Children in stepfamilies: Their legal and family status

Policy Background Paper (AIFS) no. 4


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Content type
Research report

April 1984

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This paper discusses the appropriateness of adoption as a means of establishing the legal status and family relationships of stepchildren with their stepparents. It examines the legal alternatives to adoption and concludes that an order for guardianship and/ or custody would better meet the needs of the children involved. The author argues that an adoption order should be made only in exceptional circumstances.

Policy background paper (Australian Institute of Family Studies) no. 4