To inform child protection workers of the consent procedures required when a child in the CEO's care wants to marry.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities (Communities).
If a young person in the CEO's care (or a foster carer) approaches Communities about the process for obtaining consent to be married, child protection workers need to be aware that marriage of a young person who is over 16 but less than 18 years old is only possible if the person they are marrying is 18 years of age or older.
The decision to approve a young person under the age of 18 years to marry is a very serious matter, with long term emotional, social and legal consequences for the young person in question. It is not expected that requests to marry would routinely occur, and a care plan report supporting the request to marry is a prerequisite to forwarding a submission for approval to the district director.
Child protection workers should obtain a copy of the consent form from the Registrar General’s Office before preparing the relevant documentation.
Registry of Births, Deaths & MarriagesLevel 10, 141 St Georges TerracePERTH WA 6000Telephone: 1300 305 021 or visit the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages website.
Child protection workers must:
There is no need to prepare a letter for the district director’s signature to the Registrar General. The young person presents the documentation with the consent form to the magistrate.
Child protection workers submit the documentation to their team leader. The team leader checks, considers, endorses and forwards the submission to the district director for approval.
The district director considers and approves the submission, if appropriate. If the matter is contentious, the district director should forward the submission to the relevant Executive Director (Metropolitan Services or Country and Therapeutic Care) for endorsement.
If the submission is approved, child protection workers inform the young person, his or her parent(s) and carer(s) that consent has been approved, and arranges for the young person to collect the documentation for presentation to a magistrate at the Family Court.
Note: The Registrar General’s Office has advised that a magistrate may not give permission for the young person to marry even though consent has been obtained from the district director. In these instances, the young person must wait until he or she is 18 years of age to marry.