A couple came to us seeking to have the mother’s family adopt their newborn. When the mother initially became pregnant, it was not her intention to continue with that pregnancy. The couple were informed of the option of adoption by a medical clinic.
They discussed with their family and made a decision that the mother’s family would adopt the child once born. It was agreed that the child would be taken into the family’s care immediately and they would raise it and eventually pursue formal adoption through the South Australian legal system.
There was nothing formal in place at the birth of the child, but the hospital was aware of the couple’s arrangement.
The child had been living with the maternal family for around 4 months before any formal involvement with lawyers commenced.
The mother’s sister and her husband sought legal advice on how to formally adopt their nephew.
Adoption in South Australia is often sought by stepparents or partners of one of the birth parents. These are described as the ‘prescribed adopting parents’. You are required to first obtain leave of the Family Court to adopt before pursuing the adoption in the Youth Court.
Intrafamily adoptions are less typical however it is becoming an increasingly common way for children to be adopted without the children being placed into state care.
Because an aunty and uncle are not the ‘prescribed adopting parents’ under the Family Law Act, there is no need to first obtain the leave of the Family Court.
We were able to go straight to the Youth Court with an Application for Adoption under the Adoption Act SA 1988.
The Application required all the parties, including the existing children, to be involved in an investigation process by the Department for Child Protection. The report was published and the consent of the birth parents was obtained.
The Court was satisfied that the investigation had been completed. There were no concerns raised about the applicant family and the birth parents had provided their informed consent. The Court made the Order allowing the adoption of the child to the maternal families care.
Lindbloms Lawyers can help answer any of you adoption questions. Give us a call today for a no obligation consultation.