New legal identity document - available 16 November 2020


The Adoption Legislation Amendment (Integrated Birth Certificates) Act 2020 amended the Adoption Act 2000 and Birth, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 to enable the issue of an Integrated Birth Certificate (IBC) to adopted persons in New South Wales and will commence on 16th November 2020.

From 16th November 2020, an adopted person may use either of the following kinds of birth certificates as an identity document:

• A post-adoptive birth certificate that records the child’s adoptive parents and older adoptive siblings and makes no reference to the child’s parents or siblings at birth. This is the existing type of birth certificate for adopted people. It looks the same as an original birth certificate;

• An Integrated Birth Certificate (IBC) that includes information about the child’s birth parents, older birth siblings, adoptive parents and older adoptive siblings. This new type of birth certificate looks different, as it contains a column detailing identity information after adoption (current information) and a column recording information at birth. Both an IBC and a post-adoptive birth certificate will automatically be issued where a person is adopted, and the adoption is registered in NSW from 16th November. IBCs are also available for people who were adopted prior to the introduction of IBCs, upon application to Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). Further information about the IBC is available in the NSW Government's Fact Sheet "Introducing Integrated Birth Certificates for adopted people", which can be accessed here.

As an adopted person may choose to use either birth certificate for identification purposes, it is important that all Australian lawyers are familiar with the new IBC and understand that the adopted person’s legal name and other identity information are found in the centre column of the certificate. A sample IBC is available here.

It is equally important that lawyers and others using the IBC as an identity document understand that the IBC does not change the legal effect of adoption. The adoptive parents are and will remain the legal parents of an adopted person.

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