Supreme Court

Reissued Practice Note SC Eq 13 - Adoptions

On 16 March 2023 the Chief Justice reissued Practice Note SC EQ 13 – Adoptions, with a commencement date of 3 April 2023

The revised Practice Note:  

  • changes the provision in the earlier Practice Note concerning preliminary hearings under s 80 of the Adoption Act 2000 (NSW) from a requirement that the Court robe and that the Court "hear from the proposed adoptive parents and the birth parents personally and on oath" and to provide they should be conducted "with as little formality the judge thinks appropriate" and to emphasise that the aim of such hearings is "to encourage the participants to understand each other's position" and to "identify their real issues and concerns" and to "enable the Court to emphasise directly to the participants the child focussed nature of the inquiry" (see especially [22]).
  • changes the provision in the earlier Practice Note concerning contested hearings from a requirement that they be conducted as a "conventional contested equity suit on affidavit and with cross examination" to a requirement that they be "conducted with such formality as the judge hearing the matter considers appropriate (see [35]).
  • provides that uncontested hearings are to be conducted with as little formality as the judge thinks appropriate (see [35]).
  • clarifies the nature of evidence that may be adduced at a hearing, particularly in relation to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child (see [37]).
  • makes other changes to better reflect the way adoption applications are currently dealt with by the Court.

You can download printable versions of the Practice Note from the links below: 

The content will also be available from 3 April 2023 on the following webpage: