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You may be able to adopt a child if you’re aged 21 or over (there’s no upper age limit) and either:

  • single
  • married
  • in a civil partnership
  • an unmarried couple (same sex and opposite sex)
  • the partner of the child’s parent
  1. If the child has been placed with you by an adoption agency or you are the parent of the child, then the child must have lived with you for 10 weeks before the application to court.
  1. If you are a Local Authority foster carer then the child must have lived with you for at least six months before the application is made to Court.
  1. In ay other case, a period of three months during the last five years before the application is made to Court.
Everybody has to give notice to their Local Authority of their intention to adopt, unless the child has been placed with them by an adoption agency.  This therefore includes step parents, foster carers and any other family member.
The law states that you have to give the Local Authority three months notice before you make your application to Court.  This notice period enables the Local Authority to make enquiries in relation to the proposed adoption and prepare their report for Court.
You can invite the Court to dispense with service.
If the parents do not agree then they need to inform the Court as soon as possible.  The Court will then consider what is in the best interests of the child.  If the Court feels that adoption is the right order then the Court can dispense with the parents consent on the basis that the welfare of the child requires it.

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