Queensland Adoption Law 2017

"Adoption is defined as the judicial process in which the legal obligations and rights of a child toward the biological parents are terminated and new rights and obligations are created between the child and the adoptive parents" ("adoption", 2008).

The Adoption Act (2009) governs all matters pertaining to adoption, more specifically same-sex adoption and prior to the 2016 reforms prohibited the lawful adoption of children by same-sex couples in Queensland (Burke, 2016). Before the reforms, the eligibility criteria for adoption as outlined in S76 of the Adoption Act (2009) specified that "A person is eligible to have his or her name entered or remain in the expression of interest register if the person had a spouse who is not the same gender as them".

Post reforms S76 of the Adoption Act (2009) outlines that a person is eligible to adopt if the person is an adult who is or has a spouse that is an Australian citizen who is currently living with them that is also interested in adopting, lives in Queensland, is not pregnant or currently or six months prior engaged in a surrogacy agreement and does not have custody of a child of less than one year of age. This in term, allows for the adoption of children by same-sex couples provided that they abide by all other eligibility criteria outlined in the Adoption Act (2009) as provided below.

Sections 88 and 89 of the Adoption Act (2009) disclose the process of being deemed suitable to adopt a child which is determined after a couple has been approved after submitting an expression of interest form (Adopting a child from Queensland, 2016). Successful couples will then be sent a notice of assessment after which, various screening processes are undergone in order to determine the couples suitability potentially including; criminal, domestic violence, traffic and child protection history checks; home visits for assessment interviews; talking to nominated referees and getting information about your health, after this assessment the perspective parents application will be accepted or denied (Adopting a child from Queensland, 2016).

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