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Adopting a step-child

The Adoption (Review) Amendment Act 2016 has passed in the South Australian Parliament. This means there are significant changes that may affect you.

See the changes to the Adoption Act page for more information about the changes, and what they might mean for you.

Step-parent adoptions are rare in South Australia, as it is possible to provide legal security for stepchildren through the Family Court of Australia.

Family Court Orders

An order in the Family Court is usually seen as the best choice in a step-parent situation rather than an Adoption Order. 

Adoption practice and research shows that it is generally in a child's best interest to maintain ties with their family of origin. This is usually more positive for the child and allows them to know all aspects of their background which is important in developing their identity.

This is also reflected in the South Australian Adoption Act 1988 (section 10) that deals with step-parent adoptions.

Seeking legal advice

See a solicitor to talk about an application for a Family Court order appropriate to your family's situation in the first instance.

You can do this either by seeing a private solicitor or by making an appointment to see a Legal Services Commission of South Australia officer.


Adoption services

Telephone: 8463 3666 (current adoptions)
Email: adoptions [at] sa.gov.au