Adoption is the legal process where someone acquires the permanent legal status of parenthood over a child under the age of eighteen years, in place of the child’s biological parents.

Adult adoption can also be achieved if the “child” is over the age of eighteen years.

There are three types of adoption:

  • Child adoptions, where the child is adopted by a relative, stepparent or carer;
  • Local adoptions, where the adoptive parent has no previous relationship with the child; and
  • Intercountry adoptions, where the child is born overseas and adopted into an Australian family.

Family Focus Legal can assist with the process of child adoptions and adult adoptions. All other adoptions in Australia are managed by state and territory government agencies, as well as approved adoption agencies.

The effect of an adoption is that the child becomes a full member of the adoptive family, in the same way as a biological child would. They assume all the rights of a biological child, including the right of inheritance. As well as this, a biological parent of a child can also release their legal rights over the adopted child. A step parent can adopt a child and their partner (a biological parent) can still maintain their legal rights and connection with the child.

Adoption in Australia can be a very complicated legal process, and it is therefore recommended that if you are considering adoption, that you contact our team to assist you in this process by calling our office on 0246554224 or by email at

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