The number of adoptions taking place in Austria is registered according to the adoptions organised by the child and youth welfare authorities (prior to 2014: youth welfare service). These figures do not include the adoption of stepchildren, and up to the reporting year 2014 only adoptions taking place within Austria were taken into consideration. In line with the 2013 Federal Child and Youth Welfare Act, the statistics published from 2015 onwards also report the number of intercountry adoptions (i.e. those involving states which signed the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption), with these figures being broken down by gender and age group.
The number of adoptions in Austria has been in decline since 2000. Whereas the number of adoptions averaged some 155.5 adoptions/year between 2002 and 2005, an average of only 96 was registered per year from 2013 to 2016. There has likewise been a fall in the number of „incognito“ adoptions taking place within Austria (i.e. no contact between the adoptive and birth parents – however since 2015 this statistic has no longer been reported). This figure shrank by 60% (averaging 61.7% between 2002-2005) and dropped to below 50% (averaging 44.7% between 2012-2014). As adoption is frequently a lengthy process, the date of the relevant court order is taken as the reference date for determining the age of the child and the year.
In 2016 the child and youth welfare authorities organised 118 adoptions of minors throughout Austria, with over three quarters (93 or 78.8%) taking place within the country and the rest (25 or 21.2%) involving intercountry adoption. The majority of the adopted children were under six (104 or 88.1%) while 14 children (11.9%) were aged between 6 and 13 years. The adoption of older children did not take place. 52.5% of the children adopted were female, i.e. slightly more than the actual share of girls under 14 in the population: 48.6%.