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Although a step-parent may carry out a parenting role for their step-child, they do not automatically have legal parental responsibility or rights in relation to their step child.
One of the alternatives to adopting a step-child, is for the step-parent to obtain a parenting order in relation to the Child.
A step-parent can apply to the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia for a Parenting Order.
A Parenting Order will legally recogniise the step-parent as having the care of their step-child.
A Parenting Order can be made by the consent or all parties. If all parties consent (the biological parents and the step-parent) then the parties can file in Court, an Application for Consent Orders to obtain a Parenting Order in relation to the step-child.
If one party does not consent, an Application for a Parenting Order can still be made to the Court.
A Parenting Order will set out the parenting arrangements for the Child and give parental responsibility for the Child.
A Parenting Order can include Orders about many things including:
Other Questions answered in the Adoption Section
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