Step Parent Adoption

Sugare & Co are experienced Family Law Solicitors and have assisted a large number of Step Parents seeking to adopt children.

Please get in touch with one of our expert solicitors if you require assistance with this complex area of law. 

Who can be adopted?

An application for an adoption order can only be made if the person to be adopted has not reached the age of 18 years old on the date of the application being submitted to the Court. 

An adoption order cannot be made once a child turns 19 years old.

A child who is, or has been, married or in a civil partnership cannot be adopted.

Effect of an Adoption Order

When an adoption order is made it will give parental responsibility to the adopter and remove the parental responsibility that any person other than the adopter had for the child before the making of the order. However, in the case of a step parent adoption order, an adoption order does not affect the parental responsibility of the step parent's partner.

Who Can Apply for a Step Parent Adoption?

To be able to apply for an adoption order, a step parent must be;

  • Over the age of 21,
  • Live in the UK or have been habitually resident for at least a year,
  • Be the partner of the parent whose child they want to adopt
  • The child must have been living with the step-parent for six months before making the application, and
  • Three months’ written notice of this application has to have been given to their respective local authority.

What will the Court Consider in Making its Decision?

The court’s main consideration in making a decision regarding a child is their welfare. Nevertheless, the court will also consider;

  • a child’s wishes and feelings,
  • their particular needs,
  • the likely effect of the adoption on the child,
  • their age, sex and background,
  • any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering,
  • the relationship that the child has with relatives or any other relevant people, and
  • the wishes and feelings of those relatives or any such person.

In considering these factors, the court will have to weigh up the loss of the tie with the birth parent with the benefits of the adoption.

If you require any advice with regards to step parent adoption, please get in touch with one of our specialist family law experts by calling 0113 2446978 or fill in the contact form below to arrange a consultation.