Adopting a child from Sri Lanka
Who can adopt?
|Who can adopt?||Who can’t adopt?|
|Married couples||Same sex couples|
|De facto couples|
Please note: Only a small number of adoptions have been finalised from Sri Lanka. Preference is given to applicants with Sri Lankan Heritage.
Children you can adopt from Sri Lanka
Most children in need of intercountry adoption are less than 3 years old. Older children (between 4 and 14 years) are also available for adoption.
A high number of children:
- have minor or correctable special needs (for example: cleft lip, sight conditions)
- have a family history of mental health issues
You may indicate a preference for the gender of your child but, as Sri Lankan families prefer girls, there are more boys available for adoption.
Specific eligibility criteria to adopt from Sri Lanka
If you’re interested in adopting a child from Sri Lanka you need to meet the eligibility criteria of your state or territory central authority. You will also need to meet the following Sri Lankan criteria:
- you must be married
- you can’t be a same sex or de facto couple
Both you and your partner (married couple) need to be:
- over the age of 25
- at least 21 years older than your child
- preference is given to infertile couples with supporting medical reports
- at least one of you must be an Australian citizen
- you’re given priority if you have a Sri Lankan background or dual citizenship
Number of children in your family
- you can apply if you have up to 2 children but preference is given to childless couples
- you and/or your partner should have a stable occupation and income
- you need to supply your criminal record check
- a clear fingerprint record is also required
The average waiting time is 2 years from when Sri Lanka accepts your application. But be prepared for the possibility of a longer wait.
Cost of adopting a child from Sri Lanka
The estimated fees are US$2,000 to US$2,500.
On top of state and territory central authority fees, there are other expenses such as:
- translation fees
- travel and accommodation costs
Travel to Sri Lanka
You will both need to travel to Sri Lanka to meet your child within 2 weeks of accepting your placement. If you have children, they are encouraged to travel with you.
You should plan to stay for up to 6 weeks to ensure that the adoption and immigration processes are finalised.
After the adoption
All adoptions completed in Sri Lanka are recognised when coming back to Australia.
You will need to complete the following post-placement reports for Sri Lanka:
- 3, 6, 9,12 and 18 months then
- yearly until the child is aged 10
Your state and territory central authority prepares these reports, which then need to be:
1. notarised and legalised by DFAT and
2. authenticated by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Canberra
These reports are expensive and 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 of your child
Once you have the adoption compliance certificate, your child is eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. The application usually takes 10 days to process. You can then apply for an Australian passport so they can travel back to Australia with you.
Your child could also travel to Australia on adoption visa (subclass 102). When you enter Australia, you need to apply for ‘citizenship by conferral’, as soon as possible.
Hague Convention information
Sri Lanka will attempt to place a child within a family in Sri Lanka before deciding if a child can be placed through intercountry adoption.
The central authority in Sri Lanka is the Department of Probation and Child Care Services.
- Learn more about the citizenship requirements for the adoption of children from outside Australia
- You can access local and community adoption support, as well as the Intercountry Adoptee and Family Support Service
- You can learn more about Sri Lanka at Department of Foreign Affairs – Sri Lanka