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.

Adoption gives many children the chance of a new life and many adults the chance to be a parent.

Whether you wish to adopt a child you already know, or hope to be matched with a child following a national or international adoption process, only the court has the authority to grant an Adoption Order.

There are rules that must be followed and 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, living with someone, married and/or in a same sex relationship, the stability of any relationship you are in is the only concern. The prospective adopter, plus all adult members of the household, will also need to undergo a police check.

As long as you will  be able to meet the child’s needs through to an age that they could reasonably become independent, your financial status is also of little importance.  The main criteria is that you will be able to provide a stable and loving home.

Step-parent adoption

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.

Who can be adopted?

You can only adopt a child, under he age of 18 years, who has not been married or in a civil partnership.

Inter-country / international adoption

Although there are children in the UK waiting to be adopted, it is still possible to adopt a child from overseas, in which case 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.  All prospective adoptive parents must still be assessed as suitable by an adoption agency in the UK.

Legal Advice

To discuss any of these issues in more detail, please contact Louise Allard or Sabrina Bailey on 020 7993 2936 or to complete a contact form click here.

Filed Under: Insight

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