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Adoption

Adopting a child can be an overwhelming experience. We can take the stress away by guiding you through the adoption process from start to finish.

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Helping you through the adoption process

For many people, adopting a child can seem like an overwhelming experience. We can take the stress away by guiding you through the adoption process, from determining your eligibility, seeking leave from the Family Court of Australia, commencing proceedings to adopt the child, through to filing your application and obtaining the final order.

Timely Legal Services

Assisting you in making decisions that will positively impact your family

If you are looking to adopt, we’ll give you the information you need to help you make the decisions that will have a positive impact on you, your spouse and any existing children. It is important to carefully consider all decisions made during the adoption process, and a family lawyer can help with this.

Dispute Resolution

Explaining the outcomes of adoption

We will explain the implications of adoption up front so you are fully aware of your responsibilities as the parent of an adopted child once the adoption process is finalised. This could include potential future scenarios you may not have considered, for example, what could happen in the event of a separation from your spouse. We aim to ensure you know that adoption is the right decision for your family.

Frequently asked questions

Adoption is the process of transferring the legal rights and responsibilities from a child’s biological parent to an adoptive parent.
Private adoption is illegal in Queensland. The state government enables all adoptions through the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. This department can assist with:

- Birth parents considering placing their child up for adoption;
- Children who require adoptive services;
- Individuals looking to adopt; and
- Individuals wanting to lodge a contact statement relating to a prior adoption.
There are currently the steps involved in adopting your step-child in Queensland:

1. Leave must be sought by the prescribed adoptive parent and granted by the Family Court of Australia to commence proceedings to adopt the child.

2. Before granting leave, the court must consider if it is in the child’s best interest for leave to be granted for the child’s adoption. If the court is satisfied, an order will be granted that permits the adopting parent to make an application to adopt the child.

3. The adopting parent must be deemed suitable to adopt the child by Adoption Services. In Queensland, Adoption Services Queensland is the government agency that oversees and facilitates adoptions once leave is granted for adoption proceedings to commence. To be eligible to apply to adopt a child, certain criteria under the Adoption Act 2009 must be met. These include:

a. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age;
b. The applicant must be a resident or domiciled in Queensland;
c. The applicant must be an Australian citizen or the partner of an Australian citizen;
d. The applicant must be the spouse of the child’s parent and have lived with the child and the child’s parent for three consecutive years prior to the application being made;
e. The applicant must have been granted leave by the Family Court of Australia under the Family Law Act 1975 to start adoption proceedings;
f. The applicant must not be of the same gender as their spouse (the child’s parent); and
g. The child must be at least five years of age but no more than 17 years of age.

4. An application must be made to the Children’s Court of Queensland. Once the adopting parent has obtained confirmation of their eligibility from Adoption Services, they can apply to the Children’s Court of Queensland for a final order for the adoption of the child. The application must be made jointly with the step-parent’s spouse. The court may make a final adoption order for a child if the court is satisfied that:

a. The child is present in Queensland;
b. The step-parent is an adult and residing or living in Queensland;
c. The step-parent or their spouse is an Australian citizen;
d. The step-parent is considered suitable;
e. An order for the child’s adoption would better promote the child’s well-being and bests interests; and
f. If there are exceptional circumstances that warrant the making of the order.
Once a child is adopted, the child’s legal relationship with their biological parents and family is severed and the adoptive parents become legally responsible for the child as if they were the child’s biological parents. This means the child is no longer a child of their former parent.
In the event of a separation from your spouse who is the child’s parent, you would still be considered a parent of that child and deemed to have a duty to financially maintain the child, so you could be liable to pay child support.
An application to adopt a child who is 17 years old is only accepted if a step-parent can prove they can finalise the adoption process before the child turn 18. This means demonstrating that there is enough time to:
- Determine the step-parent’s eligibility;
- Give information and pre-consent counselling to the child and any parent whose consent to the adoption is required;
- Allow the 30-day period for the parent to revoke consent for the adoption to expire;
- Have the step-parent apply to the Childrens Court of Queensland (if applicable);
- Assess the suitability of the step-parent, such as their criminal history, domestic violence history, traffic history and other information from Queensland Police Service;
- Complete a report of the home study assessment; and
- Allow the step-parent to make an application for a final adoption order to the Childrens Court of Queensland.
After you sign the adoption consent form, you have 30 days to change your mind, which is called the revocation period. This period begins the day after you sign the consent form.
Individuals who can revoke or reverse an adoption generally include the birth parents, adoptive parents or the child being adopted. For an adoption to be reversed, a petition must be filed by one of the parties involved who must convince the court of a compelling reason to annul the adoption.

Why choose us

We will tell you the truth at all times

We will be honest with you about your prospects of success, issues that arise or the commercial viability of your matter. The first time you come to see us, we will tell you whether you even need a lawyer.

We will respect you and your situation

Our job is not to judge anything you may have done. Our job is to guide your matter and actions moving forward to give you the best possible outcome for you, both legally and personally.

We will listen and understand your needs

We will hear not just what you want to achieve, but why you want to achieve it. We will tell you what you need to do to achieve the outcome you are after, legally, practically and emotionally.

We will stand by you all the way

Your matter doesn’t finish once a court order has been made. We will stay on your matter right up until all of the outstanding issues have been dealt with and the court orders are complied with.

We can help you through the adoption process.

Forge Legal’s family lawyers are specialists in all areas of family law and can assist you with all legal matters in the adoption process.

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