You are using a version of the website built for webcrawlers and people whose devices cannot use javascript. Some functionality may not be available.
Contents (2000 - 75)
Skip contents
Adoption Act 2000 No 75
Current version for 27 June 2017 to date (accessed 22 September 2017 at 18:06)
Chapter 8 Part 2
Part 2 Access to birth certificates and other information
Division 1 Access entitlements (adoptions after 2008 changes)
133B   Application of Division
This Division applies in respect of an adoption given effect to by an adoption order made on or after the commencement of this Division as a consequence of an application for an adoption order made on or after the commencement of this Division.
Note.
 Changes to access entitlements were made by the Adoption Amendment Act 2008 (which inserted this Division into this Act). For access entitlements in relation to adoptions before those changes, see Division 2.
133C   Adopted person’s rights
(1)  An adopted person is entitled to receive (subject to this Act):
(a)  the person’s original birth certificate, and
(b)  his or her adopted person’s birth record, and
(c)  any prescribed information relating to the adopted person held by an information source (including prescribed information relating to the adopted person’s birth parents, siblings and adopted brothers and sisters).
(2)  Despite subsection (1) (a), an intercountry adopted person is entitled to receive his or her original birth certificate only if such a certificate is held by an information source.
(3)  An adopted person who is less than 18 years of age is not entitled to receive his or her original birth certificate or adopted person’s birth record, or prescribed information, except with the consent of:
(a)  his or her surviving adoptive parents, or
(b)  the Secretary if there are no surviving adoptive parents or if they cannot be found or if there is, in the opinion of the Secretary, any other sufficient reason to dispense with their consent.
133D   Adoptive parent’s rights
(1)  An adoptive parent of an adopted person is entitled to receive (subject to this Act):
(a)  the adopted person’s original birth certificate, and
(b)  the adopted person’s birth record, and
(c)  any prescribed information relating to the adopted person held by an information source.
(2)  Despite subsection (1) (a), the adoptive parents of an intercountry adopted person are entitled to receive the adopted person’s original birth certificate only if such a certificate is held by an information source.
133E   Birth parent’s rights
(1)  A birth parent of an adopted person is entitled to receive (subject to this Act):
(a)  the amended birth certificate of the adopted person if a record of the adoption of the person is registered under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995, and
(b)  the adopted person’s birth record, and
(c)  any prescribed information relating to the adopted person or adoptive parents held by an information source.
(2)  A birth parent of an adopted person who is less than 18 years of age is not entitled to receive any adoption information held by an information source unless the birth parent produces to the information source an authority authorising the information source to supply the adoption information issued by the Secretary.
(3)  The Secretary may issue, or refuse to issue, an authority to supply adoption information to the birth parent of an adopted person who is less than 18 years of age.
(4)  The Secretary may refuse to issue the authority only if, in the opinion of the Secretary, it would pose a risk to the safety, welfare or well-being of the adopted child or adoptive parents.
(5)  The Secretary is required to comply with any guidelines prescribed by the regulations in determining whether the supply of information poses a risk to the safety, welfare or well-being of an adopted child or adoptive parents.
(6)  The Secretary may issue an authority to supply adoption information under this section subject to conditions.
(7)  An information source must not supply any adoption information that is the subject of such an authority in contravention of any such conditions imposed by the Secretary.
(8)  In this section, a reference to a birth parent of an adopted person includes a reference to a presumptive father of an adopted person.
133F   Discretion to supply other information to birth parents
(1)  A designated person may supply a birth parent with prescribed information held by an information source about an adopted person who is less than 18 years of age without production of the amended birth certificate of the adopted person or authority to supply the adoption information if, in the opinion of the designated person, the information could not be used to identify the adopted person or his or her adoptive parents.
(2)  A birth parent of an adopted person may request the Secretary or a principal officer to take such action as is reasonable in the circumstances to ascertain from the adopted person’s adoptive parents information of a kind prescribed by the regulations as to the current physical and emotional well-being of the adopted person.
(3)  A birth parent of an adopted person is entitled to receive from the Secretary (or from an information source authorised to supply the information) any information obtained in response to a request made under this section:
(a)  that the Secretary considers does not identify, or could not be used to identify, the adoptive parents, and
(b)  if, in the opinion of the Secretary, it would promote the welfare and best interests of any of the parties concerned.
(4)  In this section, a reference to a birth parent of an adopted person includes a reference to a presumptive father of an adopted person.
133G   Non-adopted sibling’s rights
(1)  A non-adopted sibling of an adopted person is entitled to receive (subject to this Act) any prescribed information relating to the adopted person.
(2)  A non-adopted sibling who is less than 18 years of age is not entitled to receive any prescribed information relating to an adopted person except with the consent of:
(a)  the surviving parents of the non-adopted sibling, or
(b)  the Secretary, if there are no surviving parents or if they cannot be found or if there is, in the opinion of the Secretary, any other sufficient reason to dispense with their consent.
