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Adoption Law

When an adult, or adults, adopt a child in the UK they assume the full legal and parental responsibility for that child. The granting of an official adoption order through the family Court means that all legal ties with the birth family are severed and all parental rights are transferred to the adoptive parents.

Adoption orders are made under The Adoption and Children Act 2002 and anyone entering into an adoption is advised to seek legal advice from their family law solicitor, so that the full legal ramifications can be explained and fulfilled. This is especially necessary if a family wishes to adopt a child from overseas.

When a child is adopted he or she becomes a full member of the adoptive family, taking the family surname and assuming the same rights as the biological children of the family – this includes inheritance rights.

Who is eligible to become an adopter?

To become an adoptive parent applicants must apply through an appropriate adoption centre or the Family Proceedings Court (magistrates' Court). The following persons are eligible to make an application:

• single persons over the age of 21 (irrespective of sexual orientation)
• the partner of a prospective adopted child's parent
• couples - married, civil-partnered and co-habiting couples (heterosexual and same sex) who are in a stable family relationship

All applications will be considered based upon whether the prospective adopter can meet the child's needs and an adoption order will only be granted if the Court decides that it is in the child's best interests.

Adopting children from overseas

Adopting a child from abroad has its own set of special regulations and is often an even more complex process than adopting a child within the UK. Glanvilles are fully qualified and experienced in this field of family law. By talking to us at the initial stages, you will be able to find out all the implications of embarking on this process. Our advice may then help to avoid emotionally stressful and costly complications as the process goes on.

Glanvilles advise, parents, family members or potential adopters on the legal issues related to adoption.

Our specialist advice covers a wide range of matters including:

• Adopting a child from care
• Adopting a child with a family
• Adopting a child who has been brought into the UK from overseas
• Negotiating with social services about support services for children and their adoptive carers.

We treat the welfare of the children as the most important issue. Our aim is to help you make arrangements with the minimum of distress to the children and the family as a whole.