Whatever your reasons are for choosing to adopt a child, it’s important to find an experienced adoption lawyer that can help you through this beautifully exciting period.

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Adoption in a legal sense will establish a permanent legal relationship between you and a child and dissolve the legal relationship with their birth family.

The adoption process in Queensland is notoriously difficult to navigate and can be quite expensive, but don’t lose hope. Our team of expert adoption lawyers can guide you through every step of the way.

Typically, the process for adopting a child in Queensland goes as follows:

  • Complete an Adoption Expression of Interest Form (there is no fee to do this)
  • Take part in the assessment of your eligibility
  • If approved, your name will be entered onto the Expression of Interest Register for two years before it expires
  • Once you are on the register, you may be selected to have your suitability assessed and will receive a Notice of Selection for Assessment
  • If you and any other adults residing in your home are assessed as “suitable”, you will be entered onto the Suitable Adoptive Parent(s) Register
  • From this register, adoption agencies will select people that are most appropriate for a particular adoptive child
  • Hopefully you will receive a placement proposal, which you can accept or decline
  • If you accept, an application will be made to the Children’s Court for an interim adoption order
  • The child must then be in your care for at least 12 months before a final adoption order can be made

How do I adopt my step-child?

Step-parent adoption is the legal process for becoming an adoptive parent of your partner or spouse’s child.

Eligibility for step-parent adoption is much the same as for all Queensland adoptions.

Your step-child must be aged between 5 and 17 years and you will need to prove that you:

  • are an adult who is an Australian citizen that resides in Queensland
  • live with the child and their parent and have done so for at least three years
  • have been granted leave under the Family Law Act 1975 to commence adoption proceedings

If you are an eligible step-parent, here’s how adopting your step-child will work.

Firstly, you complete an application to adopt a step-child. Before the application process can commence, it will be necessary to obtain consent from the child’s other parent. If this is not possible, an application can be made to the Children’s Court and you can contact our team to find out more about that process.


You will then be assessed to determine “suitability”. This assessment will include things like home interviews, discussions with you, the child and the parent, your health and wellbeing, and checks on criminal, traffic, domestic violence, and child protection records.

If you are found to be suitable, you will receive a report from Adoption Services for presentation to the court as proof in your application.

It is important that any application is made with your partner, as once the order is made the child ceases to be the child of the former parents and becomes the child of the adoptive parents.

If your application is not approved, you may have the ability to appeal the decision, or seek a different type of order. Our team of expert adoption lawyers can advise you on these options.


Get expert legal advice about your adoption journey today.

You’re reading this because adoption is something you are genuinely considering and that is no small decision to make. It’s important that you seek the absolute best advice and counsel at this time. Like the old saying, “it takes a village”, so too does preparing for adoption. Consider speaking with your family and friends, seeking financial advice, and possibly emotional support and understanding from someone like a counsellor or psychologist.

Best Wilson Buckley’s team of expert adoption lawyers can provide you with advice and support as you navigate the legal complexities of adoption.


Adoption Lawyers in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich & North Lakes

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