If you and/or your partner are part of the Belgian social security system (e.g. by working as an employee or Belgian civil servant, being self-employed, or on unemployment benefits) you should be entitled to receive an adoption allowance (‘prime d’adoption’ / ‘adoptiepremie’) when you adopt a child.
The adoption allowance is a one-off payment of around EUR 1,000 from the Belgian state for each child that is adopted, paid by a family allowance agency.
The family allowance system is managed at regional level, which means that it is the (future) domicile of your child that determines which system they fall under.
In this section you can find out about the:
- basic principles of adoption allowance payments
- information about the family allowance systems in effect, and how to apply for adoption allowance, if your child(ren) is/are/will be domiciled in:
Other conditions may exist for families where one or more parent is an:
- employee of a European institution, Eurocontrol or one of the European schools
- employee of the UN, NATO and SHAPE
Ask your HR department or the relevant agency according to where you are domiciled (see below).
Some basic principles of adoption allowance payments
|Who submits the application and receives the allowance?||If the child is adopted by:
Contact your family allowance agency for more information.
|What paperwork needs to be in order before applying?||To be able to request this allowance, the adoption papers need to be in order.
|Is there a deadline to apply?||You can request the adoption allowance up to five years after the introduction of the request to adopt or the signature of the adoption act.|
If your child will be domiciled in Brussels
If you are adopting a child, and the child will be domiciled in Brussels, you can request an adoption allowance from one of five payment funds: Famiris, Infino Bruxelles, Parentia Bruxelles, Brussels Family or Kidslife Bruxelles.
How and when to apply for the adoption allowance?
If you are adopting a child within Belgium, you can make the request as soon as the adoption procedure has begun. If you are adopting a child from abroad, you need to wait until the procedure is completed. You can request the allowance up to five years after the submission of the ‘request for adoption’ or the signature of the ‘adoption act’.
The process to request the allowance appears to differ slightly depending on the payment fund you choose:
- Famiris, Infino, Parentia invite you to complete and return a form, attaching a copy of the ‘request for adoption’ that you filed with the court (Belgian adoption) or for a foreign adoption, a copy of the foreign ‘adoption act’;
- Brussels Family invites you to send them the ‘request for adoption’ that you filed with the court (Belgian adoption) or for a foreign adoption, a copy of the foreign ‘adoption act’; while
- Kidslife says “An application must be submitted to the Juvenile Court or Family Court”.
How much do I receive?
For the first child you adopt, you will receive an allowance of EUR 1,122. If you adopt (or have) additional children, you will receive an allowance of EUR 510 per child.
If your child will be domiciled in Flanders
If you are domiciled in Flanders, your child is part of the new ‘groeipakket’ scheme, which brings together the ‘startbedrag’ (adoption/birth allowance), family allowances as well as allowances related to childcare, school attendance etc.
You can apply for the adoption allowance as soon as you have filed the application for adoption with the court and when the child lives with the adopting parent, until five years thereafter.
How to apply for the birth allowance?
Send your payment fund the application for adoption that you filed with the court. If you are adopting a child from abroad, you should also include a copy of the foreign adoption deed.
You can also submit an official application form to your payment fund to apply for the adoption allowance. You can find this on the website of your payment fund.
How much do I receive and when?
The adoption allowance is currently EUR 1144,44 for all adopted children.
If your child will be domiciled in Wallonia
How and when to apply for the birth allowance?
Access the relevant form on the website of your chosen payment fund, and complete and return the form.
You will also need to submit:
- a copy of the ‘request for adoption‘ that you filed with the court (Belgian adoption) or for a foreign adoption, a copy of the foreign ‘adoption act‘;
- proof of the date on which the child became part of your household.
How much do I receive?
For a child born before 1 January 2020, the allowance is EUR 1,323.88; for children born after this date, the allowance is EUR 1,122.
If your child will be domiciled in German-speaking Belgium
The new system is in place since 1 January 2019, and covers family allowance, birth allowance and adoption allowance.
- www.ostbelgienlive.be (German)