Over 50 years ago I gave up a child for adoption. I now have had an agency call me asking questions on behalf of my child to get back in touch. Are you able to tell me my rights and how do I know they don’t want to just come and see what money I have?

In New South Wales the rights of an adopted person and their birth parents are set out in the Adoption Act 2000. The rights of an adopted person and their birth parents have changed over the years as the societal attitudes toward adoption have changed. This means that adopter persons and birth parents are now able to obtain more detailed information in respect of each other.

What are the rights of the birth parents of an adopted person?

Under the Adoption Act birth parents of an adopted person are entitled to receive certain information in relation to the adopted person including:

– Any relevant information about the adopted person that will give the birth parent knowledge of the adopted person’s life after adoption including their physical and intellectual attributes, education, social and cultural background, health and welfare, family relationships, religious beliefs, hobbies and interests.

– The date of placement for adoption and the date of the adoption order.

– A document certifying particulars of the marriage of the adopted person as well as any other document, report, photograph or recording relating to the adopted person.

Do I have to have contact with an adopted child?

No, you are not required to have contact with an adopted child. If you do not wish to be contacted by an adopted child you need to put a Contact Veto in place. Your adopted child will still be able to access certain information about you but they will sign an undertaking agreeing that they will not make contact with you.

In the event that you change your mind about having contact it is possible to have the Contact Veto removed.

Can an adopted child make a claim on my money?

No. An adopted child does not have the legal right to make a monetary claim on their birth parent. This is because when an adoption order, is made by the Court, it gives sole parental responsibility to the adopted parents. This means that the adopted child ceases to be regarded at law as the child of the birth parents. This is reflected in the New South Wales Succession Act, which does not allow an adopted child to make a claim on the deceased estate of either of their birth parents.

What do I need to do?

If you decide that you do not want to be contacted by your adopted child you need to lodge a Contact Veto to ensure this does not occur.

If you are unsure of whether you want to have contact with your adopted child, you can lodge a Contact Veto, which can be removed by you if you decide that you do wish to have contact with your adopted child.

If you do wish to have contact with your adopted child you should speak to the agency about how this will be handled.

If you have been contacted by an agency in relation to an adopted child and you wish to understand served your legal rights and obligations as a birth parent, call for an appointment today to speak to one of our Family Law Lawyers at Barwick Boitano toon (02) 9630 0444 or email

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