Many people live with children from their partner’s previous relationships, known as stepchildren. You may want to adopt your partner’s child and take full parental responsibility for them. Adoption is a legal process so the courts ask a social worker to interview everyone concerned including:
You and your partner | The child | The child’s other birth parent and their parents.
Adoption may not be right for all
Who can apply?
As with any adoption application, there are criteria you must meet when considering applying to adopt your
- You must be 21 years old or over.
- You must be married to the resident birth parent, or can satisfy the court that there has been a long-standing family relationship (usually at least a year).
- You must be a resident of the UK or have been habitually resident for at least a year.
- You must have continually lived with the child for at least 6 months.
- The child must be under the age of 18 at the time of the application to Court.
How do I apply?
If you are thinking of applying to the court to adopt your
If you then decide to apply to
We will allocate an adoption social worker to visit you, the child, and the absent parent. The social worker will be asked
The Court’s decision
The Court must consider the best interests of the child throughout their life and consider your application along with the report submitted by the social worker. The court may make an Adoption Order, or they may decide that adoption would not be suitable for the child.
They may suggest the following alternative orders:
- Child Arrangement Order – this is a decision on who the child lives with and has contact with. The person who has a Child Arrangement Order shares parental responsibility with those who already have parental responsibility, usually the birth parent.
- Specific Issues Order – this is a decision on one area of the child’s future, such as their education.
- Prohibited Steps Order – this stops someone from doing anything with the child that anyone else with parental responsibility hasn’t agreed to.
Working together to deliver Aspire Adoption Services