Adoption law is complex and there are a number of different Orders that can be made depending on who and where you are looking to adopt. Our experienced family law team can advise families about the adoption process and assist eligible applicants with their application.

Adopting a step-child

If you live in England or Wales and are applying to adopt your spouse or partner’s child, you need to inform your local council. You must do this at least three months before starting your adoption application with the court.

Once you have notified your council, a social worker will be allocated to you to carry out an adoption assessment. The social worker will wish to discuss your understanding of the implications of adoption, the alternatives to an adoption application and the child’s understanding of their family relationships. They are also required to interview the absent birth parent and any significant relatives on his/her side of the family. They may also wish to approach the child’s school.

The report will then be considered by the court who will make a decision. If an adoption order is granted it will give the step-parent parental responsibility for the child. It takes parental responsibility away from the child’s other birth parent and anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child.

In many cases, the step-parent simply requires parental responsibility for their partner’s child and this can be achieved if all parents consent by completing a Step-Parent Parental Responsibility Agreement or alternatively, an application can be made to the court. By acquiring parental responsibility in this way, it has the advantage of not removing parental responsibility from the other birth parent, and also means that the child is not legally separated from membership of the other birth parent’s family.

Adopting a child in the UK

Complex rules govern eligibility to apply for an Order to adopt a child in the UK. Assuming that you are eligible, our experienced family team will assist you. The court’s decision about the next step will depend on the details of your application.

Adopting a child from overseas (also known as an inter-country adoption)

Again, complex rules and regulations apply. An inter-country adoption is allowed in circumstances where a child cannot be cared for in a safe environment in their own country, the adoption would be in the best interests of the child and would not affect their internationally recognised human rights and the adopter has been assessed as eligible and suitable to adopt from overseas by an adoption agency in the UK. Assuming that you are eligible to apply for an Order, our family and divorce lawyers can assist you with the adoption process.

Local Authority adoption

This is when the Local Authority decides to make an application to adopt your child. You may or may not be eligible for public funding (Legal Aid) and you will need to contact our family team to discuss your options.

Divorce & separation

Our experienced and responsive family lawyers will guide you through the divorce process when, understandably, emotions are running high. We are friendly yet professional and can help you to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Find out more

Financial arrangements following divorce

A number of options are available for reaching a financial settlement following a divorce, separation or dissolution of a civil partnership. Our expert family law team will guide you through your options to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Find out more

Pre-nuptial & cohabitation agreements

It is becoming increasingly common for people to consider during a relationship what may occur in the event of a separation. Our team can advise you on the best way to protect assets owned prior to the breakdown of a relationship.

Find out more

Unmarried couples disputes

There is a popular misconception that if you live together with your partner for a few years, you become, “common law husband and wife”, and enjoy the same rights as a married couple. This is not the case. There is no such concept as “common law marriage”.

Find out more

Children issues

If a couple is unable to come to an arrangement about their children after a separation or divorce, our specialist family solicitors can help you reach an agreement that works for you and the children, avoiding the need to go to court wherever possible.

Find out more

Civil partnerships

Civil partnerships are entered into by same sex couples. They create an arrangement that is almost identical to marriage and therefore go through the same procedures as married couples if the relationship breaks down.

Find out more

Get in touch

For further information, please contact one of our divorce and family lawyers.

Contact the team below, or alternatively call on +44 (0)116 262 4225

Get in touch

We’re situated in the heart of Leicester’s commercial quarter, just minutes from the city centre. Get in touch with any queries you have, or alternatively, call us on 0116 262 4225.

Get in touch