Swanwick Murray Roche Lawyers

74 Victoria Parade, Rockhampton QLD 4700   •   (07) 4931 1888   •   SERVICE PORTAL


Swanwick Murray Roche – Rockhampton & CQ Family Lawyers and Solicitors

Let us guide you

What are the rules around adoption in Queensland?

Adoption is the formal legal process by which an adult adopts a child who is not their birth child. Our Queensland adoption lawyers can assist those involved in adoptions including:

  • birth parents considering giving their child up for adoption
  • children who need to be adopted
  • people seeking to adopt a child
  • people looking to lodge a contact statement regarding a past adoption

Adoption laws apply differently in each state and territory. In Queensland, the primary legislation is the Adoption Act 2009. The Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services facilitates adoption services in Queensland.

The law in Queensland provides that:

  • a child may be adopted only with the consent of their birth parent OR if the child does not have a parent who is able and willing to provide the child with long-term care (as determined by the Queensland Government)
  • it is illegal to privately adopt a child. An adoption must be registered with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
  • to be eligible to adopt, you need to complete and submit an Adoption Expression of Interest form, satisfy the eligibility requirements and have your name added to the Expression of Interest Register
Adopting a stepchild

If you wish to adopt a stepchild, you must first receive leave from the Family Court. This can only occur if the step-parent meets all the eligibility conditions in the Adoption Act 2009.

When someone seeks to adopt a step-child, the court considers each involved party’s interests (including the non-custodial parent). Adopting a child takes lots of commitment, so step-parents are encouraged to take this process extremely seriously.

Once leave from the Family Court is obtained, you are then free to engage in the Queensland adoption registration process.

The adoption process can be quite difficult and is a personal decision for any person. However, some alternatives to adopting a step-child include:

  • a parenting agreement which regulates who the child may spend time with
  • changing the last name of the step-child so that all members of the family unit have the same name
  • making particular note of your stepchildren in your will
Why are we different?

Our experienced lawyers know that you need:

  • someone who understands the emotions and attitudes of the people involved in your situation;
  • your concerns; especially around financial security, child custody, personal safety and so on;
  • someone who will provide upfront information about pricing and legal costs (and keep you updated as the matter progresses);
  • a lawyer who will provide practical, results-focused advice.

Our family lawyers know that family law clients are usually experiencing one of the most emotional times of their life – a fear of the unknown, concern over financial security, worry for future care of children, anxiety around personal safety and so on. Added to this, most people don’t know what their legal options are – especially when well-meaning friends or family offer advice that may or may not be correct. Our family lawyers see your whole matter and not just the court documents that need to be drafted.

Our lawyers cut through these issues and provide you with legal advice and a strategy based on decades of legal experience to give you the confidence to move forward with your life.

At your first appointment:

  • you meet with an experienced lawyer;
  • you are advised in frank terms about legal costs and estimates to the end of your matter;
  • our lawyer listens to you and understands your matter;
  • our lawyer gives you some basic advice about how we start and handle your matter going forward.

Our family lawyers

Our team members are experienced and regularly participate in specialist seminars, reading industry updates, court decisions & legislative amendments. Our team stays in contact with industry professionals (such as forensic accountants, investigators, valuers, real estate agents and so on) to ensure we have good working relationships with the right people when you need it.


Check out some of our recent legal updates and property resources that you might find useful on this Family Law Resources link. Please remember that these updates and resources are general guidance only. If you need legal advice, you should contact us to discuss your matter as your personal circumstances may not suit the circumstances described in the updates and resources.

During family law legal matters, many issues come up that require the support of experienced social support works and other professionals. Here are some links to support resources that may help you (please ensure that you make yourself familiar with any confidentiality rules or seek advice from us).

Adoption resources


To talk about your matter – reach out to us via any means to start a conversation. All of our contact information is listed here on our Contact Page.

Our Team

Meet the solicitors who can help you with these issues.

Terry Tummon


Property Settlement & Litigation

Katina Kyreakou

Special Counsel

Family & Divorce Law

Nicola Goodwin


Family & Divorce Law