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Adoption is a legal proceeding that places a child with a non-biologically related parent enabling the child to have the same legal rights as if he or she was blood related. Adoption proceeding are gradually increasing and is becoming much more common. Unlike many presumptions, adoptive parents do not need to be in a particular salary band, nor do they need to be married. The main objective for adoption agencies is to analyse the history and background of all potential parents and see if they meet the welfare and needs of the child.

Adoption orders will be heard at least three months after its request, but can be applied for any time after the child moves in. However, if you are adopting a new born, the adoption order can only be requested when the child is at least six weeks old. Furthermore, if you are planning to adopt a child from overseas, the adoption order process can only start after the child has lived with you for a minimum of a year.

Once the adoption order request has been completed, a court hearing will take place which involves particular questions that would be aimed at you and the child (if they are old enough). It is in the court that the adoption order will be either accepted or rejected.

There is no requirement for couples to be married when adopting, and since the new Act in 2005; lesbian and gay couples can also apply for an adoption order. Once the child is legally adopted, you will become the child’s legal parent and therefore you will have the same legal rights and responsibilities as a biologically related parent. All parental rights will be taken away from the biological parents and the child will therefore take your surname. Thus, it is strongly recommended that you keep in contact with a specialist adoption solicitor to gain a higher understanding of the legal implications involved.

Adoption is governed by the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules 2005. These rules entitle any person adopting a child a right to paid leave if they have worked for the company for more than 26 weeks. The rules do specify certain areas such as the length of adoption leave and the amount of pay you should be entitled to. It is therefore essential to discuss such issues with an expert adoption solicitor.

Contact Law can transfer you to your local specialist adoption solicitor free of charge. So if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local adoption solicitors please call us at 0800 1777 167 or complete the web-form above.

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