Allard Bailey are a leading family law practice based in Holborn, London, with specialist UK and international adoption solicitors.
Adoption is the term used when a child legally becomes a member of a different family and the rights and responsibilities for the child pass from the birth parents to the adoptive parents. Only the court has the authority to grant an Adoption Order and there is a process which needs be adhered to prior to making an application to the court.
Who can adopt?
People seek to adopt for many reasons, and as long as the Applicant is aged over 21 years and can provide a permanent stable home, there is no upper age limit. It does not matter whether you are single, married, cohabiting and/or in a same sex relationship, or your financial status, the criteria looked at is whether you can meet the child’s needs. The prospective adopter plus all adult members of the household will also need to undergo a police check.
The child you seek to adopt must be aged under 18 years and not have been married or in a civil partnership.
Inter-country / international adoption
Although there are children in the UK waiting to be adopted, it is also possible to adopt a child from overseas but there are further rules and regulations we can advise on. Inter-country adoption will be permitted where the child cannot be cared for in a safe environment in their own country, where it would be in the best interests of the child and wouldn’t affect their human rights and where the adoptive parents have been assessed as suitable by an adoption agency in the UK.
It also possible to adopt if you are a step-parent, but this is now fairly unusual and again there are a number of issues you need to be aware of.