Can adopt a stepparent

Stepchild adoption

Stepchild adoption is the adoption of a child by the partner of the birth parent (e.g. the stepfather adopts the stepson).

Since August 1, 2013, stepchild adoption has also been possible for same-sex couples. It is also to be used in the case of adoptions for which the written adoption contract was concluded before this deadline, but court approval was refused. Legally, the relationship between the birth parent and the child under family law is maintained if the child is adopted by the same-sex partner of this parent.

Even without adopting the stepchild, stepparents or people who are cohabiting with the parent have an obligation to help the child. More information on the subject of "Participation and duties of a step-parent" can also be found at However, stepchildren have no right to maintenance and no inheritance right from the stepparent unless they are adopted.


  • a spouse,
  • a registered partner or
  • a significant other

the child of his

thus the family law relationships with the other parent and their relatives expire. This means that the adopting step-parent legally takes the place of the corresponding biological parent. From this point on, the adopted stepchild has a maintenance award and a right of inheritance vis-à-vis the adopting step-parent.

The child's entitlement to maintenance and equipment from the biological parent then only exists to the extent that the adoptive parent and the "remaining" biological parent are unable to do so. More information on the subject of "rights and obligations of biological parents" can also be found at

From the child's 14th birthday, adoption is only possible with their consent. From the age of five, the child has the right to be heard by the court, unless they have lived with the adopting person since then.

A stepchild can only be adopted if both birth parents agree. There is, however, the option for the court to substitute consent if there are no justified reasons for refusal.

Legal bases

Sections 191 to 203 of the General Civil Code (ABGB)

Last updated: January 25, 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Justice