Blended families have become more widespread in the 21st century. According to the Australian Census in 2012–2013, the proportion of intact families in Brisbane—where the children are both parents’ natural offspring—declines drastically as a kid ages.
Nowadays, step-parent adoption is becoming a more common phenomenon. As its name suggests, this process involves the adoption of step-children by step-parents. However, like any other type of adoption, step-parent adoption requires many legal preparations, so it would be best to consult with family lawyers in Brisbane.
To give you a better idea of what to expect, here are the main factors to consider if you think of a step-parent adoption.
Brisbane considers you to have a step-family if you or your partner have children from a prior relationship living with you. When step-parents take full responsibility for their step-children daily, they may want to formalise this connection and relationship. One way to do this is through a step-parent adoption.
Naturally, you will need to understand the rules governing step-parent adoption and who can help you with the process before you proceed with it. Aside from getting help from lawyers, you can also check out online resources and adoption support services for more information.
Reasons for Adoption
Understanding why you want to adopt a step-child can help you build your case and determine whether you should push through with the decision. Here are some of the main reasons why families consider step-adoption:
- The biological parent is gone from the children’s lives.
- The biological parent no longer contributes to child support.
- The parent may have been absent for a long time.
- The child may have indicated a wish to be adopted.
- The parents may want to ensure that the child stays with the step-parent if the birth parent passes away or the child’s other parent may have passed away.
One of the most important things to consider is whether you and your partner are on the same page with the adoption. Like other legal decisions, adoption is no small feat, so you need to be sure you are prepared for it. Spend time talking things over before getting started.
Step-parent adoption is a big responsibility because you essentially become a child’s legal guardian. As a result, you become liable for your step-children, and after the adoption, the non-custodial parent will no longer be responsible for the rights and duties of the child.
Step-parent adoption in Brisbane, Australia grants you the authority to make medical, religious, educational, and other crucial life decisions on behalf of your step-child. In the case of a divorce, the step-parent retains all of the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent. Thus, you need to consider this carefully and assess whether you have the means to support your step-child.
Consent From Biological Parents
Unless the non-custodial parent has abandoned the child, you must get the approval or consent of your spouse and the other parent if you wish to adopt a step-child. The non-custodial parent relinquishes all rights and duties, including child support, by granting their permission.
Make sure to speak with family lawyers in Brisbane to understand what is expected from you and what responsibilities you will ensue should you decide to go with the adoption.
There are now various options for taking on parental responsibility for your step-children. However, before finalising a decision, you should think about what is best for you, your partner, and your step-child.
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