Step-parent adoption is a way of consolidating an existing relationship with a child and putting it onto a secure legal footing. There are various situations in which a step-parent or partner adoption might be appropriate, including if you are raising your partner’s child from a former relationship, or if you have conceived through donation or surrogacy and the law only says that one of you is automatically a legal parent from birth. We have put together this blog to answer some of the most common questions we are asked.
Why should I apply for step-parent adoption?
Applying for step-parent adoption will give you a lifelong connection with your child and you will be treated as if you were your child’s birth parent. You will also have parental and financial responsibility, and your child will inherit from you automatically should you die without a Will.
Your partner’s legal rights and status will not be affected by your adoption order, but it will extinguish the parenthood and parental responsibility of any other parent your child has. This may not be appropriate in all circumstances and so there may be other options you wish to explore, such as acquiring parental responsibility in the first instance.
Am I eligible to apply for step-parent adoption?
There are certain requirements which you will need to meet to be eligible to apply:
What is the process of applying for a step-parent adoption?
Who needs to consent to a step-parent adoption?
Anyone who is recognised as your child’s legal parent, provided they have parental responsibility, will need to consent to an adoption order. This always includes the birth mother, but may not include the biological father. For example, if the biological father is not named on the birth certificate and so does not have parental responsibility, his formal consent is not required to an adoption order.
Even if your child’s other parent does not have parental responsibility and their consent is not technically required, the court will investigate the circumstances carefully and may seek his/her opinion and feelings about the process since an order will permanently extinguish their status.
Can you help us with a step-parent adoption?
We can help parents going through step-parent adoption in a variety of different ways. We usually suggest a legal review meeting in the first instance in which we can provide you with a roadmap to guide you through the legal process. Following on from this we can represent you throughout the process or can assist in the background. Do get in touch with our team of solicitors who can speak to you about this in more detail.Tags: adoption, adoption order, domicile, financial responsibility, Form A58, legal parent, parental responsibility, step parents, step-parent adoption