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Adoption

Adoption

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Our Adoption experts

Alison Gosling
Paralegal
Elizabeth Davies
Trainee Solicitor
Farhad Islam
Partner
Jenny Powell
Legal Assistant
Stuart Tyler
Solicitor
Adopting a child can be a wonderful experience, but you may also be feeling stressed about the processes involved.

Our expert adoption solicitors at Gepp can empathetically guide you through, with all the legal guidance you’ll need. We will ensure that you are aware of your obligations and prepared for each stage.

When you adopt a child, their birth parents give up parental responsibility, transferring those rights to you the adoptive parent, and your partner if someone is going through the process with you. Our solicitors have much experience guiding single people and couples on their adoption journey, we can help you to navigate the often-complex legal requirements.

Our experts can offer comprehensive legal support when adopting a child, including:

  • Legal advice when preparing to adopt
  • Applying for an adoption order
  • Getting an adoption certificate
  • Help with adoption disputes
  • Advice on international adoption

Consult our adoption solicitors

For swift, expert advice on adoption and adoption laws please contact your local Gepp Solicitors office in Chelmsford.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our simple online enquiry form.

How we can help you with adoption

Legal advice on adoption

When you adopt a child you become their legal parent, and as such, there are various legal considerations you’ll need to make beforehand. Our solicitors can offer advice on adoption, ensuring that you understand the obligations you’ll take on and the requirements you’ll need to meet.

We recognise that adoption is a unique process for every family which is why we offer tailor made advice to suit your circumstances. In the early stages, you’ll liaise with an adoption agency, go through background checks, and have your details reviewed by a social worker. On successful completion of this stage, you’ll be provided with an adoption application form.

Our solicitors can offer guidance on completing the adoption application form and answer any questions that you have as you begin the process.

Adoption order

If your adoption application is a success, the local authorities and your adoption agency will help you to find a suitable child. It is required that you and the child are gradually introduced before they come to live with you.

After ten weeks of living with the child you’ll be able to apply for an adoption order. When granting an adoption order the Court will review various requirements and circumstances, and our adoption solicitors can offer guidance here.

If the Court decides to grant the adoption order, you will become the child’s legal parent, meaning that their birth parent’s will no longer have any legal obligations to them.

Adoption certificate

After the adoption order has been granted, the General Register Office will draft an adoption certificate. The certificate replaces the child’s birth certificate and confirms their new name.

You’ll need to get a copy of the certificate to carry out legal tasks in the future, for instance, applying for your child’s passport. Our solicitors can instruct you on how to obtain the certificate, and check that all the details are correct.

Adoption disputes

In some circumstances, disputes may arise throughout the adoption process, and if so, our solicitors can be on hand to resolve these promptly. We can support clients who encounter setbacks throughout the application stages, or those who are facing an appeal from the child’s birth parents.

Our solicitors know that it can be troubling to encounter problems and disputes, and that you may not know how to resolve these. Our experts at Gepp have assisted many individuals and families with legal issues arising from the adoption process and are in a great position to offer support, no matter what your circumstances.

International adoption

If you’re considering adopting a child from overseas, our specialist adoption solicitors can help.

There are various legal considerations that must be made, which is why it’s important to proceed with the guidance of an expert. Our solicitors can offer specialist guidance across the following areas:

  • Guidance on which countries are open for adoption and which are closed, including any eligibility restrictions
  • Recommendations to secure a child’s legal status or British nationality
  • Appealing if an adoptive child’s visa has been refused

Adoption FAQs

How long does the adoption process take?

It is difficult to determine how long the adoption process might take, because each case and each family is different. On average the process should take around 6 months, though this time frame may extend to 1 year in more complex cases.

Can birth parents stop an adoption order?

The Court must grant an adoption order to legalise an adoption and in some cases the birth parents may attempt to prevent this from happening.

Whether or not the birth parents can stop an adoption order depends on the circumstances, but it is possible. However, no matter what the situation the Court will always put the best interests of the child first.

The Court can grant an adoption order without the birth parents’ consent if the child is at risk. If so, they will present evidence from social services that supports this. It could also be that the birth parents cannot give consent, for example, because of mental incapacity.

Does private adoption exist in the UK?

Private adoption is not available in the UK, it is not possible to adopt using a private agency. Those who wish to adopt must use voluntary non-profit agencies, or a local council-based agency.

When you are in the early stages of choosing an adoption agency, our solicitors can support you and answer any questions you have about the legal stages that follow.

Can I adopt my step child?

Yes, it is possible to adopt your step child under certain circumstances. Firstly, you will need to inform the council, you should do this three months before you attempt to apply for the adoption order. It is necessary that your step child has lived with you and your partner for 6 months at least.

When adopting a step child, you’ll need to go through an adoption assessment much like the process that adoption agencies use. The Court will need a report from your local council, including information about yourself, your partner, the child, and the child’s other birth parent.

The Court will assess the case and determine whether it is in the child’s best interests for you to adopt them. If the adoption order is granted, you will have parental responsibility for them, as will your partner/their parent. The child’s other birth parent will no longer have parental responsibility.

Can I adopt a child from overseas?

Yes, it is possible to adopt a child from overseas if that child cannot be brought up in a safe family setting in their birth country. The adoption must be in the best interests of that child, and the adopter must go through a relevant suitability assessment.

If you are considering international adoption, you should first get in touch with a UK based adoption agency, you can do this by contacting your local council, or a voluntary agency.

If you would like more information, please contact our adoption lawyers at Gepp.

Can you adopt an adult in the UK?

No, it is not possible to adopt an adult in the UK, it is only possible to adopt a teenager who is under eighteen years old, or a child.

Our adoption solicitors’ fees

Fixed fee for adoption advice

At Gepp we can provide adoption legal support on a fixed fee basis, so you will know exactly how much it will cost for help with a specific application or other matter.

Hourly rates for our adoption lawyers

For more complex matters where ongoing support is required, we will charge an agreed hourly rate based on the level of expertise required.

Book an initial consultation with our adoption solicitors in Essex

To find out more about how our adoption lawyers can help you, please feel free to get in touch.

Call us
Main number: 01245 228106

Email us
Main email: family@gepp.co.uk

With Gepp Solicitors you’ll be in experienced hands. We’ll work hard to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.

With Gepp Solicitors you’ll be in experienced hands. We’ll work hard to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Our family law experts

Alison Gosling
Paralegal
Farhad Islam
Partner
Stuart Tyler
Solicitor
Elizabeth Davies
Paralegal Assistant
Jenny Powell
Legal Assistant
Alison Gosling
Paralegal
Elizabeth Davies
Trainee Solicitor
Farhad Islam
Partner
Jenny Powell
Legal Assistant
Stuart Tyler
Solicitor

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If you want to find out more about the services we can offer you, please feel free to get in touch.

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about the services we can offer you, please feel free to get in touch.