Adopting a child

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

Payments for parents

To help cover the costs involved with caring for a child, we provide payments to parents of recently adopted children. You or your partner may be eligible for:

You can apply for payments when the adoption process starts, rather than waiting for the adoption to be finalised.

Foster care and adoption

Formal foster carers are not eligible for Parental Leave Pay. However, when a child comes into your care through a formal foster care arrangement with the view to adopt that child, you may be eligible for Parental Leave Pay.

Known adoptions

You may not be eligible for Parental Leave Pay or Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement if the adoption is a known adoption. This is where your child lives continuously with you before the adoption process starts and the adoption is for the purpose of formalising a parental relationship; for example, formally adopting a stepchild would be considered a known adoption.

Register and use our self service options

You can do most of your business with us using our mobile apps, online services or phone self service. Read more about self service.

Give us your child’s details and proof of adoption

Providing us with your child’s details and proof of adoption is not a claim for payment but is used to:

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

The easiest way to give us this information is online. Read more about giving us proof of adoption.

Medicare services

We provide payments and services that can help you access health care and buy medicine for your child.

Having a Medicare Card may allow you to claim a benefit for services provided by your doctor and some health specialists, or to access free health services if your doctor bulk bills.

Other Medicare services include:

If you have adopted a child from overseas, you must determine their eligibility for Medicare before enrolling them. Read more about Medicare enrolment for children adopted from overseas.

Help with immunisation

We manage the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register so you can access vaccination details for your child.

Some of our payments, such as the 2017-18 Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement and Child Care Subsidy, can only be paid for children who have been immunised or have an approved immunisation exemption.

Child care assistance

We offer a range of payments and services to help families with the costs of child care.

Read more about assistance with child care fees.

Child support

If you are a single or separated parent, read more about child support basics.

Other government and community support services

There are a range of other organisations that provide support services and useful information you may find helpful. You can use Payment and Service Finder to locate assistance in your local area.

MoneySmart has information to help you make the most of your money. Read about money management and simple strategies for financial security on the MoneySmart moneysmart logo website. connects you to information and services across Australia including information on starting a family.

My Health Record provides information on how to register your child for one. A My Health Record allows you and your doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to view and share health information and find the best possible care.

Family Relationships Online provides all families, whether together or separated, with access to information about family relationship issues, ranging from building better relationships to dispute resolution.

mychild provides information about different types of child care and how to get assistance with the cost of child care.

If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, you may find it helpful to talk to somebody about your mental health.

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

Page last updated: 4 July 2018