Can my partner adopt my child without the biological father’s consent in the UK?

In this article, we will answer your question: Can my partner adopt my child without the biological father’s consent in the UK? We will talk about consent and assents in a legal adoption process; what to do if your ex-partner disagrees with the adoption and what are steps in the adoption of a partner’s child. 

Can my partner adopt my child without the biological father’s consent in the UK?

In the UK, your partner can adopt your child without a biological father’s consent, if the biological father is not named on the birth certificate or legally is stripped of his parental rights. In all other cases, you will most likely need your ex-partner’s permission.

The right thing to do is call Social Services, describe your case and receive the best possible advice regarding your particular situation. Otherwise, anyone who is legally your child’s parent will have to consent to the adoption order. 

The law expressly says that the child of the couple or marriage can be adopted when:

  • Affiliation is not determined. Single-parent family.
  • The other parent has died.
  • Or is deprived of his rights.
  • The other parent has given his consent.

 “A person of legal age or an emancipated person can only be adopted if they have lived uninterruptedly with the adopter since before they were fourteen years old or if they have been in a pre-adoptive foster care situation, at least during the six months immediately before the fulfilment of the adulthood or emancipation, and has continued to live with him without interruption.

Adopting your partner’s child

Today it is the most common to find ourselves in front of what is known as reconstituted families, that is, those families in which one or both of the members of the family have children from previous relationships, becoming together with them a new family nucleus.

In these cases, we may find ourselves faced with two different situations: either the child is split between two households or the child doesn’t know one of the biological parents so the new spouse of their mother/father becomes their parent (legally or not).

It is in the face of these latter cases, in which the partner or spouse of the parent assumes as a consequence of said romantic relationship the role of parent when we are faced with the question of whether it would be possible to proceed to the adoption process.

Well, in this situation, we must affirm that our legal system does allow such adoption to legally establish the adoptive parentage of such children in favour of the person who is acting as their parent.

To proceed, the circumstances and requirements required by the legislation that is applicable in the UK to proceed with said adoption are set out below.

In the first place, we must start from the basis that said adoption may be carried out by both the spouse and the person with whom the adopter lives in a stable couple, without consequently demanding their marriage, granting the same rights to stable couples.

A stable couple will be considered as constituted between two people who live together in a similar way to the matrimonial one in any of the following cases:

a) If the coexistence between them lasts more than two uninterrupted years.

b) If they have a common child.

c) If they formalize the relationship in a public deed.

Regarding the adoption request, it must be carried out through the corresponding Voluntary Jurisdiction Procedure before the Court that corresponds to the domicile of the adopter.

As regards the circumstances required for the constitution of the adoption, we must prove that the following requirements are met:

  • That the adopter has full capacity to act, is over 25 years of age and has a difference of more than fourteen years between him and the adopted.
  • That the parentage of the child to be adopted is not legally determined concerning the other parent, or that the latter has died, is deprived of power, is subject to a cause of deprivation of power or has given its consent with the adoption that is interested in the spouse or partner of the adopter.

Along with the concurrence of the indicated requirements, it will be necessary to obtain the consents or assents of the persons indicated below before the competent judicial authority:

Consents:

  • Adopters
  • Adopted, as long as they have reached the age of twelve

Assents:

  • The spouse of the adopter, except in the case of legal or de facto separation, or the person with whom the adopter lives in a stable relationship.
  • The parents of the adoptee, unless they are legally deprived of the power or incur a cause of deprivation of it, or, in the case of pre-adoptive foster care, that the resolution that agreed upon it has become final.

Likewise, the judicial authority must listen to the following persons in the processing of the adoption file:

  • The parents of adults or emancipated minors and people whose assent is not required, except those who are deprived of parental authority.
  • The tutors, curators or guardians of the adopted person.
  • The adoptee under the age of twelve, if he has sufficient judgment.
  • The children of the adopters, if said children and adopters live together, and, if applicable, the children of the adoptee, if they have sufficient judgment and it is possible.

