Adoption in Australia was once a popular practice until the the 1970s, which, over a span of two decades, dropped by nearly 67 percent. With a somewhat dark history, adoption in Australia is still making a comeback. For about a century, Aboriginal children were removed from their homes and placed with Caucasian families. In the 1970s, adoption conferences began to be held and the government attempted to revise its processes. This included the legalization of inter-country, or international, adoption. What began Australia's involvement in international adoption was the Vietnam War. In the 1970s, about 300 Vietnamese children were brought to and adopted by Australian citizens. And it was only in 2009 that Australia opened its doors to adoptions with China, Ethiopia, South Korea and others. There are still few children adopted in the large scheme of things, but with a relatively new international adoption program, this isn't surprising. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report that only 68 domestic adoptions were finalized between 2008 and 2009. AIHW also reported for that same year 269 international adoptions occurred.
Gay and lesbian adoption is legal in certain states and territories of Australia. There are only three in which same-sex adoption is legalized: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Western Australia. Other areas, such as Tasmania, have some same-sex adoption laws addressing different facets of same-sex adoption options, such as step-parent adoption.