Adoption outside Australia by an Australian citizen - documents


There are three types of documents that you need for your citizenship application:

  • identity documents
  • supporting documents
  • character documents (applicants aged 18 years and over)

Identity documents

Applicants under 16 years of age

Provide these documents for the applicant:

  • a birth certificate or equivalent showing:
    • birth name
    • date and place of birth
    • gender
    • passport (if available)
  • evidence of any change of name, if applicable, and links between names (this could be the Adoption Compliance Certificate)
  • an Identity declaration for each applicant completed and signed by an appropriate person and a properly endorsed passport-sized photo signed by the same person. The declaration is part of the application form.

Children under 6 years of age

For the Identity declaration, if no Australian citizen has known the child for at least one year, the declaration can be signed by a person currently working in a profession on the designated list of occupations who has known the child for less than one year. If the child is not known by someone from the list, the declaration can be signed by another person who is not related to the child, for example, an employee from the adoption agency.

Applicants aged 16 years and over

Provide these documents for the applicant:

  • three documents that together show your:
    • photograph and signature
    • current residential address
    • birth name, date of birth and gender
  • evidence of change of name, if applicable, and links between names (this could be the Adoption Compliance Certificate)
  • an Identity declaration for each applicant completed and signed by an appropriate person and a properly endorsed passport-sized photo signed by the same person. The declaration is part of the application form.

Examples of identity documents are available.

Supporting documents

  • an Adoption Compliance Certificate
  • documents that show one of the adoptive parents was an Australian citizen at the time of the adoption, such as the parent’s:
    • full Australian birth certificate
    • Australian citizenship certificate or naturalisation certificate
    • Australian passport
  • if you are making this application on behalf of your child, an official document that contains your name, photograph and signature.

Good character documents (applicants aged 18 years and over)

You need overseas penal clearance certificates if, in the last 10 years:

  • you lived or travelled overseas since the age of 18 years
  • the total time spent overseas adds up to 12 months or more
  • the total time spent in any one country adds up to more than 90 days.

Provide a penal clearance certificate from every country you spent more than 90 days in.       

We might also ask you to provide a penal clearance certificate in other circumstances.

Note: If applying from outside Australia, a National Police Certificate is also needed if any time was spent in Australia after turning 18 years.

Documents not in English

Documents that are not in English must be accompanied by an official translation of the document.

If you are in Australia, you must use a translator from the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters.

If you are outside Australia, contact the Australian mission in the country that issued the documents for acceptable translators.

Include a certified copy of both the translation and the document which is not in English with your application.

Certified copies of documents

All documents, including documents not in English and their translations, must be certified copies except penal clearance certificates which must be originals.

EligibilityApply