Adopting a child

We have a range of payments and services to help parents care for their newly adopted child.

Payments for parents

We have payments to help with the costs of caring for a child. You might be able to get payments if either:

  • you’ve adopted a child
  • a child has come into your care as part of an adoption process.

You or your partner might be able to get one or more of the following:

Parental Leave Pay for foster care and adoption

As a foster carer, you’re eligible for these payments if all of the following apply:

  • an authorised party places the child in your care
  • the placement is for the purpose of adoption
  • the child is under 16 years at the time of placement.

Known adoptions

A known adoption could be where either of the following apply:

  • your child is living with you before the adoption process starts
  • the adoption is for the purpose of formalising a parental relationship.

For example, we consider formally adopting a stepchild or existing foster child as a known adoption.

With a known adoption, you may not be eligible for the following:

  • Parental Leave Pay
  • Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement.

Information you need to apply

When applying for payments we need all of these details about your child:

We use these to do all of the following:

  • support your claim for Family Tax Benefit and Parental Leave Pay
  • enrol your child with Medicare
  • register your child for a My Health Record
  • register your child for the Australian Immunisation Register.

The easiest way to give us your child’s details is using a self service option.

Immunisation requirements

We manage the national Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The AIR records vaccines given to people in Australia. You can use the AIR to view vaccination details for your child.

To get some payments, your child must meet one of the following:

  • be up to date with their immunisations
  • be on a suitable catch-up schedule
  • have an approved exemption.

If your child doesn’t meet this requirement, it can affect all of the following payments:

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • Child Care Subsidy
  • Additional Child Care Subsidy.

Medicare services

Our payments and services can help you access health care and buy medicine for your child.

Having a Medicare card may allow you to claim a benefit for some health services. This may also include access to free health services if your doctor bulk bills.

Other Medicare services include all of the following:

If you’ve adopted a child from overseas, you need to find out if they’re eligible for Medicare.

Government and community support services

There are lots of other organisations that can give you information and support. Use our Service Finder to find them in your local area.

Intercountry Adoption Australia has information about adopting a child from overseas.

Moneysmart can help you manage your money. You can read about money management and simple financial strategies on their website.

My Health Record allows you and your healthcare providers to view and share health information all in one place.

Family Relationships Online gives information to families about family relationship issues. This includes help with building better relationships and dispute resolution.

Page last updated: 4 July 2024.
QC 22236