The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Primary carer for PLP - adoptive parents

Adoptive parents

In the case of an adoption, to be a primary carer (1.1.P.230) the claimant must establish that the adoption occurred or is underway, and that they are, or will be, the adoptive parent of a child.

For adoptive parents to be eligible for PLP, the child must become entrusted to the care of the person by an authorised party as part of the process of adoption, and the child must be under 16 years of age at the time of placement with the adoptive parents.

For both couple adoptions and adoptions by an individual, the claimant must establish that they have been the primary carer of the child they are adopting since placement of the child, or will be the primary carer of the child from placement. The primary carer member of the couple may be an adoptive mother or father. However, once it is established that the individual claimant was or is the child's initial primary carer, for PLP purposes that member of the couple is treated in broadly the same manner as a birth mother.

The other member of the adoptive couple would be able to successfully claim PLP as a primary claimant only in exceptional circumstances (1.1.E.100) comparable to those applying to the non-birth mother parent of a child (

Only one member of a couple adopts the child

If the child is being adopted by only one member of a couple, in ordinary circumstances, only that parent may be the primary claimant for PLP for the child, provided that the parent can also show that they are the child's primary carer. Adoptions of this nature generally are very rare as state and territory laws may require adoptions to be undertaken by a couple. If the couple prefer that the partner of the adoptive parent receive PLP on taking over the primary care of the child, the adoptive parent potentially may lodge a primary claim for PLP and then transfer their entitlement to their partner as a secondary claimant (2.2.11).

Exception: Eligible adoptive relationships do not include known adoptions (1.1.K.20), including step-child adoptions. These are situations where the child has lived continuously with the prospective adoptive parent prior to the date on which the process of adoption commenced and the adoption is more in the nature of formalising the parental relationship. In these cases, it would normally be expected that the child would not be regarded as being placed with the adoptive parent as part of the process of adoption, and hence such an adoptive parent would not be eligible.

Act reference: PPLAct section 47 When a person is the primary carer of a child, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim, section 275 How this Act applies to an adopted child

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP, Part 3 Claims for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.1 PLP eligibility overview, 2.2.10 Who is a primary claimant for PLP?, 9.1.1 Adopted child

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