Adoption allowance

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.

Since January 2019, the family allowance system has been managed at regional rather than federal 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:

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:
  • one parent, it is this person who submits the application and receives the payment;

  • a male-female couple, the adoption allowance is requested by the father. If the couple do not specify who should receive the allowance, it is paid to the mother.

  • a same-sex couple, the adoption allowance is requested by, and paid to, the older of the couple.
If the adoptive parent(s) are neither employees nor independent, it may still be possible to receive an adoption allowance.

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.
  • For a Belgian adoption, a 'request for adoption' must have been submitted to the Belgian tribunal.

  • For an international adoption of a minor:
    • an 'adoption act' must have been signed in the country of the adoption
    • the Belgian tribunal must have established that the parent(s) is/are fit to adopt.
  • For an international adoption of a child over the age of 18, an 'adoption act' must have been signed in the country of the adoption
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

Until 8 January 2020, the adoption allowance (and family allowance) is paid by FAMIFED, the federal agency for family allowances. After that date, a new public institution Famiris will take over.

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 adoption allowance?

  • If you are an employee (or unemployed, retired or on long-term sick leave) you need to make the request to the family allowance agency of your (last) employer.

  • If you are self-employed, you need to make the request to FAMIFED or your own family allowance.

With the request you need to send the application for adoption that you filed with the court.

How much do I receive?

The adoption allowance is currently (May 2019) EUR 1297,92 for all adopted children.

More information?

https://brussel.famifed.be/fr/familles/naissance-et-adoption/prime-dadoption


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 (May 2019) EUR 1247,58 for all adopted children.

Worth knowing

If your ‘startbedrag’ has been requested and approved, you will also start receiving the ‘groiepakket’ (family allowance) automatically, without no additional paperwork to submit.

More information?

https://www.myfamily.be/en/baby-on-the-way/adoption-allowance/


If your child will be domiciled in Wallonia

You can apply for the adoption allowance as soon as you have filed the application for adoption with the court, until five years thereafter.

How to apply for the birth allowance?

Complete the online form and submit a copy of:

  • the application for adoption that you filed with the court; and
  • proof of the date on which the child became part of your household.

How much do I receive?

The adoption allowance is currently (May 2019) EUR 1297,92 for all adopted children.

More information?

https://www.famiwal.be/accedez-aux-themes/naissance-et-adoption/prime-dadoption (French)


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.

More information?


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