Unlike the majority of child matters which are determined under the Family Law Act, matters involving adoption are legislated by States and Territories. In Queensland, this is the Adoption Act 2009. Previously, adoption had been regulated under the Adoption of Children Act(Qld) 1964.
The Adoption Act 2009 commenced on 1 February 2010 and makes a number of major changes to adoption practices in Queensland. The major change in relation to ‘step-parent’ adoptions is that there is now a requirement that parties must obtain “leave” from the Family Court (under the Family Law Act) to commence step-parent adoption proceedings.