Our specialist family team has a wealth of experience, and supports clients through private adoption with care and compassion.
Adoption is the legal process by which a child becomes the legal child of an individual or couple. The effect of adoption is that the adoptive parents assume legal and parental responsibility for the child in place of the child’s birth parents.
Private adoptions are referred to as non-agency or private adoptions as they involve adoptive placements that have not been arranged by the local authority or another adoption agency.
Step-parent adoption is when the partner of one of the child’s birth parents wishes to consolidate their existing relationship with the child, and secure legal status as the child’s other parent.
Applications for adoption are usually made by a step-parent in circumstances where the child’s other birth parent has had little or no involvement in their life and been absent for some time.
Whilst the partner’s legal rights and status are not affected by an adoption order, as a consequence of adoption by a step-parent the other birth parent
loses parental responsibility for the child, so adoption is not appropriate in all circumstances. However, in cases where adoption is not possible, or not advised, other options may be explored by the step-parent, such as obtaining parental responsibility for the child.
Inter-country adoption can involve a range of different scenarios, such as a couple wishing to adopt a child who is in care overseas, a UK expatriate who adopted a child whilst living abroad seeking to return to live in the UK with the child, and relatives looking to adopt a child from a family member living abroad. There are different rules depending on whether the domestic country is a Hague Convention country or a Non-Hague Convention country.
There are a number of different procedures to enable a child to be adopted in England and Wales or have a foreign adoption recognised in England and
Wales. The law is highly complex and ever evolving, there is no one size fits all approach, so any prospective adoptive parent must seek specialist bespoke legal advice before bonding with the child and commencing the adoption process.
Priya Palanivel is an adoption specialist. She advises clients who are considering step-parent adoption or wishing to adopt a child who lives outside of the UK on the eligibility criteria, their suitability for adoption, the factors considered by the court when dealing with adoption applications and each stage of the legal process.
We are part of a global network of family lawyers operating in many jurisdictions, and we work with international lawyers and other professionals to provide a comprehensive service in every adoption case.
Sheridans has a specialist family team which provides advice in all aspects of family law, within a leading media, entertainment and technology law firm. We understand our clients’ needs for discretion, personal and bespoke advice in order to manage highly sensitive family cases.
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‘Sheridans has a wealth of experience in all aspects of private family law. It routinely acts for high-net-worth and high-profile individuals such as actors, sports stars and elite athletes, and there is often a significant international dimension to its work.’
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‘The group’s particular expertise lies in advising wealthy individuals on issues such as matrimonial finance and private law children matters frequently with an international dimension.’
Sheridans is a leading media and technology law firm whose lawyers combine in-depth legal and commercial knowledge with breadth of expertise and experience to give unparalleled advice to their clients.