To establish a legal relationship between a child and an adoptive parent, an order is needed. This terminates the legal rights, responsibilities and relationship between a child’s birth parent and others who possess parental responsibility. There is one exception to this where a person is granted an order in respect of their partner’s child. In such circumstances, the child becomes treated in law as only the child of that couple with no one else’s involvement. Other people’s legal rights are terminated.
The consequences when adopting a child can be profound, so orders are made only with the consent of a child’s birth parents. In some situations where a court is satisfied that dispensing the consent of that parent is necessary, for the benefit of the child’s welfare, an order can be made too.
In law, when making orders to adopt, courts must consider contact arrangements between the child, their birth parents and siblings. Additionally, the law provides that in some situations, orders may be made after a child is adopted.
Keeping the above in mind, the most common areas in which legal advice for adoption is seeked out include:
- Someone who is considering whether to make an application for an order.
- A parent who has asked to consent to the making of an order, or has received notice of an application for an order with the application to dispense their consent.
- Members of a child’s adoptive birth family, who may be affected by provision for contact arrangements either before, or following, the making of an order.
- Adoptive parents or birth parents involved with international, overseas adoptions and ones under the Hague Convention.
- Prospective adopters or members of a child’s birth family seeking advice in circumstances where a child has been placed by an agency.
We understand the complexities which are involved with adopting a child. If you need to discuss issues relating to the above, please contact our expert team of family law solicitors.