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I want to adopt my step child in New South Wales. How do I do it?

We would be delighted to help guide you through this important process. This is a brief summary of the steps involved in the adoption process. Please contact us for further information.

  • The Supreme Court of New South Wales will require some personal information from you and your spouse. You will both be making the application together. We will prepare a written statement for you both to sign (it is called an affidavit) containing all the relevant details and file it with the Court. The Affidavit will contain details about your:
    • relationship;
    • home;
    • assets and liabilities;
    • educational qualifications;
    • employment details;
    • interests and hobbies;
    • superannuation and/or life insurance policies;
    • step-child to be adopted;
    • other children with your spouse;
    • religion; and
    • family relationships.
  • We will help you apply for Police Certificates which will be needed for inclusion in your joint Affidavit.
  • Copies of your birth and marriages certificates will also need to be annexed to your Affidavit together with birth certificates of any other children you have.
  • You will need to find two close friends, who are independent of each other, and have observed you both interacting with the child in a family environment. These friends will be your Referees and will also need to complete an Affidavit for the Supreme Court.
  • The birth parent of your step-child (if living and able) must consent to your adopting their child. Their consent must be filed with the Supreme Court. Before they consent to the adoption, they must be provided with information setting out the alternatives for adoption, the emotional effects of the adoption, the legal process and their post adoption rights. This is called the mandatory information. After being provided with the mandatory information, the birth parent must seek counselling. They must then sign the Consent before an independent legal practitioner. The legal practitioner must also complete and sign a statement. There are time constraints surrounding this process. In some situations, we can help you ask the Court to dispense with the need to obtain the birth parent’s consent.
  • A report must also be completed by an Adoption Assessor who is approved by Community Services (formerly the Department of Community Services). The Assessor will arrange a time to meet with you and your family, usually at the family home. This may involve several visits. A report will then be prepared for submission to the Supreme Court. The approximate cost of this report is $1,160.00 plus travelling time.
  • If the step child is over 12, they must formally consent to their adoption. They must be provided with mandatory information and must seek counselling. The child giving their consent must see a registered psychologist or other appropriate expert who will assess whether the child has the capacity to understand what they are signing. The consent must then be signed before an independent legal practitioner. The legal practitioner must also complete and sign a statement.
  • We will prepare a Summons for the Court.
  • We will prepare an Adoption Order.
  • We will prepare an Affidavit annexing the original Birth Certificate of the child.
  • Once the adoption application is lodged at the Court it may take approximately four to six weeks before the Order is made subject to any questions that the Court asks.
  • Once the Adoption Order has been made you officially become the parent of your step child. We will send you a completed application for a Birth Certificate and document detailing identification requirements.

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