Hong Kong

Adopting a child from Hong Kong

Who can adopt?

Who can adopt? Who can’t adopt?
Married couples De facto couples
Single people
Same-sex couples

Please note: Only a small number of adoptions have been finalised from Hong Kong

Children you can adopt from Hong Kong

The majority of children are aged over 3 and have faced significant challenges in their early childhood.

They have special needs and/or are older children. They may have one or more of the following:

  • minor or correctable health problems
  • emotional and behavioural concerns
  • record of developmental delay
  • complicated family backgrounds, including:
    • a parent with drug dependence
    • mental hardship or
    • mental illness

You will receive a detailed medical and child study report if your application is successful.

Specific eligibility criteria to adopt from Hong Kong

We work with 2 agencies in Hong Kong:

  • International Social Service Hong Kong (ISSHK)
  • Po Leung Kuk (PLK)

Their eligibility criteria is the same, except for age and education requirements, which are detailed below.

If you’re interested in adopting a child from Hong Kong you need to meet the eligibility criteria of your state or territory central authority. You will also need to meet the following Hong Kong criteria:


  • you need to have been married for at least 3 years (5 if this is a second marriage)
  • if you’re single you can still apply but will wait longer for an allocation, and you must have:
    • excellent health
    • support networks
    • child caring ability
  • you can’t be a de facto couple
  • you can’t have 2 or more divorces before your current marriage


Below are the age requirements for each of the 2 Hong Kong agencies:

  • you must be aged between 25 and 45 for a child younger than 2 years
  • you must be at least 25 years older than the adopted child
  • if you’re aged between 45 and 50 and have child care experience you may be considered if you adopt a child aged over 5 years with special needs or a complex social background
  • if you’re childless you need to be younger than 45 years
  • you must be at least 25 years old
  • while a specific age gap between you and an adopted child hasn’t been listed, the age gap is considered in the application process


  • you must be in good physical and mental health

Your citizenship

  • at least one of you must be an Australian citizen
  • you will receive priority if you have Chinese heritage


  • if applying to ISSHK you should have at least 11 years of formal education
  • if applying to PLK you should have at least 9 years of formal education


  • you can’t apply if practice a religion that doesn’t allow blood transfusions. The exception is if you sign a statement saying you would consent to a blood transfusion in a medical emergency for the child

Number of children in family

  • priority is given to childless couples, followed by couples with 1 child
  • your application will receive preference if you have less than 3 children at home
  • if you have up to 5 children you can be considered for a special needs child


  • you must have a stable occupation, income and accommodation

Criminal record

  • you need to supply your criminal record check

Waiting times

As we work with 2 agencies in Hong Kong their waiting times differ. Below are waiting times by agency:

International Social Service Hong Kong (ISSHK)

ISSHK matches parent’s suitability to parent a particular child rather than allocating based on when an application is received. This means some families have been waiting for over 3 years to be matched with a child.

Waiting times are also longer for children:

  • without special needs
  • aged under 2
  • who are female

If you’re single, waiting times are also longer.

Generally, waiting times between acceptance of your application and travel for placement is 6 months.

Po Leung Kuk (PLK)

As with ISSHK, PLK matches parents with a child based on suitability rather than application date. Waiting times are shorter if you adopt a child with special needs. If you’re single, waiting times are longer.

Generally, waiting time between acceptance of your application and travel for placement is 6 months.

Cost of adopting a child from Hong Kong

The estimated fee is US$600 (made up of a $100 non-refundable registration fee and a processing fee of $500)

Other fees

On top of state and territory central authority fees, there are other expenses such as:

  • translation fees
  • travel and accommodation costs
  • incidentals

Travel to Hong Kong

You will need to travel once to meet your child. If you already have children, they are encouraged to travel with you.

You should plan to stay between 1 and 2 weeks to ensure that the Chinese adoption and immigration processes are finalised.

After the adoption

All adoptions completed in Hong Kong need to be finalised in an Australian court.

You will need to complete 4 quarterly post-placement reports for 12 months after the adoption. These reports are important to ensure your child is settling in to your family and their new social environment.

You may also need to complete post-placement reports for your state or territory central authority.

Immigration and citizenship for your child

Your child will need to travel to Australia on adoption visa (subclass 102).

Once you have finalised the adoption in an Australian court your child will automatically receive Australian citizenship.

Hague Convention information

Hong Kong will attempt to place a child within a family in Hong Kong before deciding if a child can be placed through intercountry adoption.

The central authority in Hong Kong is the Social Welfare Department.

More information