(3)  A non-adopted sibling of an adopted person who is less than 18 years of age is not entitled to receive any prescribed information held by an information source relating to the adopted person unless the non-adopted sibling produces to the information source an authority authorising the information source to supply the prescribed information issued by the Secretary.
(4)  The Secretary may issue, or refuse to issue, an authority to supply adoption information to a non-adopted sibling of an adopted person who is less than 18 years of age.
(5)  The Secretary may refuse to issue the authority only if, in the opinion of the Secretary, it would pose a risk to the safety, welfare or well-being of the adopted child or adoptive parents.
(6)  The Secretary is required to comply with any guidelines prescribed by the regulations in determining whether the supply of information poses a risk to the safety, welfare or well-being of an adopted child or adoptive parents.
(7)  The Secretary may issue an authority to supply adoption information under this section subject to conditions.
(8)  An information source must not supply any adoption information that is the subject of such an authority in contravention of any such conditions imposed by the Secretary.
(9)  In this section, a non-adopted sibling of an adopted person means a sibling of an adopted person who is not himself or herself an adopted person.
Division 2 Continuation of former access entitlements (adoptions before 2008 changes)
133H   Application of Division
This Division does not apply to adoptions to which Division 1 applies.
134   Adopted person’s rights
(cf AI Act s 6)
(1)  An adopted person is entitled to receive (subject to this Act):
(a)  the person’s original birth certificate, and
(b)  the person’s adopted person’s birth record, and
(c)  any prescribed information relating to the person’s birth parents held by an information source, and
(d)  any prescribed information relating to a sibling or an adopted brother or sister of the person held by an information source.
(2)  Despite subsection (1) (a), an intercountry adopted person is entitled to receive his or her original birth certificate only if such a certificate is held by an information source.
(3)  An adopted person who is less than 18 years of age is not entitled to receive his or her original birth certificate, adopted person’s birth record or prescribed information except with the consent of:
(a)  his or her surviving adoptive parents and surviving birth parents (as shown on the original birth certificate or adopted person’s birth record), or
(b)  the Secretary if there are no surviving adoptive parents or birth parents (as so shown) or if they cannot be found or if there is, in the opinion of the Secretary, any other sufficient reason to dispense with their consent.
(4)  An adopted person is not entitled to receive any prescribed information held by an information source unless the adopted person produces to the information source an authority authorising the information source to supply the prescribed information issued by the Secretary.
135   Adoptive parent’s rights
(cf AI Act s 7)
(1)  An adoptive parent of an adopted person is entitled to receive (subject to this Act):
(a)  the adopted person’s original birth certificate, and
(b)  the adopted person’s adopted person’s birth record, and
(c)  any prescribed information relating to the adopted person held by an information source.
(2)  Despite subsection (1) (a), the adoptive parents of an intercountry adopted person are entitled to receive the adopted person’s original birth certificate only if such a certificate is held by an information source.
(3)  The adoptive parent is not entitled to receive the original birth certificate or adopted person’s birth record unless the adopted person is 18 or more years old and consents to the adoptive parent receiving it.
136   Birth parent’s rights
(cf AI Act s 8)
(1)  A birth parent of an adopted person who is 18 or more years of age is entitled to receive (subject to this Act):
(a)  the amended birth certificate of the adopted person if a record of the adoption of the person is registered under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995, and
(b)  the adopted person’s birth record, and
(c)  any prescribed information relating to the adopted person or the adoptive parents held by an information source.
(2)    (Repealed)
(3)  A birth parent is not entitled to receive any prescribed information held by an information source unless the birth parent produces to the information source an authority authorising the information source to supply the prescribed information issued by the Secretary, except as provided by subsection (6).
(4)  A designated person may supply a birth parent with prescribed information held by an information source about an adopted child who is less than 18 years of age without production of the amended birth certificate of the adopted person or authority to supply the adoption information if, in the opinion of the designated person, the information could not be used to identify the adopted person or his or her adoptive parents.
(5)  A birth parent of an adopted person may request the Secretary or a principal officer to take such action as is reasonable in the circumstances to ascertain from the child’s adoptive parents information of a kind prescribed by the regulations as to the current physical and emotional well-being of the child.
(6)  A birth parent of an adopted person is entitled to receive from the Secretary (or from an information source authorised to supply the information) any information obtained in response to a request made under subsection (5):
(a)  that the Secretary considers does not identify, or could not be used to identify, the adoptive parents, and
(b)  if, in the opinion of the Secretary, it would promote the welfare and best interests of either or both of the parties concerned.
(7)  In this section, a reference to a birth parent of an adopted person includes a reference to a presumptive father of an adopted person.
Note.
 Designated person is defined in the Dictionary.
136A   Discretion to withhold supply or to supply subject to conditions
(cf AI Act s 12A)
(1)  The following persons may request the Secretary to act under this section:
(a)  an adopted person who is 18 or more years old,
(b)  a birth parent,
(c)  an adoptive parent of a person who is less than 18 years of age,
(d)  an adoptive parent of a person who is 18 or more years of age and who has consented to the request being made.
