Section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, provides that a Family Court may make an Adoption Order in specified circumstances. The effect of an order is to extinguish the parental responsibility of any other person.
It follows that adoption is a very serious course of action; the child in question ceases – for legal purposes – to be a member of their birth family and is regarded to be a member of the adopting parents’ family.
The services maintained by local authorities may be collectively referred to as “the Adoption Service”, and a local authority or registered adoption society may be referred to as an adoption agency. The Adoption Service and adoption agencies can help adopting parents through the process, but it is important to be aware of the legal consequences of adopting, particularly if the adoption involves children from overseas. It is worth noting that not all foreign adoptions are recognised in the UK, and there are furthermore several scenarios where it is a criminal Offence to try and adopt a child living abroad (otherwise known as “unlawfully assisting entry”).
Demstone Chambers’ specialist family law barristers can help with all aspects of the adoption process, including:
- advising prospective parents on their eligibility for adoption
- helping with applications for domestic adoptions, e.g. where a child has previously been in the care of the Local Authority
- facilitating a child’s lawful entry into the UK for adoption purposes
- assisting with the UK recognition of foreign adoption orders.
Our family law services also include making applications to the Family Court in child related matters e.g. Child Arrangements Orders (Child Contact Orders), local authority care issues, dispute resolution (e.g. Mediation), Family Court hearings, and advising on Divorce related matters. We are mainly based in London and Milton Keynes, but regularly help clients across the United Kingdom.