Adoption Gag Orders Comparison State by State

Adoption Gag Orders – Comparison by Jurisdiction

* Note – definition of a “child” for the purposes of most of the Adoption Acts is someone under 18 OR an adopted person

State

Legislation

Penalty

Imprisonment

ACT

ADOPTION ACT 1993 – SECT 97

Restriction on publication of identity of parties

    (1)     Subject to this section, a person must not publish, or cause to be published, by electronic or print media or any other means, in relation to—

        (a)     an application for an adoption order or for a corresponding order under a law of a State or another Territory; or

        (b)     the proceedings on such an application; or

        (c)     any legal steps taken preparatory to or consequent on such an application;

the name of an applicant, the child or young person, or a parent or guardian of the child or young person, or any matter reasonably likely to allow any of those persons to be identified.

Maximum penalty: 200 penalty units, imprisonment for 2 years or both.

    (2)     Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to the publication of any matter with the authorisation of the court to which the application was made.

    (3)     An authorisation for subsection (2) must not be given unless the court is satisfied that publication will not operate to the prejudice of any person and that it is otherwise in the interests of justice to give the authorisation.

200 penalty units ($32,000)

2 years imprisonment, or both

Vic

ADOPTION ACT 1984 – SECT 121 Restriction on publication of identity of parties

Restriction on publication of identity of parties

    (1)     In this section, party to an adoption , in relation to a consent to an adoption given or dispensed with or an application made under this Act or under a law of another State or of a Territory for the adoption of a child or for an order declaring the validity of a foreign adoption or in relation to a proposed adoption of a child, includes—

        (a)     the child; and

        (b)     the natural parents of the child; and

        (c)     the applicants for the order or the adoptive parents; and

        (d)     the guardians of the child (except guardians appointed under this Act or any corresponding previous enactment or under an Act of another State or of a Territory corresponding to the provisions of this Act); and

S. 121(1)(e) amended by No. 46/1998 s. 7(Sch. 1).

        (e)     persons who have been approved by the Secretary or principal officer of an approved agency as fit and proper persons to adopt a child and with whom a child is or has at any time been placed with a view to adoption.

    (2)     At any time other than the prohibited period, a person must not publish, or cause to be published, in a newspaper or periodical, or by means of broadcasting or television, any matter that identifies a person as, or is reasonably likely to enable any person to be identified as, a party to an adoption unless the last-mentioned person has given consent to the publication.

(Vic) Penalty:     in the case of a body corporate, 1000 penalty units; in any other case, 100 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years.

    (3)     For the purposes of subsection (2), if the person is an adopted child who has attained the age of 10 years but is under the age of 18 years, consent to publication must be given by the child as well as by the child‘s parent or guardian on behalf of the child.

    (4)     During the prohibited period, a person must not publish, or cause to be published, in a newspaper or periodical, or by means of broadcasting or television, any matter that identifies a person as, or is reasonably likely to enable any person to be identified as, a party to an adoption unless the last-mentioned person has given consent to the publication and the Court has given permission under subsection (6).

Penalty:     in the case of a body corporate, 1000 penalty units;

in any other case, 100 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years.

    (5)     In this section prohibited period in relation to the adoption or proposed adoption of a child means the period from—

        (a)     the earliest of the following—

              (i)     the making of the application for the adoption;

              (ii)     the making of an application for an order under section 43(4);

S. 121(5)(a)(iii) amended by No. 46/1998

s. 7(Sch. 1).

      (Vic)        (iii)     the time when the Secretary or principal officer of an approved agency (as the case may be) becomes the guardian of the child under section 46 or 47; or

        (b)     in the case of an application for an order under section 69, the time when the application is made; or

        (c)     in the case of a child who is a non-citizen child, the time when the person who, under the Immigration ( Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 of the Commonwealth as amended and in force for the time being becomes the guardian of the child

until the final order of the Court on the application or, if an order is not made by the Court, guardianship ceases.

    (6)     The Court may, in exceptional circumstances, by order permit the publication of the name of any party to the adoption.

    (7)     This section does not apply to the publication by or on behalf of a person of information obtained by that person under Part VI.

No. 7147 s. 50.

100 penalty units ($16,522)

or 2 years imprisonment

NSW

180

ADOPTION ACT 2000 – SECT 180

NSW ADOPTION ACT 2000 – SECT 180

Restriction on publication of material identifying persons affected by adoption application

180 Restriction on publication of material identifying persons affected by adoption application

    (1) A person must not publish material that identifies, or is reasonably likely to identify, a person as a person affected by an adoption application.

        : Maximum penalty–25 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

    (2) For the purposes of this section, each of the following persons is a

    “person affected” by an adopted application–

        (a) a child in relation to whom an adoption application is made,

        (b) a person who makes an adoption application,

        (c) the mother and father of the child in relation to whom an adoption application is made, and any other person who has parental responsibility for the child when the adoption application is made.

