Applying for intercountry known non-relative adoption

How do I adopt a child I know from overseas?

If you want to adopt a child overseas that you know (who is unrelated), you will need to contact the relevant authority in the country the child lives. This authority will assess the child for adoption and provide a report to your state and territory central authority (STCA).

You need to show that you have a relationship with the child (for example a relationship with the child’s family or you have previously cared for the child).

Your STCA will decide if the request complies with the standards and principles of the Hague Convention and is in the best interests of the child. Overseas known non-relative adoptions are only possible when there are no other placement options in the child’s country.

If an overseas known non-relative adoption meets the principles of the Hague Convention and is in the best interests of the child, your STCA will assess your eligibility to adopt the child.

If you’re eligible, your STCA will send an assessment report to the overseas authority and together they will facilitate the adoption.

Immigration details

The adopted child can travel to Australia under adoption visa (subclass 102).

If the adoption wasn’t arranged through your STCA, there’s a risk that the child won’t meet Australian immigration requirements and won’t be able to enter Australia.

You can learn more about immigration, citizenship and passports.

Other options to overseas known non-relative adoptions

There are other pathways for people to come to Australia either temporarily or permanently.

You can explore visa options and learn about Child Migration to Australia on the Department of Home Affairs website.

You can also get further advice about child migration from a registered migration agent. You can find a list at the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

It’s also possible for you to care for a child from overseas through guardianship or permanent care arrangements. We can’t provide advice on these types of arrangements. You should get independent legal advice to determine if it’s possible in your circumstances.

Compliance with the Hague Convention

All adoptions need to comply with the Hague Convention to protect children and their families from trafficking, and illegal and ill-prepared adoptions.