Travel.State.Gov > Intercountry Adoption > Country Information > Australia Intercountry Adoption Information
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise normal precautions in Australia.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Australia.
If you decide to travel to Australia:
Intercountry adoptions from Australia to the United States are not currently possible, except in limited circumstances listed below.
Australia is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the Convention; the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); the IAA’s implementing regulations; and all applicable legislation and regulations of Australia.
Australia is not a country of origin for the purpose of intercountry adoption. That is, Australian children are not matched with prospective adoptive parents living outside of Australia. As a matter of practice, the placement and adoption of Australian children with families living outside of Australia is restricted to relative or known child adoptions. Such cases are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
No child from Australia has received a U.S. immigrant visa based on an intercountry adoption in the past five fiscal years.
The information provided is intended primarily to assist U.S. citizens who: are dual Australian citizens who wish to adopt an Australian child in Australia’s domestic adoption system; are permanent residents of and living in Australia who wish to adopt an Australian child in Australia’s domestic adoption system; are living in Australia and wish to adopt a child from the United States or a third country; or are not living in Australia and wish to adopt a relative Australian child.
U.S. citizens in these circumstances should contact the Australian Central Authority in the Australian Government Department of Social Services, to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. See contact information below.
For domestic and intercountry adoptions by U.S. citizens residing in Australia and relative or known child intercountry adoptions by U.S. citizens residing outside of Australia, each Australian state and territory is responsible for assessing and approving adoption applications in accordance with its particular laws.
Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Australia and the U.S. Mission in Australia's website for information on consular services.
Warning: Do not attempt to adopt a child in Australia before USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.
Remember: In cases where an adopted child may be eligible for an immigrant visa, the U.S. consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility later in the adoption process.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Australia, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.
Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.
Australia’s Adoption Authority:
Intercountry Adoption Australia (IAA)
Department of Social Services
GPO Box 9820
Canberra, ACT 2601
Australia’s state and territory central authorities
U.S. Consulate General in Sydney, Australia
Suite 2, 50 Miller Street
North Sydney, NSW 2060
Tel: 61 2 8219 2100
The U.S. also has consular representatives in Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth. Please note that Canberra does not provide consular services to the public.
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC)
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1- 913-275-5480 (local); Fax:1- 913-214-5808
For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
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