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Adoption and Permanent Care finds families for infants and children who cannot live with their birth families. Adoption is when a parent voluntarily relinquishes or gives up all their legal rights and responsibilities in relation to their child, and an Adoption Order is made by a court. Permanent care is for children who for various reasons cannot live with their birth families and who are under the care of Child Protection.


It is important for children who cannot live with their birth parents to grow up in a secure and stable family environment, where they can remain and don’t have to move around from one placement to another.

Children in Adoption and Permanent Care will have two families – their birth family and the permanent care family whom they live with. Children can still have ongoing contact with their birth family once they are placed with an Adoptive or Permanent Care Family. The type of contact varies and depends on what is in a child’s best interest.

Adoption and birth families

We provide options counselling for birth parents considering adoption for their child.

There are several legal conditions and timeframes that birth parents must fulfil before a child can be placed with an adoptive family. Once this happens, we then place the infant/child with an adoptive family who best meets the wishes expressed by the birth parent and based on the needs of the child. A birth parent can also have an active role in choosing the family for their child, the Principal Officer or Deputy Principal Officer, as per the Adoption Act 1984 has the final decision regarding which family is able to best meet the infant/child’s needs.

Permanent care

• We receive referrals from Child Protection to locate and place children with permanent care families.
• We do extensive assessments about the child/ren and their needs to ensure the best possible match with permanent care families.
• The Cafs Applicant and Review Panel decide which permanent care family is the best match to a child/ren.

You will be consulted and in control of the choices and decisions available to you in the service. You will receive a copy of any assessments and plans we make with you. We can also provide information and swift, supported referral to other complimentary services that may be able to help you.

Who can be accepted into the service?


An infant/child can only be adopted by:

  • Two persons who have been in a domestic relationship for 2 or more years.
  • A single person only where there are special circumstances in relation to the child.
  • Residents in Victoria.

Permanent care

Permanent carers can come from many different backgrounds such as:

  • Families, couples, single people, same sex couples
  • All cultural and religious backgrounds

Adoption and permanent care applicants also need to meet legislative and statewide guidelines regarding health ‘needing to be fit and able to care for a child until they are independent’, clear national and international police checks, be able to obtain a Working with Children Check, be an Australian citizen or resident, with an intention to remain in Australia.

How do I become a permanent carer?

If you would like to become a permanent carer, please contact Cafs on 5337 3333 to register your interest to attend an information session. New carer information sessions and education groups for Adoption and Permanent Care occur at least twice a year, however, you can speak to a Cafs team member at any time.

Is there a cost involved?

This service is free, however, for adoption, you will be required to cover the costs of your nominated legal representative to assist in the application for an Adoption Order.

Can you assist me if I have any problems applying?

We try to be flexible where possible to assist you if you are having issues with completing the requirements to participate in the program and you are welcome to contact a Cafs team member to discuss your situation and see if we can assist you in resolving any issues.

You are also very welcome to bring an advocate (a support person) with you to book in or participate in the service. We will use interpreters as necessary or at your request. Please let us know if there are any other special considerations we need to know about.

Make an enquiry via the below form.

Applicant 1 - Step 1 of 2

For any further questions or information contact adoppermcare@cafs.org.au 

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