Adoption is the legal process by which a child becomes a member of a new family, with one or two adoptive parents. The granting of an Adoption Order by the court will transfer all parental rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parents. Our expert solicitors are specialists in adoption law and will be able to guide you through the entire adoption process. We will handle your adoption application with skill, sensitivity and care, keeping you fully updated at all times.
In order to be eligible to be adopted, a child must be under the age of 18. They must never have been married or entered into a civil partnership. Anyone over 21 years of age can apply to become an adoptive parent, and there is currently no upper age limit for prospective adopters.
The first step is to approach an adoption agency, who will assess your suitability and help you to prepare to become an adoptive parent. This process could take months to complete and will involve preparation classes, meetings with social workers and a medical examination. Following the successful completion of the assessment stage, a certificate of eligibility will be issued and your adoption agency will begin the process of matching you with a child.
When you have been matched with a child or children, you will be able to meet them, with a view to them coming to live with you. When your child has been living with you for a period of at least ten weeks, you can apply to the family court for an Adoption Order. Once granted, this will transfer full parental responsibility to you, and your child will also enjoy the same rights as any birth child would ordinarily have, for example with regard to inheritance.
Adoption by a step-parent
If you are already a step-parent, you may wish to formally adopt your step-child or step-children. Even though you are already a family unit, adoption can actually be a complex process, because the consent of the other biological parent will usually be required, and the adoption must always be deemed to be in the child’s best interests.
Our specialist team of adoption solicitors will be able to provide advice on your individual situation, so please contact us and we will be happy to help you.
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