Can a partner adopt my child in the UK?

In this post, we will answer the question “Can a partner adopt my child in the UK?”.  In doing so, we will shed light on the regulations for partner adoption, the impact of such adoptions, the possible alternatives to such an order, the duration of the adoption process, and whose consent is required for such adoption. 

Can a partner adopt my child in the UK?

You are a step family if you or your partner have a child from a prior relationship that resides with you. Since the stepchild is fully responsible for the stepchild on a daily basis, you might want to formalize your relationship with the stepchild. Adoption is one way to do this.

A parent-in-law who is married to the kid’s biological parent may submit an application to adopt the child. Currently, there are different options for handling stepparents, so you should consider what will benefit your child, you, and your partner the most.

Some people decide to adopt the child of their spouse. This might also be known as step-parent adoption. This entails accepting full legal parental responsibility for the child and should not be undervalued.

First of all, it’s crucial to keep in mind that adoption is a legal procedure and may not be appropriate for all stepfamilies. The choice must be carefully considered. 

Interviews will be conducted with all parties involved, including you and your partner, your child, another birth parent, your child’s grandparents, and your child.

All legal ties between the child and the birth family will be severed once the adoption is decided. The kid forfeits all claims to an inheritance and maintenance of his biological family unless otherwise stated in the will. 

You should consider your child’s sentiments and talk to them about this choice. It is crucial to speak to young children first because even the youngest ones have some comprehension.

Rename

If a child wants to adopt a partner so they can legally alter their name to reflect their new family arrangement, a lawyer may accomplish this with the approval of all legal guardians. Please visit www.gov.uk for additional details.

Special Guardian Regulations

The Special Guardian maintains the child’s legal connection to their biological family while also providing the foundation for building a long-lasting relationship between the child and their special guardian.

Everyday choices involving a child or adolescent’s care and upbringing must clearly fall under the special guardian’s purview.

The child’s legal parent is still the true parent, even when they are less able to carry out their parental duties.

Child Arrangement Order

This passes parental responsibility to the caregiver for the child. If the ordinance, for instance, mandates that the child dwells with the genuine mother and her partner, the woman’s partner is taken into consideration to be the parent.

The mother’s spouse does not, however, acquire parental rights as a result.

How can I take a partner’s child in as my own?

You must follow the following guidelines to get started:

  • 21 at least one year of age. 
  • You must have a court-approved legal marriage to a resident biological parent or be able to demonstrate a strong (often at least a year-long) family connection. 
  • You must have resided or visited the UK for at least a year.

What impact do adoption decisions have? 

The legal relationship between the child and other biological parents, as well as this wider family network, including grandparents and other relatives, changes when a parent-in-law adopts a partner’s child. 

This could occasionally give the impression that the youngster must pick between many people, leading them to subsequently blame you or your spouse. Additionally, the child forfeits all claims to support and inheritance. 

This implies that you will always be your child’s legal parent and be responsible as the parent. Unless the court forbids it and the child gains rights to your property with your own child, you are permitted to change your child’s name.

As a result, even if you divorce your current spouse, you will still be the child’s legal parent.

What alternate orders are there? 

Alternatives must be thought of by you and your partner since the court must weigh all available possibilities.

Parental Responsibility Agreement or Order – 

Due to modifications to the Child Act of 1989 (Section 4A), a stepparent who marries a kid or whose citizen’s partner is a child may, by consent or court order, adopt the stepchild. Parental responsibility is an option (PR). 

If your husband, wife, or other significant other is the only one who has a PR for your child, they can formally agree to share the PR with you. 

You must concur that both parents can share the PR if the child’s other parent also has a PR.

The child’s living arrangements are specified in the residential permit. If any of the people listed don’t already have a PR, like a stepparent, the order is given to that person. The stepparent issues the individual a PR. 

Second, they share parental obligations with the child’s parent but do not have the same rights as the parent. 

Without the permission of the other party who owns the PR or the court’s approval, neither the parent nor the stepparent may change the child’s name or remove the child from the country for a period longer than a month. 

You cannot name a guardian to look after your child after your death.

It is possible to make arrangements up to the child’s 18th birthday if the in-laws are listed in order. Anyone wishing to terminate an order before the kid turns 18 must obtain a court order in order to do so, according to this change to Article 12 of the Children’s Act of 1989.

