In Victoria, adoption is governed by the:
• Adoption Act 1984 (Vic) (“Adoption Act”);
• Adoption Regulations 2019 (Vic) (“Adoption Regulations”);
• Adoption (Intercountry Fees) Regulations 2012 (Vic); Supreme Court (Adoption) Rules 2015 (Vic) (“Adoption Rules”) – Chapter IV: Rules of the Supreme Court.
In Victoria, while the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to make adoption orders (s 6 Adoption Act), most adoption hearings are heard in the County Court.
In the administration of the Adoption Act, the “welfare and interests of the child” are regarded as the “paramount consideration” (s 9 Adoption Act).
Note that the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) has conducted an inquiry into the modernisation of the Adoption Act. The final report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament in June 2017. For more information, see the VLRC’s website (www.lawreform.vic.gov.au/all-projects/adoption-act).