Mostly when people apply to adopt, they do not have a specific child in mind. Occasionally however, people want to adopt a child they know, such as a step-child, a relative or a person who has been in their care.

Adopt a step-child

Adoptions by a step-parent are rare in Victoria. Parenting orders under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) deal with parenting arrangements, and can decide who has responsibility for a child.

The Adoption Act 1984 (External link) does not prevent a person from making an application for an adoption order in Victoria if leave of the Family Court has not been granted. Without leave, a natural parent’s parental responsibility under the Family Law Act does not stop.

For more information about parenting orders:

If you want more information about adopting a step-child please contact Adoption Victoria by emailing (External link).

Adult adoption

Adoption is usually associated with young children, but it is also possible for adults to be adopted. Often, this is to formalise an existing close relationship within the family.

There are no adoption agencies involved in adult adoptions. An application is completed with supporting affidavits from the applicant and adult adoptee. The County Court's page on Adoption and Parentage has more information (External link).

Relative living overseas

The process for considering the adoption of a relative who lives overseas is the same across Australia. See Intercountry relative child adoptions (External link) for more information.

As with any intercountry adoption process, an intercountry relative child adoption must only take place if it is in the best interests of the child.

Intercountry relative child adoption should only be considered after all options have been explored and must always be initiated in the child’s country of origin.