Experiencing exceptional circumstances

You may get Parental Leave Pay for a child born or adopted before 1 July 2023 in exceptional circumstances if you aren’t the birth mother or adoptive parent.

If you aren’t the birth mother or adoptive parent you can only get Parental Leave Pay if either:

  • the birth mother or adoptive parent transfer the payment to you
  • there are exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional circumstances are situations such as severe illness or a serious accident. All of the following must also apply:

  • the child came into your care within 52 weeks of their birth or adoption
  • you’ll care for them for at least 26 weeks
  • they aren’t in your care as part of a decision made by a state or territory child protection agency.

If other approved circumstances exist where it is reasonable that you care for the child, you may also be eligible. You will need to contact our Centrelink families line to discuss your circumstances.

You may be able to get up to 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay under exceptional circumstances. This is so you can take time off work to care for the child. If someone already started to get Parental Leave Pay, you may be eligible for the rest of it. This is even if you haven’t met the work test or income test.

Page last updated: 27 March 2023.
QC 64411