Same Sex Couples: Fostering or Adopting Children

In Which States or Territories Can a Same Sex Couple Foster or Adopt a Child 

Unfortunately, even in this day and age, in Australia different States and Territories have laws about whether De Facto Same Sex Couples can Foster or Adopt a Child.

To make it even more confusing, different laws apply whether you are looking at fostering or adopting a Child.

If a member of a Same Sex Couple is exercising Parental Responsibility for a Child, then they may wish to get a Parenting Order for a Child so as to legally formalise their relationship in relation to the Child.

You can read more about what Parental Responsibility means and how to get a Parenting Order for a Child in those sections within the Parenting / Child Issues section of this website.

There are also specific laws applying to same sex couples using Artificial Insemination to have a Child.



Fostering of Children by a Same Sex Couple

Same sex couples are able to foster children throughout all of Australia.

It does not matter which State it is that they reside in.

Adoption of Children by a Same Sex Couple

De Facto Same sex couples can adopt children in

  • Western Australia;
  • Australian Capital Territory;
  • New South Wales;
  • Tasmania;
  • Victoria;
  • Queensland;
  • South Australia;
  • Northern Territory (from March 2018).

The Northern Territory was the only Territory in Australia to not permit de facto same sex couples to adopt children until laws were passed in March 2018.  This followed on from the Public vote for marriage equality for same sex marriages in 2017 and the amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) in December 2017.

Same Sex Relationships – More Information

If you want to find out about registration of a Same Sex Relationship read our information sheet How do I register a Same Sex Relationship and do I need to.

Read more about Marriage and Civil Unions for Same Sex Couples in the information sheet We’re in a Same Sex Relationship – Can we have a Civil Union.

The laws about fostering or adopting children for same sex couples is explained in our information sheet We are a Same Sex Couple – Can we Foster or Adopt Children.

Find out more about having a baby through artificial insemination in the information sheet Using Artificial Insemination to have a baby in a Same Sex Relationships.

You may have acquired some assets or got yourself into a position where you are earning a very good wage. The information sheet Should I enter into a Binding Financial Agreement to protect myself may provide some helpful information for you.

If you are thinking about entering into a Cohabitation Agreement with your partner, read the information sheet What type of Binding Financial Agreement do I need for more information.

De Facto Relationships – More Information

It might also be important for you to read the checklist of things a court looks at to decide whether you are in a de facto relationship, the time limits applicable to your de facto relationship, how to protect your assets, the threshold requirements for de facto couples to be apply to apply for property settlement and other important legal information.

You can read more in the following sections of our website:


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