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VIC Adoption of De Facto's Children by Senior Citizen

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Pieter, 24 October 2014.

  1. Pieter

    Pieter Member

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    I am in a de facto relationship and have been for three years. My de facto has two children, both under 12. The whereabouts of the father is unknown as he left Australia in 2008 and has not been heard of since. Neither Child Support nor other Government Agencies have been able to find him and we are advised he has not re-entered Australia since 2008.

    As a 65 year old senior citizen, am I able to adopt these children under family law?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    These days, it is preferred that you incorporate a step child into your family through orders of the Family Court i.e. custody, time sharing etc etc rather than by adoption. Therefore its not as simple as it used to be. The Family Court is able to grant orders, regarding where and with whom a child lives and has contact with. this option preserves a child’s legal ties to both birth parents while acknowledging the child’s new living situation. However this does not preclude the option of adoption.

    The Court will only make an adoption order in respect of a stepchild when:
    1. an adoption order would make better provision for the child than a Family Court Order; OR
    2. Exceptional circumstances exist which warrant the making of an adoption order. For example where the non-custodial parent is deceased or has been totally absent from the child’s life for many years. Usually a combination of major circumstances is required to meet this requirement.

    You can speak to an adoption agency to determine whether your application is likely to meet these requirements.

    To make an adoption application, you will need to have been married to or in a stable de facto relationship with your partner for min. 2 yrs to be considered suitable. De factors will have to provide documentary evidence of the start date of your relaitonship.

    You and your family will need to be interviewed by an adoption agency, and the wishes of the child and their other parent regarding adoption will also be ascertained. The consent of the custodial parent must be obtained in order for the adoption to take place

    For more information, check out this leaflet online:
    http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/572901/stepchild_adoption_dl_booklet.pdf
     
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  3. Pieter

    Pieter Member

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    This has been extremely helpful. Thank you very much for explaining
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    No worries.
     

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