Australian Adoption Visa


Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens who adopt a child may qualify their adopted child for a Subclass 102 Adoption Visa. This visa is applicable when the adopting parent already held Australian citizenship or permanent residency status at the time of the child’s adoption. If the child was adopted before the parent’s permanent residency application and was not included in it, the visa cannot be granted. Instead, Subclass 101 or 802 Child visas should be considered.


Key criteria for an Adoption Visa

  • The child must be under 18 years of age.
  • The adopting or prospective adopting parent must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
  • The child must be outside Australia at the time of the visa application.
  • Adoption laws in the child’s original country of residence must have been followed.


Sponsorship Refusal

Adoptive parent sponsorship may be refused for individuals with significant criminal histories, especially relating to specific offences, including mandatory refusal for child sex offences classified as registrable offences.


Eligible Cases of Child Adoption Visas


1. Sponsor Residing Overseas:

The sponsor has lived overseas for a required period and complied with the child’s home country adoption procedures, provided the residency was not arranged solely to meet the visa criteria.


2. Approval by an Australian “Competent Authority”:

If residing in Australia, the child qualifies if the adoption is approved by a State Authority after thorough assessment.


3. Approval by an Overseas “Competent Authority”:

Eligibility also extends if the child is allocated for adoption under laws of specific countries or convention countries outlined in the Family Law Regulations. These include countries part of the Hague Convention and those with bilateral agreements with Australia, such as Ethiopia, South Korea, and Taiwan.


4. Adoption under the Hague Convention:

Adoptions between two (2) Hague Convention countries are recognized, even without Australian authority involvement.


Definition of an Australian “Competent Authority”

Competent authorities vary by jurisdiction. For bilateral adoptions, it is the authority in the adopter’s state of residence. In Australia, for Adoption Convention cases, they include State Central Authorities like the following:


Australian Capital Territory

Adoptions Unit
Child and Youth Protection Services
Phone: (02) 6207 1466


New South Wales

Adoption and Permanency Services
Department of Communities and Justice
Phone: (02) 9716 3003


Northern Territory

Adoption Unit
Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities
Phone: (08) 8922 5519
Fax: (08) 8922 7480



Adoption and Permanent Care Services
Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services
Phone: (07) 3097 5100
Free call: 1800 647 983


South Australia

Adoption Services
Department for Child Protection
Free call: 1800 512 355



Adoption and Permanency Services
Department of Education, Children and Young People
Phone: (03) 6166 0422



Adoption Victoria
Department of Justice and Community Safety


Western Australia

Adoption Services
Department of Communities
Free call: 1800 182 178


Adoption Assistance

Given the complexity of intercountry adoption, involving multiple jurisdictions and international treaties, obtaining comprehensive legal advice from both a migration solicitor and a specialist in intercountry adoption law is crucial.


Adoption Visa Application Charge

Charges vary based on the applicant’s circumstances, with a base charge starting at $1,870 for certain applicants and $3,055 for others, plus additional charges for applicants over and under 18.


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