Adopting a step child

Step-parent adoptions are now rare in Tasmania.  The Adoption Act 1988 only allows for step-parent adoptions in circumstances where:

  • an order for custody or guardianship would not make adequate provision for the welfare and interests of the child
  • an adoption order would better serve the welfare and interests of the child
  • there are special circumstances to warrant the making of an adoption order, and
  • the welfare and interests of the child will be promoted by adoption.

In most cases it is possible to provide legal security for step-children through the Family Court of Australia.  The Family Court has capacity to grant orders for custody or guardianship of children to step-parents.  In most cases a Family Court order will make adequate provision for the welfare and interests of the child.  An adoption order, which servers all ties between a child and their birth family, is unnecessary and inappropriate in most step-parent cases.