How do I adopt a child from Taiwan or South Korea?

How do I adopt a child from Taiwan or South Korea?

In this video, Page Provan Director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer Stephen Page, discusses how to adopt a child from Taiwan or South Korea.


G’day, I’m Stephen Page from Page Provan Family and Fertility Lawyers, and in a recent series of videos, and this is the second one, I’m talking about adoption.

Because everyone knows that I do surrogacy work, but for about the last 20 or 30 years, I hate to say I’ve lost count of how many years, I’ve done adoption work.

And most family lawyers don’t know adoption if they fell over it, and that’s not a criticism, it’s just adoptions in Australia now are comparatively rare. I’ve previously talked about how the 1993 Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention works.

But I’m not going to cover that in this video, this video I’m talking about something more specific, which is two countries, which are South Korea and Taiwan.

If you do an adoption overseas, you fit into one of three categories, and that depends on what type of country you’re in, or as the Chinese would say, what jurisdiction you’re in, because there are countries which are parties to the 1993, Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention, along with Australia.

Then there are countries that are non-Hague countries, for example, Singapore or Samoa, and then there are two countries which are non-Hague countries, but they have separate agreements with Australia. And those two countries, or again, as I said, the Chinese would say, jurisdictions, are South Korea or the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan.

So these are what are called bilateral countries and under the Family Law Act, there are regulations covering adoptions occurring in these bilateral countries. And under the Migration Regulations, if an adoption has occurred of a child either over there in accordance with the bilateral regulations, those family law adoption bilateral regulations, or occurred here, again in accordance with that process, then the adoption is approved.

So there has been very small numbers of children adopted from each of these jurisdictions, South Korea and Taiwan. But in essence, you will need to work with the state or territory adoption authority and be eligible through them, and they in turn will reach out to South Korean or Taiwanese officials once children are available.

I can’t say that I can hold out much hope, but occasionally, children are made available for adoption from overseas. The typical reaction I have from clients who come to me talking about surrogacy is that they’ve previously attended a seminar of some kind held by one of the states or territory adoption authorities or adoption providers and said, well, there are no children.

So that is a depressing part of it, unfortunately. But occasionally, there will be children available, either from South Korea or Taiwan and you will either go through a court process in South Korea or Taiwan and have the adoption approved there.

And because it will also be in compliance with those regulations and approved by the state authority here, therefore you will fall within the migration regulations.

Or, and we see this particularly in New South Wales, that you will have to go through the State Court here and get the adoption order made here.

New South Wales is particularly tricky because its Adoption Act mirrors in part the bilateral regulations. It seems to be the most difficult of the states dealing with the bilateral regulations. So what does it all say?

If you fit within this scope that you might be considering adoption from South Korea or Taiwan, you would be wise to get expert legal advice here to make sure that your journey is as quick and as cheap and as stress-free as it possibly can be. That doesn’t mean that your journey will be quick, cheap, and stress-free, it will likely not be any of those.

But getting that advice at the beginning so you know where the guideposts are and know where the journey ahead is going to go, I think, is vital. Thank you.

Things to Read, Watch & Listen

Surrogacy in Canada or Australia? Which is the Best?

In this video, Page Provan Director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer Stephen Page breaks down the surrogacy process in Australia versus Canada.

Landmark International Surrogacy Court Decisions

In this video, Page Provan Director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer Stephen Page explores international landmark court decisions for surrogacy.

Surrogacy – Ten Lessons I Have Learnt Since 1988

Our director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer, Stephen Page, presented a paper titled “Surrogacy – Ten Lessons I Have Learnt Since 1988” at the 2024 North Queensland Law Association Conference in Townsville.

Family Law Section Law Council of Australia Award
Member of Queensland law society
Family law Practitioners Association
International Academy of Family Lawyers - IAFL
Mediator Standards Board