Step Parent Adoption

If you are a step-parent you may wish to apply for an Adoption Order for a child you live with and wish to adopt. If you meet the criteria for this and are successful in the application, a new birth certificate will be issued for the child and all legal ties with the non-resident birth parent will be severed.

 The advantages of having a Step Parent Adoption Order are:

  • Your family is recognised by law.
  • All members have the same surname.
  • The child shares rights of inheritance with other children in the family.
  • Legal links with the previous family are cut.

The disadvantages of having a Step Parent Adoption Order are:

  • If stepchildren are adopted, the law no longer recognises the other birth parent or any members of their birth family as having any legal link with the child.  This could cause a child to feel confused or distressed and therefore any decision to proceed with a Step Parent Adoption needs careful consideration. Please Note:  Whilst legal ties will be cut it may be important to the child to maintain some link with their other birth parent or their family.
  • An adopted child loses any rights to maintenance and inheritance from the other birth parent or that parent’s family.  This may not seem important at the time of the adoption, but could matter a great deal if your family has financial problems later, or if both of you were to die while your child was still dependant.

The Criteria for Step Parent Adoption:

  • You must be 21 years of age or older and either married to or living with the resident birth parent in "an enduring family relationship".
  • You must have been living in the British Isles for at least a year and continually living with the child for at least three years.
  • We believe it is important that the child is able to express their opinion about what happens to them, so where appropriate the child will be interviewed as part of the assessment process.

If you are interested in Step Parent Adoption or wish to find out more please complete our online initial enquiry form now by clicking here.