This provides stability and protection for your child, you, and your spouse, but not throughout the adoption process. You must demonstrate your marital status, registered partnership with your child’s parents, or three years of custody if you want to apply for a residency visa. 

If not, you must the approval of another person who is your child’s PR. You and anyone who have a PR may be required by the court to communicate with and interact with the PR.

In extreme cases, he may instruct the court to refrain from requesting a change in the order without first getting the court’s approval.

Making an adoption application

You may now submit an application as an individual. Must be at least 21 years old. You must demonstrate to the court that you are a permanent family partner if you are not married to a child’s parent. 

Community social workers who write adoption compatibility reports should take their partners’ demands for consistency and stability in their relationships into account. They are not required to be in a civil partnership and can be same-sex couples.

Before submitting an adoption application, your family must have been together for at least six months.

What location should I use for my application? And who should I inform? 

The Family Litigation Court, County Court, or High Court receives the application. If the application is not pursued or if the court decides not to issue an adoption order, the fees must be paid at the time of filing and are not refundable. 

The cost of legal representation is listed on the government website.

Additionally, at least three months prior to submitting your application, you must formally notify the local child office of your decision to adopt. 

In order for them to wish to meet you and your child, you must appoint a social worker to write a thorough report about your child, the child’s family situation, you, and your partner.

What is the court’s purpose?

What is best for the child or children must be decided by the court. If the biological parent consents to the adoption, the court needs to make that determination. 

The court selects officers from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services (CAFCASS), asks them and observes their official written consent if both have parental responsibility for the child.

The court does not have to get the approval of the parents before making an adoption order if they do not have parental responsibility (PR). The court could wish to know not only the youngster’s opinions but also those of the parents if they are close with the child. 

The court will name that officer as the child’s guardian if a parent with a PR disagrees with your application or if a CAFCASS officer thinks there are unusual circumstances. 

It is your responsibility to speak on behalf of your child and make sure the court is informed of your child’s and your family’s preferences prior to the issuance of an order.

What is the time frame? 

With a contract, it is simple. For court applications, it is essential to get in touch with us. Receiving local government reports and appointing CAFCASS officers can be delayed.

It could take longer if there are unusual circumstances or if there isn’t an agreement because the parents of the child want to interview the child and other members of the family. You might require legal counsel if it’s particularly intricate. 

The child’s best interests must always come first when the court is deciding what arrangements to make. 

Therefore, the court will evaluate whether one of the alternative arrangements is more suitable or not after taking into account everyone’s opinions and the child’s needs for stable family life.

Factors to think about

The desires and sentiments of your child, as well as your partner’s or ex-opinions partner’s

the outcome of the child and one of his parents’ legal ties being terminated.

What you hope to accomplish: Become your child’s legal parent for all time, or share parental duties. The parent’s obligations as the child develop as a stepfamily member

Parent-child relationship

The responsibility of the parent is another approach. This indicates that you possess all of your child’s legal rights, duties, obligations, and abilities.

Assuming parental responsibility entails having the authority to offer advice and being in charge of your child’s wellbeing, education, religion, and health.

When a child is born in the UK, the mother automatically assumes custody of the infant.

If the father is married to the mother at the time of childbirth or if he marries her afterwards, he automatically becomes responsible for the parent.

If their parents are identified or named on the birth certificate, unmarried fathers are accountable for them (since December 1, 2003).

The following are some ways that stepfathers can assume parenting responsibilities:

  • Court upholds parental responsibility
  • conclusion of a custody agreement with the mother, as approved by the court (if married)
  • Obtain a permit for legal residence.
  • a guardian appointed by the court
  • adopt a youngster.

Regardless of their marital status, the parents mentioned on their child’s adoption certificate are accountable for their parents. Anyone who had parental obligations before the child was adopted will have those obligations removed following the adoption.

Everyone in charge of the parent of the child must agree to any changes to the status or name of the child.

Whose consent is required for the adoption of in-law parents?

The other statutory parent must agree to the adoption order if they are your child’s guardian (although this is exempt in exceptional cases for the best interests of the child). A possibility exists.

It is not necessary to obtain the approval of the other parent if they are not in charge of the parent.

The adoption decree will permanently revoke the legal standing of other parents, thus the court will carefully assess the case.

References:

https://www.familylaw.co.uk/news_and_comment/how-do-i-apply-for-step-parent-adoption-in-the-uk

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