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Discharging an Adoption

Sometimes we get calls from adopted people who are thinking about discharging their adoption. Our role is not to provide legal advice but to support the person to think through their decision and deal with the emotional responses that may be experienced during the process.


Discharging an adoption can be a lengthy and stressful process and like all big decisions warrants careful thought and consideration.   


Some of the things we encourage people to consider are:

What is my aim?

  • What is my main motivation for wanting a discharge? What do I hope to gain from it? 

  • Is this discharge the only and/or best way to achieve my goal? Are there other options I could consider? 

  • If being an adopted person has been a significant aspect of my identity how will a discharge affect this? You will technically no longer be an adopted person, but may still live with the effects of your life experiences related to adoption. 


Other implications of a discharge. 

  • Are there any implications regarding inheritance/wills?

  • Will I seek to change my name after the discharge and what name would I want to use?  

  • How will this affect my marriage certificate and my children’s birth certificates (if applicable)?

Who else will be affected? 

  • Who else will be affected by this decision to seek a discharge and how?

  • Do I expect any of my birth/adoptive relatives to be upset? Are they likely to object in the court case? 

  • If I have children or grandchildren – how are they affected in terms of legal and personal relationships?

  • What difference will it make to my relationships?

  • If I change my name as part of the discharge process, will this have implications for others e.g., spouse, children? 


What support will I need?

  • What support do I have for going through this process - do I need to seek more support?

  • Given there will be some stress involved, is this a good time for me to be embarking on this process? 


The above questions are not designed to discourage anyone in pursuing the option of discharge but to prepare for the process involved.


To read more about the process for discharging an adoption in Qld see the attached information sheet or follow this link to the Queensland Government webpage on discharging adoption.  


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