Step By Step Legal Process To Adopt A Child In Australia

May 11, 2021    Familylawyers
Step By Step Legal Process To Adopt A Child In Australia

Are you willing to adopt a child in Australia? Unsure about how to begin? Becoming a parent can give you enough anxiety to deal with. Put an end to your worries as you read through the following step-by-step guide on how to adopt a child legally in Australia.

Adopting A Step-Child

To become the permanent adoptive parents to a step-child, you need to undergo a legal process. It involves qualifying through the eligibility factors and an application process stating your wish to adopt. It also validates you as a legal parent and transfers all responsibilities and rights over the step-child from their birth parents to your family. A couple may want to adopt for various reasons. It might be because the couple wishes to;

  • Adopt because they are unable to conceive a child
  • Solidify the step-child’s sense of belongingness and security
  • Validate the de-facto relationship between the couple and the step-child

However, the procedure may get baffling when unaware of the proper steps one needs to undergo while wanting to adopt. In such a scenario, it is advised to consult relevant adoption lawyers. A child adoption lawyer is experienced and holds appropriate specialization. This enables him to offer you streamlined guidance, which can help cut down on your time and effort. 

Eligibility Factors That Confirm Your Qualification As A Step-Parent

Below enlisted are the eligibility criteria that enables a parent to adopt a child in Australia.

  • The adopting couple/parent and the step-child must be from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
  • The parent has been in a stable relationship with their partner for at least three years.
  • The parent has been granted leave by the Family Court of Australia to begin with the adoption process.
  • The parent has to ensure the consent of their partner.
  • The child must be at least five years old and not above 17 years of age. However, conditions apply.
  • The birth parent/legal guardian’s consent is also necessary. In case of a consent dismissal, you can apply to ACT Supreme Court for a dispensation of their need to consent.

The Process Of Legal Adoption

Once you have met all the eligibility requirements, you may proceed with the application process. The adoption procedure includes the following steps:

  • Undergoing initial enquiry with the relevant adoption centre and registering your interest
  • Filling an application form to confirm eligibility for adopting a step-child
  • Procuring necessary consents from required people or choosing the dispensation application
  • Undergoing the assessment to get validated. The evaluation involves personal enquiries, medical checks and legal verification.
  • Filing the application and reporting with the ACT supreme court
  • Attending a court hearing announcing the adoption status
  • Updating necessary records and providing a new birth certificate for the step-child on approval

The necessity to involve a court grant takes a lot of time. The grant may be dismissed due to possible non-compliance or related issues. Anything that may potentially work against the step-child’s secure future is considered and addressed. To ensure an efficient adoption process with a maximum guarantee of acquiring a grant, consult a professional. For instance, consulting family lawyers in Perth may be a bonus. They have appropriate skills and can figure out the best means to assure approval. It is necessary to know local state requirements before making a decision. In this situation, you will be updated about all formalities Perth may require to uphold an adoption decision.

General Assessment Factors That Are Considered During A Court Grant

The assessment seeks to test a step-parent’s suitability to adopt a child. There is a nominal assessment fee involved which needs to be paid after acquiring the required consent. The adoption service center performs the assessment on specific grounds which include;

  • Criminal records
  • Involvement in domestic abuse/violence
  • Traffic and child protection inspection

The assessment includes;

  • Necessary checks
  • Honest inquiries with the step-parent, spouse and other nominated family members
  • Routine home visits for informal interviews
  • Assessing health conditions of the parent

In case of a successful assessment outcome, the adoption agency prepares a suitability report and hands you a copy of the same.

Adopting An Inter-Country Relative

If you wish to adopt a child relative located overseas, consult the relevant authority residing in the same country. There is a proper assessment procedure that the authority reports to your State and Territory Central Authority (STCA). The STCA will take further decision based on compliance with the Hague Convention. 

Obtaining Post-Adoption Support

In case of assistance regarding additional support after adoption, consult the same adoption agency that made the necessary arrangements.

Adoption in Australia is relatively easy if you know the exact steps needed to undergo the application and assessment. Having a proper estimate of expenses, time consumption, necessary documentation, and other related procedures is essential to reduce stress and confusion. Are you considering a chat with a professional lawyer? Associate with the best family lawyers in Perth to achieve an effortless outcome in your adoption case.

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