The process of adoption effectively ends the parent-child relationship between the birth parents and the child and cements the relationship between the adopters and the child.

The adopters acquire parental responsibility for that child to the exclusion of the birth parents.  The child may adopt a new name at the time the adoption order is made.

The Adoption and Children Act 2002 makes the child’s welfare the paramount consideration in all decisions relating to adoption.  A child can only be placed for adoption where the parent(s) consent or under a placement order.  Consent to adoption must be given unconditionally and with the full understanding of what is involved.

We can help if you are:

  • wanting to adopt a child either as individuals or couples
  • step parents
  • seeking special guardianship orders
  • parents of children who are the subject of applications to adopt
  • wishing to adopt overseas.

We will advise on the merits of the application, draft the relevant court papers and attend the court hearings.

Special Guardianship Order

A Special Guardianship Order is a new order introduced by the Adoption and Children Act 2002.  It goes further than a residence order in that a carer under special guardianship may exercise parental responsibility to the exclusion of all others, but it does not extinguish parental responsibility as with adoption.  This is an order giving all day to day decisions about the child’s upbringing to the special guardian.  It is envisaged that this will be the appropriate order where a long term placement is secured for a child with another family member.


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