This is where you would like to make your partners children your own. It is a legal process which will remove parental responsibility from the absent parent.
You no longer have to be married to the child’s parent in order to apply for this order. You can be:-
- A married couple
- In a civil partnership
- In an “enduring family relationship”
In order to proceed with your application you need to inform your local authority of your intention to adopt your partner’s child. You need to do this at least three months before making the application to court. The child also needs to have resided with you both for six months prior to the application being made.
The local authority will then prepare a report for court on:-
- You and your partner
- The child
- The other birth parent
Depending on the outcome of the report will depend upon whether the court grants you an adoption order.
The court will also take into account the absent parent’s view if they have parental responsibility. If they do have parental responsibility then they need to be sent a copy of your application so that they can respond. If you do not know where they are it may be an additional application needs to be made to dispense with service or for the Department of Work and Pensions to disclose their whereabouts.
If you would like further information or assistance in relation to step parent adoption then please contact the Adoption Legal Centre.
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