How much does Stepchild adoption cost in NSW?
Before starting the adoption process, it’s important to consider that this is the very best course of action for your unique situation. Adopting a stepchild can be a beautiful event and will change the course of the future for many people involved. It’s not something to enter into lightly.
The child involved will experience monumental changes. His/her last name will change, and he/she will permanently sever any legal ties to that other side of the biological family. But how much does stepchild adoption cost? If you are ready for that change, it’s prudent to be prepared for some of the financial expenses.
Representation and The Biological Parent
You will want to consider whether you will need to hire your own lawyer who can often have open ended fees depending on how much time it may take them and that largely depends on how well they know the adoption process, or if you want to represent yourself. If the other biological parent will be uncooperative, you will probably want to speak to a lawyer for assistance. If the other biological parent is truly absent from your child’s life or is deceased, you might be okay to represent yourself, in which case we recommend the DIY kits as all you then need is your time and your relevant documents plus the mandatory court and assessor fees.
You will want to be cautious when trying to prove to the court that the other parent is absent. You have to prove that you have done due diligence to find this person. This should include undertaking searches on social media. Our kit explains how to successfully demonstrate this in the 2nd Affidavit that will need to be presented to the Supreme Court.
Expected time and costs
In NSW, the approximate cost of completing an adoption without legal representation is $4000 for a child aged under 18, and $1700 for an adult aged over 18.
If you feel the adoption may be contested, this cost could escalate but you can buy the time of an expert lawyer to answer any specific questions you may have.