How to Apply for Adoption

What is adoption?

Adoption is the process by which a person is able to assume the parental responsibility for a child who is not his or her own. Through the adoption process, all the rights and responsibilities of the original parents are passed on to the person adopting. This is different from that of a guardian because adoption includes a relatively permanent change in the status of the child.

Who are eligible to apply for adoption?

Since the passing of the Adoption and Children Act of 2002, the following may apply to adopt:

  • Single unmarried persons
  • A married couple applying together
  • A couple who are unmarried, applying together
  • The step-parent of the child, as long as the child has been staying with them for a period of six months or more prior to the filing of the application.
  • Those providing foster care, as long as the child has been with them for 12 months or more prior to the filing of the application.
  • Lesbian couples
  • Gay couples
  • And other persons not falling under those mentioned above. These can include the partner of one of the child’s parents or other relatives of the child.

There is also a further requirement that in order for a married or unmarried couple to be considered as adoptive parents, they must provide proof that their relationship is stable and will stand the test of time. They must demonstrate their ability to create a family environment that is defined by love.

Are there requirements about age and citizenship?

Yes there are specific requirements about the citizenship and these include requirements regarding citizenship and age.

The applicant is required to be a resident of the UK. By this the applicant can be in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. In the case of joint applications, only one of the applicants needs to be a resident in the above mentioned areas.

There is also a requirement regarding age. For joint applicants, at least one must be aged 21 and the other no less than 18. For a single applicant, the age must be 21.

All of these requirements hold regardless of the nature of the person filing for adoption.

What are the requirements as far as the age of the child is concerned?

The child must be under the age of 21 and never married.

What are the documentary requirements for adoption orders?

When applying for an adoption order, the agency concerned would request the child’s original birth certificate or an adoption certificate if previously adopted.

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For more information on:

  • What are placement orders?
  • When is parental consent unnecessary?
  • What factors do the courts consider in determining the welfare of the child during the adoption proceedings?
  • What are the specific laws regarding adoption?