Adoption is where a child legally becomes a member of a new family or has one or two new parents. You can apply to adopt a child if:
- Both people are at least 21 years of age or
- One of them is the mother or father of the child to be adopted and is at least 18 years of age and the other is at least 21 years old
- At least one of the couple is habitually resident in a part of the United Kingdom
- The child has lived with you at all times during 10 weeks before the application to the Court
- The partner of a child’s parent wants to adopt the child, they must have lived with the child at all times 6 months before the application
A child’s eligibility for adoption
Only a Court can make an adoption order. Before it can be made, the Court has to be satisfied of all of the following:
- The child was under the age of 18 when the adoption application was made
- The child is not or has never been married or in a civil partnership
- Both birth parents have given their consent to the adoption
We can advise you on the steps and process of making an Adoption Order. We will give the Local Authority three months written notice of your intention to apply to the Court for an Adoption Order.
The Local Authority will prepare a report called an Annex A report which will assess the suitability of the person applying to be the adoptive parent. This will also include the recommendations regarding the implications of making the Adoption Order and the merits of the Adoption Order together with the recommendations regarding the adoption and any other relevant issues.
During the preparation of this report the Social Worker will want to meet with your family and the Local Authority will undertake checks including police, probation, health and education checks.
After the three-month period we will proceed to issue the application with the Court. Following the investigation and assessment the Local Authority will submit the Annex A to the Court.
Once the report has been undertaken the matter will be listed for a hearing. At this hearing the Court will either consider whether there are timetable issues in relation to the filing of the report from the Local Authority or whether a CAFCASS officer should be involved.W