Section 60HA Family Law Act discusses the children of de facto couples. This includes those who are considered to be a child of the de facto relationship and other important points. According to Australian law, de facto couples are individuals who live together on a domestic basis.
Moreover, de facto couples can be of any gender, identity or sex. Think of de facto couples as couples who “moved in together”. Meanwhile, a de facto couple can call a child their child if:
- The child is from the de facto couple;
- Either the de facto couple has adopted the child (with consent); or
- The child is born under surrogacy arrangements. Surrogacy involves a woman agreeing to give birth to a child for a couple who are incapable of having children due to health or other reasons.
De facto couples will need to qualify for adoption in order to have rights over a child. The legislation and requirements around adoption vary from state to state. This article will discuss Section 60HA of the Family Law Act 1975 and adoption proceedings for de facto couples.
Section 60HA Family Law Act: Adoption For De Facto Couples
Adoption means “to choose and accept as one’s own”. De facto couples might want to know the requirements in order to have legal rights over a child. Essentially, adoption is the process of transferring the legal rights and responsibilities of a child’s parents to another. De facto couples in New South Wales (NSW )are eligible to adopt a child as long as they:
Are a resident or domiciled in NSW
Have a good reputation and are fit to fulfil a parent’s responsibilities
Are at least 18 years older than the child they are adopting
Are over 21 years of age
The Supreme Court of NSW handles adoption orders. Additionally, the Adoption Act of 2000 is an Act concerning adoption and access to information concerning an adoption. Here are the key goals and principles that the Act sets out:
The child’s best interests
Adoption is a service for a child rather than the adopting parent
The child should have access to the adopting parent’s birth family and culture
When possible, preserve the child’s identity, language, and cultural and religious ties
To encourage openness in adoption including the adopting parent’s attitude towards the birth family members and contact
Adoption orders must be clearly superior to any other legal action.
Types Of Adoption
This type of adoption involves adopting a child in NSW whose parents are making an adoption decision for their child.
Foster carers in NSW can adopt a child in their care.
Out-of-home-care dual authorisation
Meanwhile, this type of adoption involves the process of assessing, training, and authorising people to become foster and adoptive parents. Furthermore, these authorised people may adopt a child in NSW who cannot live with their family. The Children’s Court determines if a child cannot live with their family.
Adopting a child overseas.
Special Needs Adoption
Indeed, children with disabilities or special needs have faced so much discrimination. Nonetheless, they also deserve a home and a caring family.
Adopting a step-child within a person’s family.
FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 – SECT 60HA
Children of de facto partners
(1) For the purposes of this Act, a child is the child of a person who has, or had, a de facto partner if:
(a) the child is a child of the person and the person’s de facto partner; or
(b) the child is adopted by the person and the person’s de facto partner or by either of them with the consent of the other; or
(c) the child is, under subsection 60H(1) or section 60HB, a child of the person and the person’s de facto partner.
This subsection has effect subject to subsection (2).
(2) A child of current or former de facto partners ceases to be a child of those partners for the purposes of this Act if the child is adopted by a person who, before the adoption, is not a prescribed adopting parent.
(3) The following provisions apply in relation to a child of current or former de facto partners who is adopted by a prescribed adopting parent:
(a) if a court granted leave under section 60G for the adoption proceedings to be commenced–the child ceases to be a child of those partners for the purposes of this Act;
(b) in any other case–the child continues to be a child of those partners for the purposes of this Act.
(4) In this section:
“this Act” includes the applicable Rules of Court.
Child Support For De Facto Couples
If a de facto couple separates, one of the parents will be entitled to receive child support payments. To determine which of the parties makes the payment, various factors like income and age of the parties are considered. However, what if a person is in a de facto relationship with a person who already has a child?
This means that person doesn’t have a legal obligation to support those children except in special circumstances. Moreover, de facto couples should inform Centrelink of when the relationship started if they receive Centrelink payments.
Adoption for de facto couples may pose a lot of legal issues especially when biological parents don’t consent to it. Hence, it’s important to seek a solicitor’s advice for adoption and surrogacy purposes. Our family lawyers at JB Solicitors can aid de facto couples in navigating the proper steps in adoption. Also, we can assist in child support matters for de facto couples.
Get in touch with our team of family-friendly lawyers today.