The Basics of Adoption in the UK

The process of adoption can be lengthy and tedious, but the result is always worth it. It can make life better for both the child and the parents. But it is no secret that the process can be dragging and confusing for most.  Before consulting with a family solicitor in London, here are the important things you should know:

The adoptee should:

  • Under 18 years old when the application is passed
  • Not and have never been married or in a civil partnership

The adoptee’s birth parents should:

  • Have consented to the adoption unless
    • They cannot be located
    • They don’t have the ability to give consent
    • The child is going to be at risk if he or she is not adopted

The adopter should:

  • Be over the age of 21 years old
  • Have a fixed housing in the United Kingdom
  • Have lived in the country for at least a year before applying for adoption

If these requirements are met, you can proceed with the adoption application through a local council or adoption agency. In brief descriptions, this is the process that you can expect:
woman hugging a little girl

1. Preliminary classes.

When your chosen adoption agency receives your application, you (and your partner if applicable) will be invited to classes that will orient you on the effects of adoption.

2. Adoption assessment.

Once you have finished your classes, you can expect a social worker to drop by your home. The purpose of this visit is to asses you, your partner, your backgrounds, and your home for suitability.

During this process, you will have to provide at least three references to vouch for your suitability and results of a full medical examination. After which, the application will be reviewed by an adoption panel before they make a recommendation to the agency.

3. Approval or rejection.

The result of your application can be either of the two. If you are approved, you will be referred to the Adoption Register for England. Otherwise, you can write an appeal to the Independent Review Mechanism to challenge the decision or reapply to another adoption agency.

How long does the adoption process last?

In total, the average span of the adoption process is six to eight months.

Do you need a lawyer to adopt?

In more complicated cases, such as in foreign adoption or birth parents trying to extort the adopters, you need legal guidance and representation. Do you need a lawyer to adopt? Not necessarily. But in some cases, you might need an attorney by your side.

  • If you are unsure of how to proceed with the adoption process
  • When adopting an adult that wants to be part of the family legally
  • You are adopting a child abroad
  • There are complicated legal matters involved
  • The adoption agency discriminates you and your partner

Adopting a child is a significant choice that carries a lot of responsibility. Nevertheless, it is often the beginning of a beautiful chapter in your life. Before adopting a child, keep this information in mind so that you are prepared for the entire process.