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:

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

You or your partner might be able to get:

Immunisation requirements

We manage the Australian Immunisation Register. This is a national register that records vaccines given to people in Australia. You can use the register to view vaccination details for your child.

To get some payments, your child must be:

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

If your child doesn’t meet these requirements, it can affect:

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement for 2017-18 financial year
  • Child Care Subsidy 
  • Additional Child Care Subsidy
  • Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate as a lump sum for 2017-18

You can read more about immunisation requirements.

Foster care and adoption

As a formal foster carer you can only get Parental Leave Pay if you’re adopting the child in your care.

Known adoptions

A known adoption is where:

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

For example, we consider formally adopting a stepchild as a known adoption.

If the adoption is a known adoption, you may not be eligible for:

  • Parental Leave Pay, or
  • Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement

Information we’ll need

When applying for payments we need details about your child, including:

We use this 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 your child’s details is by going online. You can read more about giving us proof of adoption.

Read more about self service.

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, or
  • access free health services if your doctor bulk bills

Other Medicare services include:

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

Government and community support services

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

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

australia.gov.au helps you find government information and services. You can also find information on starting a family.

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.

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

Page last updated: 15 November 2018