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An Adoption Order gives the adopters parental responsibility for the child, who is then treated legally as if born to the adopters as a married couple. Each parent / guardian, the adoption agency and local authority (or the voluntary organisation who has care of the child) must be joined as a party. The child must attend the hearing unless there are special circumstances.
The court’s primary consideration is for the child’s welfare. Adoption orders can be made by the High Court, County Court or Magistrates Court and the application must be presented in the district where the child lives. Adoption documents are confidential.
Should the adoption order be refused, the child must be returned to the adoption agency within 7 days. The agency will attempt to find another suitable placement. The court can attach conditions to orders, such as allowing the birth parent(s) contact with the child or stipulations for the child's religious upbringing.
Under the Children Act 1989 the Court is obligated to consider the best interests of the child. Any decision made must account for that consideration. Other factors include:
Applications for adoption can be made individually or jointly as a couple. A couple is defined as two people living in an ‘enduring family relationship’ - they can be married, unmarried, of the same sex or civil partners.
If it is considered in the best interests of the child then birth parents and other family members can be permitted contact with the child. Once an adoption order has been granted then the adoptive parents have parental responsibility and are legally responsible for the child.
The requirement for parental consent can be dispensed with, provided certain circumstances exist such as:
If you have further questions regarding adoption orders or if you require legal advice about an adoption order, please call 01204 377 600 and speak with AFG LAW’s expert family law team who can help. Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also accredited members of The Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation Scheme.
Daniela Maggioni qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and joined AFG LAW as an associate solicitor in July 2009. Daniela has always practiced in family law work and has built up experience and knowledge in this area. She became a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel in 2009 and since that time has specialised in representing children.read more