Adoption is the procedure by which the adopter becomes the legal parent for a child and obtains Parental Responsibility (PR). Adoption affects the rights of the birth parents, who will lose PR when the order is made. Orders for Adoption can be sought by couples or individuals adopting children through a private adoption agency or through the Local Authority following care proceedings, where a Placement Order was made alongside a Care Order. Step-parents may also apply for Adoption Orders.
In order to make an Adoption Order, the Court must be satisfied that each parent or guardian of the child consents to the adoption, or alternatively that their consent should be dispensed with. If the child is already subject to a Placement Order, the parents or guardian may not oppose the making of the Adoption Order unless they have permission from the Court. Permission will only be granted where there has been a change in circumstance since the Placement Order was made. As Adoption affects the rights of parents and responsibilities to the child, there can be financial implications. For example, following adoption, the child is no longer deemed the legal child of the birth parents and as such, upon the death of the birth parents, would not have a claim to their estate.
If you are seeking advice on Adoption or Placement Orders, we recommend that you attend our initial fixed fee appointment, when we can discuss all the options with you.
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