Information Regarding Adoption of Children in Indonesia by Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents
This information is intended to assist Australian citizens or permanent residents who are considering adopting a child in Indonesia.
Important: In relation to Indonesian adoption law, this information sheet is intended as guidance only. The Australian Government does not aim to give definitive or binding advice on matters of Indonesian law. Law and policy regarding adoption in Indonesia is subject to change and while every effort is made to keep this information up to date, people considering adoption are encouraged to approach the The Social Ministry or KEMSOS for more detailed and current information. KEMSOS is the government authority that administers Indonesian law and policy in matters relating to adoption and custody of children. Contact details for KEMSOS are given below.
Australian Citizens wishing to adopt
Australian citizens wishing to adopt a child in Indonesia should contact the Yayasan Sayap Ibu (Sayap Ibu Foundation), an organisation appointed by the Indonesian Government to handle adoptions by foreigners. Their contact details are: Jl Barito II No.55, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12130, Tel. 021 7221763, 021 7266317.
The Social Ministry (KEMSOS) is the agency in the Indonesian Government to manage the administration of Indonesian adoption law and regulations. Their office is located at Jl. Salemba Raya No.28, Jakarta Pusat-10430 on the 7th floor. Their telephone number is 021 3100375.
Prospective adopters must satisfy the criteria set out by the Indonesian Government for the adoption of Indonesian children by non Indonesian nationals. These include strict requirements regarding residence in Indonesia, age, marital status and religion of prospective adoptive parents.
There have been a number of instances in which Australians have been poorly advised (including by legal practitioners) and have entered into fostering/adoption arrangements which, even though endorsed by local courts, do not meet the requirements of Indonesian adoption law. Adoptions which do not meet these requirements will not meet the requirements for the grant of Australian permanent residence visas or Australian citizenship.
Australians intending to adopt a child in Indonesia should not attempt to circumvent the proper processes and should be very careful in evaluating advice from third parties.
Indonesian adoption requirements can in some instances require a considerable investment of time from the prospective adoptive parents. Prospective adoptive parents should allow at least two years to complete the fostering and adoption processes, in addition to the time required to process the application for Australian permanent residence and citizenship. Adoption processes must be completed in Indonesia. Attempts to hurry the process may result in adoption orders which do not comply with Indonesian government requirements, and which will not be recognised for Australian citizenship or permanent residence.
We strongly recommend that before you enter into any arrangements to foster a child, you make arrangements for the child to undertake a medical check through a doctor identified by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). This is not a requirement of Indonesian law but will assist in identifying any medical conditions which might potentially affect the child’s eligibility to obtain Australian permanent residence. The list of approved panel doctors is available on the DIAC website http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/panel-doctors/
Australian permanent residents wishing to adopt
Australian permanent residents who are Indonesian citizens (travelling on Indonesian passports) who wish to adopt a child in Indonesia are generally regarded as Indonesian citizens and the procedures for adoption are somewhat different. More information on the procedures can be obtained through KEMSOS at their telephone number: 021 3100375.
Australian Government criteria for the grant of permanent residence (Subclass 102 – Adoption)
These Australian visa criteria apply to both Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents who are wanting to adopt.
After the adoption has been approved by the relevant Indonesian authorities, the parents may apply to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for an Australian permanent resident visa for the child.
The following requirements must be met for the grant of a Subclass 102 (Adoption) permanent visa:
At least one adoptive parent must be an Australian citizen, a holder of a permanent visa or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
The child meets health and character requirements for migrant entry to Australia.
At least one adoptive parent has been resident overseas for more than 12 months at the time of application and that residence was not, in the officer’s judgement, contrived to avoid obtaining the approval of the relevant Australian welfare authorities.
The laws and regulations of the overseas country have been complied with and the child welfare authorities in that country approve of the child travelling to Australia with the adoptive parents (even if the parents do not intend to travel to Australia).
The rights and best interests of the child would not be infringed by travel to Australia to live with the adoptive parents.
The adoption order gives full parental rights to the adopters and severs all legal links to the birth parents. Orders, which only grant guardianship, custody or other lesser rights, would not satisfy this requirement.
If you wish to lodge an adoption application, follow this checklist.
Australian citizens or permanent residents who are considering adopting an Indonesian child may wish to discuss the migration process with a Senior Migration Officer. You can do this by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting an appointment.
Once the migration visa has been granted an application for citizenship may be made. Once Australian citizenship has been granted an application for an Australian passport may be lodged. The entire process including visa, citizenship and passport processing could take several months.
Other visa applications
This information is about lodging another visa application (like a tourist visa)while there is an ongoing existing adoption process being considered.
Under Australian migration law, a tourist visa can only be granted to a child aged under 18 in circumstances where each person who has the right to decide where the child shall live consent to the grant of the visa, or where the law of the applicant’s home country permits the removal of the child, or where the grant of the visa would be consistent with any Australian child order in force in relation to the applicant. Similar requirements apply to many other categories of Australian visa.
Children who are subject to an ongoing adoption process in Indonesia may require permission from the relevant Indonesian government authority to travel. For a Tourist visa application, the decision maker would also need to be satisfied that a genuine visit to Australia was intended, which would include an assessment that there is sufficient incentive for the child to return to Indonesia within the validity period of any visa granted. If a Tourist visa is granted, it may be include a condition preventing further visa applications while the child is in Australia.
If you are considering making an application on behalf of a child who is subject to an ongoing Indonesian adoption process, you are strongly encouraged to seek advice from the Visa Section of the Australian Embassy at email@example.com well before you plan to travel.
For more essential information, please see the information Fact Sheet on the adoption process on the Immigration website.