The Government will extend the Maternity Payment to families who adopt a child up to the age of two years and to families who adopt a child from overseas up to the age of two years at the date of entry into Australia.
Currently, the Maternity Payment is available to families who adopt a child under the age of 26 weeks. This measure will extend the age limit up to the age of two years for local adoptions and provide the Maternity Payment for overseas adoptions where the child is up to the age of two years at the date of entry into Australia.
For local adoptions, families will need to lodge a claim within 26 weeks of the child coming into their care. For overseas adoptions, the claim must be lodged within 26 weeks of the child entering Australia where the child's entry is part of the adoption process, or within 26 weeks from the date the child was entrusted to care where the child does not enter Australia as part of the adoption process.
This measure will be backdated to include children (for whom a payment has not already been made) who were adopted on or after 1 July 2004, which was the date the Maternity Payment was introduced.
Eligibility for adoptions from 1 July 2004, with payments to commence from 1 July 2005, provided that the Maternity Payment has not previously been paid in respect of the adopted child.
Total Government Funding
$6.6 million over five years (including $0.5 million in 2004-05).