    (3) This section does not prohibit–

        (a) the publication of any material with the authority of the Court under section 180A, or

        (b) the publication of an official report of proceedings in the Court that includes the name of any person the publication of which would otherwise be prohibited by this section.

    (4) This section does not prohibit the publication of any material after an adoption application and any proceedings in the Court with respect to the application have been finally disposed of–

(a) if the person identified (or reasonably likely to be identified) as a person affected by the adoption application consents to being identified, and

  (NSW)              (b) the material does not identify (and is not reasonably likely to identify) any person affected by the adoption application who does not consent to being identified.

    (5) In subsection (4), a reference to the consent of a person affected by an adoption application is, if that person is a child less than 18 years of age, a reference to the consent of the person who has parental responsibility for the child.

    (6) In this section–

    “adoption application” means an application under this Act or under a law of another State for an adoption order.

25 penalty units ($2750)

or 12 months imprisonment, or both

NSW (cont)

180A

ADOPTION ACT 2000 – SECT 180A

Court authorisation of publication of identifying material

180A Court authorisation of publication of identifying material

    (1) The Court may, during any proceedings with respect to an adoption application, by order, authorise the publication of material that identifies, or is reasonably likely to identify, a person affected by the adoption application, other than material identifying birth parents, if it is satisfied that–

        (a) each person affected by the adoption application consents to the publication (other than a child in relation to whom the adoption application is made who is under 18 years of age), and

        (b) it is appropriate in the circumstances of the case to do so.

    

 

(NSW)

(2) If a child in relation to whom the adoption application is made is 12 or more years of age and is capable of giving consent, the Court must not authorise the publication of the material unless the child also consents to the publication.

    (3) The Court may dispense with the consent of a person affected by an adoption application if that person is no longer alive, or cannot, after reasonable inquiry, be found or identified, or if there is, in the opinion of the Court, any other sufficient reason to dispense with their consent.

    (4) The Secretary is entitled to appear and be heard at any proceedings the purpose of which is to determine an application for an order of the Court under this section.

    (5) The Court is not to make an order authorising publication of material under this section unless satisfied that the Secretary has been given reasonable notice of the application for authorisation.

    (6) In this section–

    “adoption application” has the meaning given by section 180.

    “material identifying birth parents” means any material that identifies, or is reasonably likely to identify, a person as a person who, when an adoption application is made, is the mother or father of the child to whom the adoption application relates or a person who has parental responsibility for the child.

    “person affected” by an adoption application has the meaning given by section 180.

  

NT

ADOPTION OF CHILDREN ACT 1994 – SECT 71

(NT)

Restriction on publication of identity of parties

    (1)     A person shall not, in relation to the adoption of a child, publish or distribute, or cause to be published or distributed, by any means whatsoever, the name, address or other matter reasonably likely to enable the identification of a person who intends to adopt a child, a child who is available for adoption or the parent or guardian of such a child.

Maximum penalty:     40 penalty units.

    (2)     This section does not apply where the Minister or the Court has approved the publication or distribution of information in relation to the adoption of a child.

40 penalty units ($6200)

 

Tas

ADOPTION ACT 1988 – SECT 109

(Tas)

Restriction on publication of identity of parties

        (1)  Subject to this section, a person who at any time publishes, or causes to be published, in a newspaper or periodical, or by means of broadcasting, television, or public exhibition in relation to a consent given, or dispensed with, or an application made, under this Act or under a law of another State or a Territory for the adoption of a child or the proceedings on such an application –

                (a) the name of a prospective adoptive parent; or

                (b) the name of the child; or

                (c) the name of the father, the mother, a parent or a guardian or a guardian of the child; or

   (Tas)

             (d) any matter reasonably likely to enable any of those persons to be identified –

        is guilty of an offence.

        (2)  This section does not apply to the publication of matter –

                (a) with the authority of the court –

                        (i) to which an application for an adoption order was made; or

                        (ii) to which an application under subsection (3) is made; or

                (b) that consists of information that has been obtained under Part VI by the person publishing it; or

                (c) that relates to the name of a parent, other than an adoptive parent, of the child where, in accordance with the adoption order, the name of that parent is shown on the birth certificate of the child issued after the order is made.

        (3)  A person may apply to the court for authority to publish matter to which subsection (1) applies where –

                (a) the adopted person concerned has attained the age of 18 years; and

                (b) the applicant is a relative of the adopted person.

SECT 116 – Penalties

Any person who is guilty of an offence against this Act for which no penalty is expressly provided is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 25 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.

“an offence”

25 penalty units ($4,300)

Up to 6 months imprisonment

WA

ADOPTION ACT 1994 – SECT 124

Part 4

(WA)

124 .         Publishing identity of party to adoption etc.

