Are you a stepparent and want advice and support in trying to adopt your stepchild?
Adoption as a stepparent will result in the holder of the Adoption Order becoming a child's legal parent forever and being granted parental responsibility. The Order will break the legal relationship between a child and the other parent and their wider family, which includes the child losing rights to maintenance and inheritances. This is a permanent decision and cannot be reversed at a later date. The child's surname will also be changed unless the court declines this.
This Order will remain in force even if you and your partner divorce or separate. An Adoption Order application is recognised in the courts as a very significant decision for a child and as such the court will only make this Order if it is satisfied that it is absolutely necessary and, in the child’s, best interests.
If you are interested in adopting your stepchild, contact us and a duty worker will talk to you about your situation and give you advice regarding stepparent adoption and other legal options that are open to you.
- Should stepparent adoption be the right route for you, you have a duty to notify us (Local Authority) three months prior to submitting an application to court.
- We will then allocate a member of the adoption team to carry out an assessment of the prospective adopter and provide a copy of the assessment to the court.
To declare your intention to adopt your stepchild please write to:
The manager of the Adoption Recruitment and Assessment Team, Scott House, 5 George Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3AD.
In order to be approved as an adopter we (Local Authority) will complete an assessment about you and your family called an Annex A report. The assessment looks at the following:
- Your stepchild's needs both now and in the future, their wishes, and feelings and what is considered to be in their best interests.
- The report also considers the views and roles of everybody with parental responsibility.
- The report considers the applicants suitability to adopt which includes their capacity to care for a child, their personal history and the relationship with the other parent, and whether or not any other Order should be considered and if this is in the best interests of the child.
A stepparent adoption assessment is undertaken by a Social Worker from the Adoption, Recruitment and Assessment Team. The assessment process will normally take between 12-14 weeks and will then be submitted to court.