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Adoption or foster care

If you choose to continue the pregnancy and have someone else look after the baby, adoption and foster care are available.


Adoption means you give all of the parenting rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parents.

Adoption involves signing a legal agreement for someone else to become the legal guardian of a child. Parents must wait at least 30 days after the child is born before they can sign the legal agreement.

If you choose adoption, you can keep in contact with the child by agreeing on an adoption plan with the adopting parents. A caseworker can help to form this plan. Department of Communities and Justice is the government agency that looks after adoption services in NSW. They work with birth parents considering adoption and families who wish to adopt.

All adopted children have the legal right to know about their birth family and their culture. An adoption caseworker works with the adoptive parents to form an adoption plan that outlines the agreed upon details of how contact will be maintained.

If you feel you cannot parent a child, adoption is not the only alternative. Foster care may be an option.

Foster care

Foster care is when your child is looked after by another family.

There are different types of foster care. Foster care options include:

  • Temporary Foster Care: This can be used while you sort out accommodation, financial or personal problems. During voluntary care (not ordered by the court) you remain the child’s guardian and can see your child. Temporary care is usually limited to several weeks
  • Long Term Foster Care: If your child is in long-term foster care, you will lose legal guardianship and/or custody of your child. You will still be the child’s legal parent. In long term foster care, children often become emotionally attached to their foster family

Information about adoption/foster care

The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) provides a range of adoption and foster care services. You can talk about your options for the care of your child with a qualified and experienced worker. Contact DCJ Adoption Services on 1800 003 227.

Further information about the adoption process and alternatives can be found on the DCJ website, https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/families/adoption