        (1)         A person must not publish material that identifies or is likely to identify a person —

            (a)         who is, or was but is no longer, a party to an adoption or a proposed adoption, as a party to the adoption or proposed adoption; or

            (b)         who is a party to proceedings in any court in relation to an adoption, a proposed adoption or the discharge of an adoption order, as a party to the proceedings; or

            (c)         whose consent to the adoption of a person is or was required, (whether or not the requirement for consent has been dispensed with), as a person whose consent was so required; or

            (d)         who is, or is likely to be affected by an adoption order or an adoption plan, as a person so affected; or

            (e)         who is a relative of a person to whom paragraph (a) or (b) applies, as a person who is such a relative,

                where the adoption is under this Act or a law of another State or a Territory.

        Penalty: a fine of $10 000 and imprisonment for 12 months.

        (2)         This section does not apply to —

            (a)         material approved by the CEO, a private adoption agency or a court for publication; or

   (WA)         (b)         the matters mentioned in section 243(8) of the Family Court Act 1997.

        (3)         This section does not apply to the identification or likely identification of —

            (a)         an adoptee or prospective adoptee who is 18 or more years of age and consents in writing to being identified; or

            (b)         an adoptee or prospective adoptee who is less than 18 years of age where consent in writing to the identification of that person has been given by a person with parental responsibility for the adoptee or the prospective adoptee; or

            (c)         a person, other than an adoptee or prospective adoptee, who is 18 or more years of age and consents in writing to being identified, unless the identification of the person identifies or is likely to identify an adoptee or prospective adoptee who has not consented to being identified,

                where the identification is in accordance with any conditions or restrictions attached to the consent.

        (4)         In subsection (3) —

        adoptee includes a person who was but is no longer an adoptee.

        [Section 124 amended: No. 41 of 1997 s. 23; No. 8 of 2003 s. 72; No. 34 of 2004 Sch. 2 cl. 2(8); No. 15 of 2012 s. 62 and 70.]

$10,000

and imprisonment 12 months

Qld

ADOPTION ACT 2009 – SECT 315

(Qld)  Publishing identifying material

315 Publishing identifying material

(1) This section applies to material ( “identifying material” ) that identifies, or is likely to lead to the identification of, a person as—

(a) a party, or relative of a party, to an adoption; or

(b) a party, or relative of a party, to a court proceeding relating to an adoption; or

(c) a person whose consent to an adoption is or was required.

(2) A person must not publish identifying material unless—

(a) the publication is made with the written approval of the chief executive; or

(b) written consent to the publication has been given, for each identified person, by—

(i) for an identified person who is an adult—that person; or

(ii) for an identified person who is a child other than a proposed adoptee—a parent of the child; or

(iii) for an identified person who is a proposed adoptee in the custody of a person under an interim order or under part 9 , division 3 —the person with custody of the child; or

(iv) for an identified person who is a proposed adoptee other than as mentioned in subparagraph (iii) —the chief executive.

Penalty— Maximum penalty—

(a) for an individual—100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment; or

(b) for a corporation—1,000 penalty units.

(3) For this section, a child is a
“proposed adoptee” if consent to the child’s adoption has been given by each person whose consent is required before the proposed adoption order may be made.

(4) In this section—
“adoption” includes proposed adoption.
“identified person” , in relation to published material, means a person identified by the material as a person mentioned in subsection (1) (a) to (c) .

“publish” means publish to the public by television, radio, the internet, newspaper, periodical, notice, circular or other form of communication.

100 penalty units ($13,345)

or 2 years imprisonment

SA

ADOPTION ACT 1988 – SECT 31

(SA) 31—Publication of names etc of persons involved in proceedings

        (1)         A person who publishes or causes to be published

            (a)         the name of a child, or material tending to identify a child, in relation to whom proceedings have been taken under this Act or any other Australian law that substantially corresponds to this Act;

            (b)         the name of a parent or guardian, or material tending to identify a parent or guardian, of a child in relation to whom proceedings have been taken under this Act or any other Australian law that substantially corresponds to this Act;

            (c)         the name of a party, or material tending to identify a party, to proceedings under this Act or any other Australian law that substantially corresponds to this Act, is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: $40 000 or imprisonment for 4 years.

        (2)         This section does not apply to the publication of a person’s name or other material tending to identify a person if—

            (a)         written consent to the publication has been given by—

                  (i)         if the person is aged 18 years or more—that person; or

                  (ii)         if the person is less than 18 years of age and is not under the guardianship of the Chief Executive—each parent or guardian of the person; or

                  (iii)         if the person is less than 18 years of age and under the guardianship of the Chief Executive—the Chief Executive; or             (b)         the publication has been authorised by the Court.

$40,000

4 years imprisonment