Family Law Library

Who can be classified as a parent of a child?

Parents of the child include biological parents, adoptive parents and people who have become parents as a result of adoption or an artificial conception procedure.

Parentage will be presumed if:

  • the child was born during a marriage,
  • the parents lived together for a certain time before the child was born (if this applies to you, it is important to get legal advice),
  • a person is named as a parent during court action or on a birth certificate,
  • a person has signed an ‘acknowledgment of paternity’ or
  • a person has adopted the child.

A step-parent of a child cannot be the subject of an application for a Child Support Assessment, but it is possible to apply for a Court Order requiring a step-parent to provide financial support for their step-child. The court must be satisfied that the step-parent has a duty to maintain the child before it will make an order.