Adopting a stepchild

If you want to adopt your partner’s child, it's best to get legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in family law.

To adopt a child in the Northern Territory (NT), you must be all of the following:

  • an Australian citizen
  • in a relationship (either married or de-facto)
  • over 25
  • no more than 40 years older than the child.

Exceptional circumstances can be considered.

You, your partner and the child must be NT residents.

Children over 12 years old must give their consent to the adoption.

Consent must also be given by the relinquishing parent if they are listed on the birth certificate, and in other exceptional circumstances.

How to register your interest

To register your interest in adopting a child, follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in the form

Fill in an expression of interest to step adoption form DOCX (60.8 KB).

This is the first official step in the adoption process.

You will need to declare all of the following:

  • that you have not had a previous adoption registration cancelled or rejected
  • a child has not been removed from your care
  • you have not been convicted of an offence involving abuse or abduction of a child
  • you are mentally and physically capable of caring for a child.

Step 2. Submit the form

Submit your completed form by mail or email to the Adoptions Unit.

The Adoption Unit will contact you and make an appointment to discuss your circumstances.

You can contact the Adoption Unit at any time for more information or to discuss your application.

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Last updated: 28 October 2020

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