We at Lovell Chohan Solicitors are accredited members of the Law Society Family Law, Advanced Family Law panels and Accredited Resolution Specialist schemes and therefore have particular experience in dealing with family matters.
If a child is in Public Care, you may be entitled to make an application to an adoption agency to assess your suitability for adoption and thereafter an application to the Court. You must be over 21 to make such an application.
The first part of the process is for you to contact an adoption agency. Once you have submitted your application to them they will:
- Send you general written information about the adoption process, like how long each part will take and the agency's expectation of adopters
- Invite you to a group information meeting, where you can hear about adoption and talk to adopters about their experiences
- Give you counselling to help you understand the needs of the children, who may have experienced neglect or abuse in their early childhood
The second step is once the adoption agency have confirmed acceptance of your application, they will:
- Invite you to preparation classes - these are normally held locally and offer parenting advice and information such as like skills required for adoption,
- The needs of adopted children and the effect adoption can have on all the people involved
- Carry out police checks to be sure that you or an adult member of your family have not committed an offence that would make you ineligible to adopt
- Interview referees who know you and your family
- Organise for you to have a full medical examination
- Arrange for a social worker to visit you and carry out a detailed assessment of your suitability to become an adoptive parent - including your strengths and weaknesses, areas you might need support in, and the stability of your relationship if you are adopting as a couple
The whole process can take a considerable period of time, but when your social worker has finalised your assessment, the paper work is submitted to the adoption panel. This is a group of people who are experienced in adoption. You will be able to attend the adoption panel meeting to ask and answer questions. The adoption panel will make a recommendation to the agency, which will then make the decision whether or not you are suitable to adopt a child.
The time taken for the process can vary between 8 to 12 months, and thereafter up to a month for the agency to match you with a suitable child. Once the child is placed living with you, you will after 10 weeks be able to apply to the Court for an adoption order. An adoption order means that parental rights and responsibilities for the child are given to the adoptive parents..
At Lovell Chohan Solicitors we are able to deal with International Adoption of children (Inter-Country Adoptions) where similar rules apply with additional criteria. Please arrange an appointment to discuss these matters with us.