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Are there court proceedings for the adoption of your child ?

Legal Aid NSW can help you

What is adoption?


Adoption is a legal process that permanently hands over all the rights and responsibilities that a parent has from the parents who gave birth to the child to someone else—the adoptive parents.

Are there court proceedings to adopt your child?

Have Family and Community Services, or another agency that provides care for your children, told you that they have applied to court for an adoption order? If so, you may:

  • want to know what rights and options you have  
  • be worried about the contact you will have with your children after they are adopted, or  
  • not want the adoption to happen.  

How can Legal Aid NSW help you?


We can help you to understand how the law works and what will happen if your child is adopted, so you can decide if you want to oppose the adoption. If you don’t want the adoption to happen, you can oppose it by becoming a party to the court proceedings. We can talk to you about your options,  and, depending on your case, we may be able to represent you.

We can talk to you about what your options are if you don’t want to oppose the adoption, but you:

  • want more contact with your child, or  
  • want to make sure the contact you’ve been promised takes place after the adoption.  

You may need to act quickly


If you have received a letter saying that court proceedings have been started to adopt your child and you want to oppose the adoption, you need to act quickly. You have 14 days from the date you get the notice to lodge a form called a Notice of Appearance with the court to oppose the adoption.  We can help you complete that form.

How to contact us


Call the Legal Aid NSW Early Intervention Unit on 1800 551 589

August 2016