Means Tested Adoption Allowance Commences Operation

A new means-tested adoption allowance announced by the NSW Government in March is now in operation.

This allowance, which came into force on July 1, will mirror the carer allowance rates paid by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services so that an eligible person adopting a child in their care is likely to retain their existing level of financial support

Eligibility will be determined based on:

  • An adoption order made on or after 1 July 2017
  • Residence in NSW
  • Eligibility to receive all or part of Family Tax Benefit Part A.

The allowance aims to remove the potential economic barrier to out-of-home care adoption for people who may otherwise wish to adopt a child in their care. It is hoped it will facilitate a larger, and more diverse pool of potential adoptive parents – both in the interests of achieving safe and stable homes for more children and young people, and in maintaining cultural continuity for them as well.

The allowance applies per adopted child. Adoptive parent(s) who have adopted more than one child will receive the adoption allowance for each child until they turn 18 years, as long as they remain eligible.

FACS has developed a fact sheet to help agencies respond to enquires they may receive about the introduction of the allowance.

Alternatively, agencies seeking more information may wish to contact the Open Adoption Hotline on 1800 003 227, between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday, or submit an online enquiry.

Agencies may also email