If you adopt a child while living in Australia

Your relevant Australian state and territory adoption authority must be involved in managing the adoption process with the country where the child is living.

Contact the adoption authority before you start the adoption process. We cannot grant a visa to a child who does not meet the visa requirements even if they have been adopted lawfully in the child’s home country.

Australian adoption authorities usually arrange adoptions through countries that:

  • have signed the Hague Adoption Convention
  • have signed a bilateral agreement with Australia

In these cases, the adoption authority or an institution in the child’s home country will allocate the child to you. The authorities also ensure that local adoption laws have been complied with and that the child is legally allowed to leave their country for Australia.

The Hague Adoption Convention

A child adopted under the Hague Adoption Convention will need an adoption compliance certificate. This certifies that the adoption meets all the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention. A visa cannot be granted until this certificate has been issued and a certified copy provided to us.

In some cases, children born outside Australia who are adopted under the Hague Adoption Convention are eligible for Australian citizenship. You should seek legal advice, as the child might not have to apply for a visa.

Bilateral agreements

A child adopted under a bilateral agreement must have a letter from an Australian state or territory adoption authority that shows the child has been adopted through an adoption authority or an institution in the child’s home country. This letter must be included with the child’s visa application.