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Applicants may apply to either an approved agency or the DHHS to adopt a local child. Applicants for intercountry adoption must apply to the DHHS. The Regulations prescribe the application and assessment fees. Applicants are not to be accepted for assessment unless they satisfy the Secretary or the principal officer of an approved agency that they fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • that in the case of joint applicants they are husband and wife, or are parties to a registered significant relationship or are residing together in a stable continuous relationship (i.e. the applicants do not have to be married at the time of their initial assessment but are required to be married prior to the making of the adoption order);
  • that each applicant is resident in Tasmania and each is a permanent resident of Australia;
  • that each applicant is an Australian citizen; or in the case of joint applicants, that one of the applicants is an Australian citizen;
  • that each applicant is in good physical and mental health and it is reasonable to expect that health will be maintained;
  • that each applicant has not been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a criminal conviction within a period of 5 years preceding the application;
  • that each applicant has not been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more at any time;
  • that each applicant has not been convicted of any offence against a child;
  • that each applicant is not undertaking a treatment for infertility;
  • that a female applicant is not pregnant (Reg 15).

Once an application is accepted, the applicants will then be assessed to determine their suitability. This will involve medical evidence and interviews, and detailed discussions with social workers and/or other Department officers. Only the Secretary or the principal officer of an approved agency can approve applications for adoption. An approval is valid for three years with provision for three extensions of up to two years per extension (Reg 22).

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