Australian Embassy

Frequently Asked Questions & Latest Information

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Adopting children in Indonesia

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 Home Affairs (HA). 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 HA website

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 HA 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:

  1. At least one adoptive parent must be an Australian citizen, a holder of a permanent visa or an eligible New Zealand citizen.
  2. The child meets health and character requirements for migrant entry to Australia.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. The rights and best interests of the child would not be infringed by travel to Australia to live with the adoptive parents.
  6. 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.

Migration process

If you wish to lodge an adoption application, follow this checklist.


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 well before you plan to travel.
For more essential information, please see the information Fact Sheet on the adoption process on the Immigration website.

Health Assessment

Generally a health assessment is required if you are applying for a permanent visa, want to remain in Australia in excess of 3 months, will enter a health facility or are older than 75, though they can also be requested in other circumstances as well.

The department’s policy on requesting health checks is outlined on our website.

When to Book Flights and Accommodation

Clients should not book flights or make travel commitments until they have a visa to travel to Australia.

The department will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.


For general information on public health and safety risks in Australia, please visit:


If you have spent 28 days or longer since 5 May 2014 in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, you should provide a certificate of vaccination against Polio with your visa application.
If you did not provide a vaccination certificate at the time you lodged your visa application, you may be contacted by the Australian Embassy detailing how you can provide your vaccination certificate. Alternatively, you can present your certificate to your nearest Visa Application Centre.

Valid Application Lodgement and Travel

A visa application is not a valid application until it has been received by HA at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

Applications, lodged at the AVAC in Jakarta are generally received at the embassy the next business day, however those lodged at the AVAC in Bali, may take up to 5 calendar days to arrive at the embassy.

Some visa applications, such as a spouse visa application, require applicants to be outside Australia at the time the application is received by HA. If you are planning on travelling shortly after lodging a visa application please confirm that it has been delivered to the embassy prior to travelling by using the AVAC’s tracking service.

Urgent Travel

HA at the Australian Embassy, Jakarta processes applications in the order in which they are received. HA is not able to escalate cases except in emergency or compassionate and compelling circumstances. Having a planned travel date and booked airline ticket or accommodation is not considered reason to expedite processing of a visa application.

Please ensure you apply in plenty of time so that you can travel on your preferred date by referring to our current processing times.

If you need to request escalation you can contact us through our webform. Please note that non-exceptional requests for expedition received within service standards will not be responded to.

Authorising someone to act on your behalf

You may use a registered migration agent, travel agent or student education agent who can submit your visa application for you. You may also authorise someone else to act on your behalf. To do this you must submit the relevant form to HA:

Australian privacy laws prevent us from responding to enquiries from people who are not authorised by you. This includes people who are providing support to an application.

Work and Holiday Visa for Indonesians

On 3 July 2012 the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that Australia will significantly increase the number of work and holiday visas available to Indonesians, up from 100 to 1,000 places per year.

The Work and Holiday program details have been finalised with the Government of Indonesia.


Each applicant must:

  • Be between eighteen (18) and thirty (30) years old (including the ages 18 and 30) at the time the visa is applied for;
  • have tertiary qualifications, or have successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate university study;
  • apply in their home country (Indonesia);
  • have good English (for Indonesian applicants) - which is assessed as at least “functional” on a language test;
  • Have no dependent family members who will join them (that is, there are no husband/wife and children allowed as family members on the applicant’s visa);
  • have not had a visa of this type before;
  • have sufficient funds for their personal expenses for the first three months and evidence of sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket to Indonesia – generally this is about $5,000 AUD;
  • have good health and good character;
  • provide a letter of support from the Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration which states that the applicant meets these requirements.


People who are granted Work and Holiday visas must not:

  • be employed by any one employer for more than six (6) months;
  • engage in any studies or training for more than four (4) months.


Details of the work and holiday program such as the number of visas available are subject to formal discussions between the Australian and Indonesian Governments. Please check our website regularly for updates.

For further details, see the Information Checklist.

If you are an Australian interested in applying for a Work and Holiday visa for Indonesia please see:

Visa labels and visa evidence charge