About adoptionWhen you adopt a child you assume full legal and parental responsibility for that child through an Adoption Order granted by the courts. This severs all legal ties with the birth family and transfers all the rights over to the new family, of which the child will become a full member. The child will take the surname of their new adoptive family and will have all of the same rights and privileges of a child born into that family. The process of adoption can be a long and delicate one in which you will need sensitive and supportive lawyers to help ease it along. DPP Law has years of experience in this area and our specialist team will be able to provide you with support that is not restricted to office hours. You will be able to contact us by text, social media or by a direct mobile number for your solicitor.
Who can adopt?First of all, in order to adopt, you have to be at least 21 years old and able to provide a permanent, stable and caring home. There is no upper age limit to adoptions and applications are welcomed regardless of your sexual orientation. The following is a list of people who are able to adopt:
- Single people
- Married couples
- Civil partners
- Unmarried couples
- The partner of a parent of the child to be adopted
The process for adopting a ‘looked-after’ childA child who is looked after by a local authority is known as a ‘looked-after’ child. There are four stages to the adoption process for looked-after children.
- Initial Checks and Registration
- You will need to find an adoption agency that you are comfortable with and then make a written application to them.
- Then there will be a formal evaluation process in which you will need to provide references of your character and have background checks administered.
- This process will take no longer than 2 months.
- Training and Assessment
- This is a four-month long process in which you will be assessed on your suitability to become an adopter.
- During this stage a social worker will have conversations with you about your childhood and your experiences of growing up as well as conversations with friends and family.
- You will be invited to preparation groups for prospective adopters and a social worker will visit your home multiple times in an attempt to get to know you and your life.
- At the end of the process the social worker will present their thoughts to an Adoption Panel so that you can be considered in detail.
- Matching with the right child
- Once you are approved as a prospective adopter you will begin to try and find a suitable child to be placed with you.
- An adoption agency may already have a child in mind for you or you may need to attend events such as adoption activity days with children who need placements to find the right match.
- Sometimes there may not be a match in the local area but fortunately there are ways of widening the search through being placed on national registers.
- Moving in
- In this stage you and your matched child will begin living together so that you can start to become a family.
- The beginning of the stage will consist of a series of visits and short stays to help the child transition to the new arrangement.
- With the support of social workers the family will hopefully come together.
- After a while you can apply to the court to become the legal parent of the child.
How can DPP Law help?The legal process for adopting a child is lengthy and you have to ensure that you get expert advice from the beginning of the journey to the end. Our family lawyers have years of experience and are ready to aid you whatever the situation. Fill in our online enquiry form or call one of the team today for a free consultation.