Parental leave for intercountry adoptive parents
- up to 18 weeks Parental Leave Pay
- up to 2 weeks Dad and Partner Pay
- up to 12 months unpaid parental leave
- 2 days unpaid pre-adoption leave.
You may also wish to consult your employment contract or enterprise agreement for information on your personal entitlements to paid leave.
You may be eligible for parental leave if you have an adoption compliance certificate or adoption order for an adoption that took place through a regulated intercountry adoption program, which included the direct involvement of an Australian state or territory central authority.
You may also be eligible if you have a guardianship order for a child during a mandatory reporting period prior to finalising the adoption through Services Australia – Exceptional Circumstances. This applies to Australia’s Hong Kong, Latvia and Philippines Intercountry Adoption programs.
If you are unsure whether you have been issued an adoption compliance certificate or adoption order through a regulated program, please contact your state or territory central authority.
Adoption compliance certificates under the Hague Convention
An adoption compliance certificate is issued by a child’s country of origin, in the instance of a full adoption*, confirming that the adoption is made under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, 29 May 1993 (Hague Convention).
When an adoption is made through a regulated intercountry adoption program, and the child’s country of origin is a signatory to the Hague Convention, the competent authority of the country of origin will issue an adoption compliance certificate per Article 23 of the Hague Convention.
Adoption orders under Bilateral Arrangements
Countries that are not signatory to the Hague Convention do not grant adoption compliance certificates, but instead grant “adoption orders”.
Australia has established Bilateral Arrangements with partner countries that are not signatory to the Hague Convention. These countries are South Korea and Taiwan. These Bilateral Arrangements ensure that the obligations of the Hague Convention are met, without both parties needing to be signatories, and are therefore regulated intercountry adoption programs.
Bilateral Arrangements are underpinned by the Family Law (Bilateral Arrangements – Intercountry Adoption) Regulations 2023. These Regulations ensure that adoption orders issued by South Korean and Taiwanese courts meet the criteria of an adoption compliance certificate. As a result, adoption orders have the same effect as adoption compliance certificates in this case.
Australia previously operated an intercountry adoption program with Ethiopia**. under the 2014 Amendment to the Bilateral Arrangements (Regulations 5 and 7). The Ethiopia-Australia program was closed in 2012, however adoption orders issued under this program remain valid.
For more information
For intercountry adoption enquiries regarding information contained in this fact sheet, please visit the Intercountry Adoption Australia contact us page.
Relevant legislative instruments
- The National Employment Standards
- Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (Cth)
- Fair Work Act s70 and s74(5)
- Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, 29 May 1993
- Family Law (Bilateral Arrangements—Intercountry Adoption) Regulations 1998 (Bilateral Arrangements)
* Definitions for full and simple adoptions are available in the Hague Convention Guide to Good Practice: Guide No 1, page 121.
** The Australian program with Ethiopia has closed. However, adoption orders issued under this program are still valid.