(2)  The Secretary may, at the request of a person referred to in subsection (1):
(a)  refuse to issue an authority authorising an information source to supply adoption information to which an entitlement arises under this Division, or
(b)  supply such information subject to conditions specified in writing by the Secretary.
(3)  The Secretary may refuse to issue an authority to supply adoption information under this section only if, in the opinion of the Secretary, exceptional circumstances exist that make it necessary to do so to prevent serious harm to a party concerned.
(4)  Conditions that may be imposed by the Secretary under this section include conditions requiring the person entitled to the adoption information to undergo counselling by a person specified by the Secretary before the adoption information is supplied.
(5)  The Secretary must deal with a request under this section in accordance with any guidelines prescribed by the regulations.
(6)  An information source must not supply any adoption information that is the subject of an authority to supply adoption information imposing conditions on its supply unless the conditions are complied with.
(7)  The Secretary cannot delegate his or her functions under this section to any person other than a person employed in the Department.
Division 3 Miscellaneous
137   Access to adoption information by relatives and others after death of adopted person or birth parent
(cf AI Act s 9)
(1)  The Secretary may:
(a)  supply (or authorise an information source to supply) to a relative or spouse of a deceased adopted person or of a deceased birth parent, or to another person, the original or amended birth certificate or adopted person’s birth record of the adopted person or birth parent, or
(b)  supply to a relative or spouse of a deceased adopted person or of a deceased birth parent, or to another person, prescribed information relating to the adopted person or birth parent, or
(c)  after such consultation with the Registrar or other information source concerned as the Secretary considers necessary, authorise the Registrar or other information source to supply such a birth certificate or record or such information to a person nominated by the Secretary.
(2)  The Secretary must not supply adoption information to a person other than a relative or spouse (or authorise such action to be taken by an information source) unless the person had a close personal relationship with the deceased person.
(3)  The Secretary must not supply adoption information to any person (or authorise such action to be taken by an information source) unless the Secretary has taken into account any likely detriment to the welfare and best interests of any adopted person, birth parent, relative or spouse of the deceased person or the other person if the adoption information is supplied.
(4)  An information source so authorised by the Secretary to supply adoption information must supply that adoption information to the person nominated by the Secretary.
(5)  This section does not apply to prescribed information held by the Court.
(5A)  This section does not limit the entitlements of a non-adopted sibling of an adopted person under Division 1.
(6)    (Repealed)
138   Application for supply of adoption information
(cf AI Act s 10)
(1)  An application for authority to supply adoption information under this Part is to be made in writing to the Secretary, except as provided by this section.
(2)  An application for the supply of an original birth certificate under this Part may be made in writing:
(a)  if the person’s birth is registered under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995—to the Registrar, or
(b)  if the person’s birth is not so registered but his or her original birth certificate is held by an information source—to that information source,
if the certificate is held by the Registrar or the information source.
(3)  An application for the supply of an adopted person’s birth record or an amended birth certificate under this Part may be made to the Registrar if the birth record or certificate is held by the Registrar.
(4)  An application for the supply of prescribed information held by an information source is to be made in writing to the information source.
(5)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the making of applications under this Part.
139   Persons designated to deal with applications
(cf AI Act s 11)
(1)  An application for the supply of adoption information under this Part is to be dealt with by the designated person.
(2)  The designated person is required to supply the adoption information if satisfied that the applicant is entitled under this Act to receive it.
(3)  This section does not apply to the Court.
Note.
 Designated person is defined in the Dictionary.
140   Discretion to supply adoption information
(cf AI Act s 12)
(1)  The Secretary may supply (or authorise an information source to supply) adoption information before an entitlement to it arises under this Part if, in the opinion of the Secretary, it would promote the welfare and best interests of either or both of the parties concerned.
(2)  The Secretary may act under subsection (1) in any case in which an entitlement to prescribed information has not arisen because of the failure to obtain a birth certificate, adopted person’s birth record or authority to supply adoption information under this Part.
(3)  The Secretary may supply (or authorise an information source to supply) adoption information or other information to any person who is not entitled under this Part to receive adoption information or other information under this Part if, in the opinion of the Secretary, it is reasonable to do so.
141   (Repealed)
142   Guidelines for release of prescribed information etc
(cf AI Act s 13)
An information source that supplies any adoption information pursuant to an application under this Act is required to comply with any relevant guidelines prescribed by the regulations.
143   Access to court records
(cf AI Act s 14)
(1)  A person is not entitled to receive prescribed information under this Act from records of proceedings in the Court relating to the adoption of a person, except as provided by this section.
(2)  A person may apply to the Court for the supply of the information.
(3)  The Court or a proper officer of the Court may supply the information to the person.
(4)  Rules of court may be made for or with respect to orders under this section.
143A   Application of State Records Act 1998
(1)  This Part has effect despite the provisions of the State Records Act 1998.
(2)  Accordingly, the provision of information or documents in accordance with this Part does not constitute an offence under that Act.