Adding a child to your family through adoption can be a wonderful way to expand it and give a home to a child in need. However, there is a rigorous adoption procedure you will have to follow, and there are other legal difficulties that could come up in relation to adoption. Therefore, getting the proper legal counsel and assistance is crucial.
With years of knowledge in this area of child law, our adoption attorneys can give you the assistance you require as well as the compassionate support and insightful understanding at what can be an exciting, but somewhat stressful, time.
Our adoption lawyers have a wealth of knowledge in adoption law and have assisted a variety of families with issues ranging from adoption applications and evaluations to parental rights, birth parents’ rights, and adoption alternatives.
We are here to provide you with our complete support and effortlessly lead you through each stage because we recognise that the obstacles and challenges faced by those who seek to adopt might be significant. Along with having a complete awareness of what to anticipate and your options at every turn, you will always be aware of where you stand legally.
When a child is adopted, they are no longer considered to be their birth parents’ legal children and are instead considered to be their adoptive parent’s legal children. After adoption, the child obtains inheritance rights from their adoptive parents but loses any automatic right to inherit money or property from their biological family.
The right of the child’s biological family to information about them and to make decisions for them is cancelled and “transferred” to the adopting family. Even though this usually only takes the form of letters sent once or twice a year, adopted children occasionally maintain some sort of relationship with their birth family.
Our adoption lawyers can be of assistance in a wide variety of situations including, but not limited to, all the following:
To their credit, the authorities make sure that thorough investigations are done before approving adoption applications. Every child merits responsible parents and a secure environment, after all.
The decision to adopt a child should be taken seriously because, once adopted, the child ceases to be a legal member of their birth family and joins your family instead.
Although an adoption agency will assist in guiding you through the process, it is advisable to first seek legal counsel from one of our knowledgeable adoption lawyers.
Thanks to their combined decades of experience, our adoption lawyers can offer expert legal advice, including the drafting of legal documents at every stage of the adoption process, while providing expert legal support and guidance should any difficult to understand issues arise.
Adopting a child from abroad who lacks parents or is growing up in a children’s home is known as international adoption. If you or your partner were born outside of the UK, it may also include adopting a family member’s child.
In order to make sure that individuals adopting are able to provide for the child emotionally and financially, this is a complex and highly specialised field of law that requires intense investigation from both the authorities of the child’s country of origin and the UK authorities. Several pieces of legislation, notably the Adoption and Children Act 2002, the Adoption Order 1973, and the 1993 Hague Convention, address the UK’s recognition of overseas adoptions.
To manage the legal elements of an international adoption and make sure the procedure goes as smoothly as possible, it is essential to get professional legal counsel.
The following are the areas where we can offer guidance and representation.
General guidance for families thinking about adopting internationally and relocating a child to the UK.
Advice on what local governments and other adoption agencies should do and say in relation to foreign adoptions, including the evaluation procedure
Representing adopters in court-ordered adoption processes where an overseas adoption is not recognised by the UK and a local adoption is required.
Advising and assisting potential adopters who seek to remove a child from this country for adoption overseas, whether the child is in the custody of the local authority or as a consequence of a private family adoption abroad arrangement.
Giving advice to the international family members of a child who may have been abandoned, orphaned, or placed for adoption here. Because there are additional immigration concerns, these cases are exceptionally complicated.
Providing guidance and legal representation to step-parents who have wed foreigners who have children from prior relationships, with the goal of having those children become full members of the new family and acquire British citizenship.
One area of UK adoption law that the adoption lawyers at Pearl Lemon Legal work in is stepchild adoption. This is a complex, changing field that our team is especially knowledgeable about.
You are a stepfamily if you or your partner are housing children from a prior relationship union. When step-parents are fully responsible for the day-to-day upbringing of their stepchildren, they might desire to formalise their relationship with them.
Adoption is one method for doing this, but increasingly this can be a difficult, and sometimes even contentious issue and expert adoption lawyers may be a must in order to both secure the outcomes you are hoping for and/or safeguard your rights.
The legal ties between a child and their other natural parent, as well as with their extended family, including grandparents and other relatives, are severed when a step-parent adopts their partner’s child.
The child may eventually blame you or your spouse since they were forced to choose between several people as a result of it. The child also forfeits any rights to support and inheritance. It implies that you take on the role of the child’s legal parent and assume parental responsibilities.
Unless the court orders otherwise, the child’s last name may be changed, and the child will become heir to your estate together with your own children. Therefore, even if you and your current partner get divorced, you will still be the child’s legal parent.
You and your partner will need to think about the alternatives because the court must explore all the choices before ever considering adoption.
If you are married to or in a civil partnership with the child’s parent, you may get parental responsibility (PR) for your stepchild through an agreement or a court order under an amendment to the Children Act 1989 (section 4A). If your spouse, wife, or partner is the only one with parental rights for the child, they can formally agree to share those rights with you.
Both parents must agree to let you share PR if the child’s other parent also possesses PR. You will require the Step Parent Parental Responsibility Order, Form C(PRA2). As an alternative, you can request a Parental Responsibility Order from any family court.
Residence Order: This order specifies the person the child will reside with. The order grants PR to the step-parent if one of the people specified therein does not already have it. Despite not having the same parental rights as the child’s parents, you now share parental responsibilities with them.
Without the consent of any other person who has PR or with the court’s approval, neither the parent nor the step-parent may change the child’s last name or remove them from the country for a period longer than a month. If you pass away, you cannot name a guardian to take care of the child. The order may now be made up until the child becomes 18 if the step-parent is named. Because of this change to Section 12 of the Children Act of 1989, anyone wishing to terminate the order before the child turns 18 must obtain the court’s consent before filing an application.
This order provides stability and security for you, your partner, and the child, but it lacks the permanence of an adoption order. You must be married to the child’s parent, be in a registered civil partnership, or be able to prove that the child has lived with you for three years in order to apply for a residence order.
Otherwise, you require the consent of any additional person who is the child’s PR. The court has the authority to issue directives on your and any other PR holders’ contact and the use of their rights. In rare circumstances, it may provide that no individual may file a court application to modify the orders without first obtaining the court’s approval.
Navigating these complex processes can be daunting, but Pearl Lemon Legal’s adoption lawyers will do everything in their power to make it as easy as possible for all parties involved, including the children.
Call our adoption attorneys to discuss how we might assist you if you require trustworthy and uncomplicated legal counsel regarding child adoption.
For a free, no-obligation conversation about how we might be able to help with your current legal issues, please contact us today.