet the child’s needs throughout their lifetime without our support.
The child is issued a new birth certificate with their adoptive parents’ names listed. After adoption, the child will still have contact with their birth family and an important role of adoptive parents is to encourage contact with the birth family.
What is our adoption criteria?
Discover if you’re eligible to adopt
Are you considering adopting a child? Our self-screening checklist below can help you identify whether you meet our criteria to adopt a child with Wesley Dalmar out-of-home care service.
Do you meet the following requirements?
- A resident or call New South Wales your permanent home.
- Have a good reputation and are fit and ready to fulfil the responsibilities of being a parent.
- Over 21 and 18 or more years older than the child you’re adopting. However, the court might consider your adoption even if you or both applicants don’t fulfil the age requirements in accordance with Section 28 (3) (b) of the Adoption Act 2000.
- If you’re applying as a couple, you need to be living together continuously for more than two years before you apply.
- If you’re applying solely while living with your spouse, you need to have their consent before you apply.
- Willing to undergo all relevant suitability checks conducted under the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and Section 58 of the Adoption Act 2000, as well as anyone else who’s living on the same property as you.
- No other current adoption applications with other accredited adoption agencies.
- No previous cancelled carer registrations on the basis that they were improperly obtained.
- No child has been removed from your care and become the subject of an order made under child protection legislation.
- No conviction of an offence involving children (being investigated or sustained in the past).
- No involvement with a fertility program or considering treatments in the future.
- Not in a same sex couple.
- Fostering a child or willing to, while being considered to adopt a child.
- Aware you can’t take on any additional foster care placements (including new respite or emergency placements) while you’re exploring adopting a child.
- Understand that following an adoption order the child or young person has the same rights and responsibilities as any other child in the adoptive family:
- an automatic right to inheritance just like any other child or young person in the adoptive family
- adoptive parents will be able to make all decisions about the child’s upbringing
- the child no longer has Parental Responsibility to the Minister or involvement with Wesley Dalmar.
- Understand the benefits of openness in adoption and willing to engage with the child(s) birth parents, siblings and extended family and help them to understand who they are and why they have some of their physical characteristics, interests and talents.
- Understand an adoption plan will be in place following an adoption order that will outline the agreed post adoption contact between birth family, child, carers and how their culture and identity will be supported.
- Aware that a means tested post adoption allowance is available to those who fit the criteria, or a one-off Adoption Transition Support Payment of $3,000 and an annual $1,500 Adoption payment on or close to 1st December following the start of adoption.
- Aware that at any time identifying and non-identifying information can be accessed by the birth family (birth siblings under 18 years of age can apply for information with parental permission). If identifying information is requested, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the agency in collaboration with the applicant and the information will not be provided if there’s deemed significant risk.
- Understand that once the adopted child is over 18, birth parents and siblings have an automatic right to gain identifying information about you and the adoptee.
- Aware that an adoption order is made by the Supreme Court, who will be provided with the documentation and information the agency gathers about you as a prospective adoptive parent. Legislation also requires background checks such as health, housing, identity, Working With Children Check, criminal record and personal references.