Adoption is where a child legally becomes a member of a new family and has one or two new parents.

Only a court can make an adoption order. The effect of the adoption order is that the birth parents no longer have any parental rights and responsibilities for their child. Those rights and responsibilities are given to the adoptive parents.

To adopt a child who is currently in local authority care, you will need to submit an application to an adoption agency, which will assess your suitability. The court will then decide whether to make an adoption order in your favour. This is often a long and intrusive process that includes numerous assessments and criteria to be met.

Our team can advise on this process as well as Special Guardianship Orders.

I would like my new partner to adopt my child - will this be possible?

It is important to remember that adoption is about and for the benefit of the child. Whilst the court will consider the adults’ strong views, these will not be an overriding factor when it comes to them making a decision.

The possibility of step parent adoption depends on a number of factors. All those with parental responsibility for the child ordinarily will have to consent to the adoption application. The court, in certain exceptional circumstances, can dispense with the need for one parent’s agreement but there have to be very good reasons for doing so. Even with agreement, assessments will be undertaken of the adoptive parent and the child to ascertain whether the court should grant the adoption order.  

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