A step by step guide
Adoption is not necessarily appropriate in all step parent situations. The local authority has a duty to investigate the circumstances and prepare a report to court of their findings. This is because once adopted the child's legal links with their absent birth parent and wider family will be broken.
If you wish to adopt your partner's child/children from a previous marriage or relationship so that you become the legal parent of the child/children and share parental responsibility for them, here is a step by step guide to 'Step Parent Adoption'.
Step by step guide
- Make enquiries to your local authority and register an interest in step parent adoption. Give the local authority three months' written notice of your intention to apply to the court.
- The local authority investigates and assesses your suitability to be come the child's adoptive parent and the appropriateness of adoption.
- An application is made to the court: cost will be £200 per application Following an investigation and assessment the local authority submits a report on your suitability and the appropriateness of adoption.
- The court considers your application and the local authority's report and makes a decision.
There are many children who live within step-families. For most there will never be an occasion when it is in their best interest to be adopted by their parents' partner. If you are considering this option for a child you should look at your current situation, and why this might be in the child's best interests to be changed. Remember also, that merely applying for an adoption order could change things. For example, if the other parent of the child/children is not currently in contact with them, they may respond to your application for an adoption order by renewing their contact, often temporarily, as a reaction to this. In such cases the well-being of the child, who faces the prospect of a second parting from one of their parents in the near future, may be harmed.