Inter-country adoption

Intercountry adoption Australia: Your guide to overseas adoption

The Australian Government created Intercountry Adoption Australia to help guide people wanting to adopt a child from overseas.

Intercountry Adoption Australia is a national service and central point of contact for people at all stages of the intercountry adoption process. For people already in the process, or considering applying to adopt a child from overseas, the service will connect them to a variety of resources and services.

Find out more at Intercountry Adoption Australia.

How do I get a passport for a child adopted from overseas?

See our 5-step guide on how to apply for a child passport.

To make the process easier, there are some special provisions for children adopted through intercountry adoption.

Citizenship certificate

Only Australian citizens can have an Australian passport. So, before you start your child’s passport application, make sure you have evidence of the child's Australian citizenship from the Department of Home Affairs.

Evidence of adoption

The first time you apply for a passport for your child, if the child doesn’t have a full Australian birth certificate you’ll need to show us documentary evidence of the adoption. This could be in the form of an adoption compliance certificate, an adoption order or equivalent document showing the child’s and the adoptive parents’ full names.

For subsequent passport applications, you won’t need to provide evidence of the adoption again, as long as your child's personal details (name, sex, date and place of birth) remain the same and there are no changes to who has parental responsibility for your child.

Parental responsibility

For children adopted through intercountry adoption, the people with parental responsibility are the adoptive parents listed on the child's Australian or foreign birth certificate, unless parental responsibility has changed since those documents were issued.

If your child doesn’t have an Australian or foreign birth certificate, we may accept the adoption certificate, adoption order or equivalent instead.

Foreign documents

Any foreign documents you show us have to be in English or translated in full by an approved translation service. If you can’t get a translation from an approved translation service, you can provide:

  • a translation by an official from the relevant Australian state or territory central authority or the foreign adoption agency, or
  • an Information Letter on the relevant Australian state or territory central authority letterhead that includes the details of the child's name and date of birth and the full names of the adoptive parents.


The first time you apply for a passport for a child adopted through intercountry adoption, you may not be able to find a guarantor who meets the usual requirement of having known the child for at least 12 months or, for children under one year, since birth.

Instead, you may use a guarantor who has known the child since the date of adoption or since the date the child arrived in Australia. For subsequent passport applications, standard guarantor requirements apply.

Emergency travel

If you’re lodging your child's application overseas with full consent and there’s a need for the child to travel before we can issue a full-validity passport, you can apply for an emergency passport.

Further information

For more information, contact us on 131 232, or visit Intercountry Adoption Australia.