Finally, we must also bear in mind that in this type of procedure, together with the adoption of the child of the spouse or partner, it may also be requested that, as a consequence of it, the last name of the adoptee be changed to achieve the complete integration of the adoptee in the adopter’s family environment.

How to file an adoption protest 

If you protest the Petition for Adoption, be prepared to show proof that:

  • You have provided financial support to your child in the last two years; 
  • You have had contact with your child in the past two years;

Or, if you could not provide support or communicate with your child in the past two years, it is in your best interest to present evidence of this to the judge.

Consider talking to an attorney

If you do not agree with the adoption of your child by your stepfather or stepmother, you may want to speak to a lawyer. If you have a low income you may be eligible for free legal help. 

If you want to adopt your partner’s child

The procedure can be initiated both by a public entity and by yourselves, those you wish to adopt.

An application must be submitted. According to the law, the intervention of a lawyer and a solicitor in the process is not necessary, but it is recommended for the drafting of the application.

After the application is submitted, the court will process the file and give way to the consents to the adoption of the child of the couple.  In this case, the court will summon who wants to adopt and who is going to be adopted, in case they are over 12 years old, to give their consent.

What if the other parent disagrees with child adoption?

As we have advanced previously, to constitute the adoption it is necessary to follow the corresponding file of voluntary jurisdiction before the competent judge. In the said procedure, the consent of the parents of the adoptee is necessarily collected, unless they are legally deprived of parental authority, or involved in the cases provided for in the Civil Code for their deprivation.

If the parent whose assent was not deemed necessary by the judge, and therefore was not requested, considers that their rights have been violated, they may go to the Court that is hearing the matter and express it in this way. 

In this case, the attorney of the Administration of Justice will promote the suspension of the procedure and will condemn him within fifteen days to file the pertinent claim, which will be heard by the court itself.

However, if the parent does not carry out such actions, it must be remembered that the adoption is irrevocable since it seeks to provide stability to the minor, although it can be terminated by the concurrence of the request of any of the parents within the term of the two years after the order granting the adoption, alleging that for reasons that are not attributable to him, he could not intervene in the procedure.

If the adopted child is over 14 years old

The main consequence is that the consent of the adopter must be obtained by the judge as long as they are over 12 years old and have sufficient judgment. Therefore your opinion will be decisive.

On the other hand, our legal system vetoes the adoption of adults or emancipated persons, unless it is preceded by a situation of foster care with whom they intend to adopt, which began at least one year before the adopter reaches emancipation or the age of majority.

Conclusions

In this article, we answered your question: Can my partner adopt my child without the biological father’s consent in the UK? We talked about consent and assents in a legal adoption process; what to do if your ex-partner disagrees with the adoption and what are steps in adoption of a partner’s child. 

Your partner can adopt your child if he wishes so, but the law states that you will need consent from the biological father of the child – that is if he is legally authorised to see and spend time with your child. Since every case is particular, our advice is to contact social services or a family lawyer for more details and advice.

If there are any questions on the content that we can answer, please let us know!

FAQ on Can my partner adopt my child without the biological father’s consent in the UK?

Can my partner adopt my child without the biological father’s consent in the UK?

In the UK, your partner can adopt your child without the biological father’s consent if your ex-partner does not have Parental Responsibility. Otherwise, the court will ask for the other parent’s consent, since it is their child too. 

Can a partner adopt my child in the UK?

Yes, your partner can adopt your child, as long as he files an adoption request to your local council. He needs to do so at least 3 months before applying to a court for an adoption order. 

Can my boyfriend adopt my son if the biological father is not on the birth certificate?

Your boyfriend cannot adopt your son even if the biological father is not on the birth certificate for 2 main reasons. First, you need to be married before your new partner will be allowed to adopt your child. Secondly, only the court can decide that the biological father has no Parental Responsibility, even if he is not on the birth certificate. 

Can a father’s name be removed from a birth certificate UK?

No, the father’s name cannot be removed from a birth certificate in the UK if he is the biological father of the child. This can happen only if a court decides that he is not the real father (biological father) of the child. 

References

Gov.uk

Familylives.org.uk

Citizensadvice.org.uk

fundyouradoption.org

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