I recently had the opportunity to assist a family with the adoption of an adult child. This took place in the Adelaide Youth Court, following the requirements set out in the Adoption Act 1988 (SA).
It is always a pleasure to help our clients with these happy moments involving the granting of adoption through the court system to recognise the already existing parent-to-child relationship between a family member and an adult child.
In this case, the adoption involved a stepfather who had met his stepson when he formed a relationship with the son’s mother, when the son was around four years of age. He took on the role of a parent to his stepson caring for him as a parent does, supporting him and being involved in his education and sporting activities.
While the stepson continued to have a relationship with his biological father during his childhood, unfortunately, that relationship broke down over time as he did not spend substantial time with his father, and there were several times in his life when he was not there for him, including a serious medical scare in his early teens.
Now aged in his 20s, the adult child wished to recognise his stepfather as his legal father and we assisted the family to prepare documents to enable this to occur.
What I learned through this process was that our client, the stepfather, had also been adopted as a child by his stepfather in the 1980s. It made it all the more rewarding to be able to assist this family for a second generation of a stepfather being recognised as the legal parent of a stepchild, in circumstances where the stepfather has stepped in and taken the responsibility for the child as if he was his own, just like his stepfather had done for him.
If you or someone you know are interested in undertaking the adult adoption pathway, you can contact our family law team by emailing [email protected]. For more detailed information about recognising a caregiver through adult adoption, watch or listen to our Podcast below.