If you wish to adopt a child, there are very clear legal procedures that need to be followed. You will firstly need to contact your local authority or an adoption agency in order to be assessed as a prospective adopter. If you have concerns about the assessment process, we can advise you about the steps to be taken.
Once a child is placed with you, the adoption agency will assist you in applying for an adoption order. If the adoption agency is the local authority, they will make this application. Usually the application is uncontested and the adoption proceedings are straightforward. However, birth family members may apply for leave to oppose the proceedings. If this is the case, the court will need to consider whether sufficient changes have been made by the birth family and if it is in the child’s best interests for leave to be granted.
When an adoption order is made, the child’s legal ties to their birth family are severed and they are legally considered the child of their adoptive family. However, it is possible for the court to order some contact between the child and their birth family if it is in the child’s best interests.
Many people choose to adopt children from abroad. The rules and procedures regarding international adoption are very strict. It is important to seek advice before taking any steps abroad, as if the proper procedures are not followed, it can be very difficult to resolve.
We can advise and assist with all aspects of adoption, and regularly advise prospective adopters and birth family members.