26 September 2023

New birth certificates recognise adoptions

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Adopted people in NSW can now have their birth certificates include both their birth and adopted families under rule changes that came into effect this week (22 November)

Announced by the Attorney General, Mark Speakman, the new laws create integrated birth certificates (IBC) which can be issued to adopted people for the first time in NSW’s history.

“This marks the beginning of a new era in the recognition of adopted people’s history before and after adoption,” Mr Speakman said.

“The introduction of IBCs is an important step in encouraging connections between adopted children and their background and heritage.”

He said the new IBCs record the names of both birth and adoptive parents and older siblings on a single certificate.

“Their introduction follows the passage of the Adoption Legislation Amendment (Integrated Birth Certificates) Act 2020 by the NSW Parliament in September.”

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward said the Government had listened to calls for reform from the community.

“IBCs will enable adopted people to have greater control over their own story, history and identity, and we’re proud to take this significant step forward,” Mr Ward said.

“Open adoption is a critical component of the work we’re doing to provide permanent, safe and loving homes for children in out-of-home care, and the introduction of IBCs reinforces NSW’s nation-leading approach to open adoption.”

The Ministers said consultation had been undertaken with the community and organisations that rely on the documents for identification purposes to ensure a smooth transition.

They said there would be no additional cost for an IBC at the time of adoption.

“A person who is issued a post-adoptive birth certificate with an IBC will only be required to pay the fee for one certificate,” the Ministers said.

“IBCs are also available for adoptions that occurred prior to 16 November 2020.”

Information about the application process and other issues can be accessed at this PS News link.

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