Adoption is the process whereby parents legally bring a child who is not biologically theirs into their family. A child who is adopted ceases to be a legal member of their birth family, becoming instead a legal part of their adopted family. A child under 18 years of age who is not or never has been married is eligible for adoption and a court must make an Adoption Order for the adoption to be legal.
Adoption can be an alternative for parents who are unable to conceive, or simply because they want to be parents to children who cannot - for whatever reasons - be raised by their birth families.
With a host of considerations to take into account, Adoption is a highly specialist area of the law and it is wise to seek legal advice for even more straightforward adoption cases. At Forbes our expert team of Family Law Solicitors can help and advise with a variety of Adoption scenarios including:
It is vital that potential adopters seek legal advice as there are many areas which may be taken for granted. For example, stepparent adoptions were very common in the 1970s and 1980s, but the focus of Children's Law has shifted to prioritise what is in the best interest of the child rather than the parent. This means that stepparent adoptions now are very rare.
If you are over 21, you can be considered as a potential adopter as long as you are able to provide the child with a permanent, stable, loving home. It is likely that your suitability will need to be assessed, but you cannot be ruled out because of age, marital status, race, religion, sexuality, disability or employment. A specialist solicitor can ensure you are treated fairly and not discriminated against.
You do not need to be a British citizen, although you (or your spouse or partner if you are adopting as a couple) needs to be domiciled in the British Isles and (both of) you need to have been a habitual resident for at least a year before applying to adopt.
Forbes Solicitors can offer advice on every aspect of Adoption from initial application to the more complicated aspects. Speak to one of our specialist Family Law solicitors by calling us on 0800 689 1058 or making an online enquiry.
Get in touch to see how our experts could help you.