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Home and Away star Mat Stevenson adopts his transgender daughter’s best friend

Former Home and Away star Mat Stevenson has adopted his transgender daughter Grace Hyland’s best friend Belle Bambi, whose own father allegedly turned her away when she transitioned from male to female.

Grace shared the news on TikTok on Saturday, telling her 229,000 followers: ‘We’re sisters now! My BFF’s dad left because she’s trans. So we did this!’

The accompanying video began with Grace handing a bouquet of flowers to Belle, before cutting to Mat holding an adoption certificate and kissing her cheek.

Sisters: Former Home and Away star Mat Stevenson (centre) has adopted his transgender daughter Grace Hyland’s (left) best friend Belle Bambi (right), whose own father allegedly turned her away when she transitioned from male to female

‘He’s always supported me, and he wants to support Bambi, too,’ Grace said.

Belle shared a similar video on her own TikTok account, which showed Mat signing the adoption papers as she exclaimed: ‘He’s adopted me!’ 

Grace has been documenting her male-to-female transition on social media since she began identifying as a girl at the age of 12. 

Family: Belle shared a video on TikTok of Mat signing an adoption certificate as she exclaimed: 'He's adopted me!'

Family: Belle shared a video on TikTok of Mat signing an adoption certificate as she exclaimed: ‘He’s adopted me!’

'I've got something for you': Bambi became emotional as Mat announced he was now her legal guardian

‘I’ve got something for you’: Belle became emotional as Mat announced he was now her legal guardian and showed her the adoption certificate

In January, she revealed her incredible ‘glow-up’ in a montage video on Instagram. 

Mat, who became a household name when he starred as Adam Cameron in Home and Away, has always been supportive of his daughter. 

He discussed Grace’s transition on The Sunday Project earlier this year, and revealed how his friends reacted to learning of his child’s gender identity.

Growing up: Grace has been documenting her male-to-female transition on social media since she began identifying as a girl at the age of 12. Pictured: Grace before her transition

Mature: Grace is shown here in a recent TikTok upload

Growing up: Grace has been documenting her male-to-female transition on social media since she began identifying as a girl at the age of 12

He said that while some of his friends were ‘pretty seamless’ and ‘got it’, others struggled and he asked them to simply ‘show some empathy’.

Grace said she knew she was meant to be female as early as the age of ‘four or five’, and began transitioning at the age of 12.

She consulted doctors, psychologists and experts in the field for a year before commencing any physical treatment.

Proud father: Mat discussed Grace's transition on The Sunday Project earlier this year, and revealed how his friends reacted to learning of his child's gender identity

Proud father: Mat discussed Grace’s transition on The Sunday Project earlier this year, and revealed how his friends reacted to learning of his child’s gender identity

‘I came out at 12 and then I went through a gradual transition until I was 14, to grow my hair out, to get my name change sorted, to sort out my blockers,’ she said.

‘And then by the time I was 14, I was fully presenting as Grace to the public and at school.’

Grace, who has become a TikTok sensation with 229,000 followers, said she would not be where she is today without her father’s support.

Process: Grace said she knew she was meant to be female as early as the age of 'four or five', and began transitioning at the age of 12

Process: Grace said she knew she was meant to be female as early as the age of ‘four or five’, and began transitioning at the age of 12

Candid: Mat said that while some of his friends were 'pretty seamless' and 'got it', others struggled and he asked them to simply 'show some empathy'

Candid: Mat said that while some of his friends were ‘pretty seamless’ and ‘got it’, others struggled and he asked them to simply ‘show some empathy’

Mat also highlighted the shocking suicide rate among transgender teenagers, saying he didn’t want his daughter ‘to become one of those statistics’.

‘Sadly in this country, we have a really high adolescent suicide rate and it’s a tragedy. Trans-adolescents are 36 times more likely to self-harm, to commit suicide,’ he said.

‘There’s a distinct correlation between lack of support and self-harm. I didn’t want my daughter to become one of those statistics.’ 

For parent/carer support or community information, please reach out to Transcend

For confidential support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

Nineties star: Mat became a household name when he starred on Channel Seven soap Home and Away in the '90s, playing the role of Adam Cameron. Pictured with co-star Dannii Minogue

Nineties star: Mat became a household name when he starred on Channel Seven soap Home and Away in the ’90s, playing the role of Adam Cameron. Pictured with co-star Dannii Minogue 


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