Adoption Lawyers Glasgow

Family Lawyers Glasgow, Scotland - Adoption Solicitors, Glasgow

Deciding whether or not to adopt a child is a life-changing decision. The adoption process, particularly where it involves adopting a child from abroad, is complex. It is imperative therefore that, if you are considering becoming an adoptive parent or, if you are in any way involved in a case involving adoption of a child, you have dependable family lawyers to advise you and to help you navigate the complexities of the legal process. Our Glasgow – based family lawyers at Simplicity Legal can provide practical, comprehensive and empathetic advice to guide you through every step of the adoption process.

Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

Adoptions in Scotland are regulated by the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007. An Adoption order is granted by the court.  When an adoption order is granted, the adoptive parent is is given parental rights and parental responsibilities in respect of the adopted child. The legal consequence of the granting of the adoption order is that the child’s biological parents will lose those rights and responsibilities (unless the adoption is by a step-parent of a step child, in which case the biological parent retains those rights and responsibilities), although it is possible for conditions to be attached to the order to provide for example that the biological parent can retain some level of contact with the adopted child.   An order for the adoption of a child is final and, for all legal purposes, the adopted child is treated as though born as the child of the adopter(s).

What are the requirements to adopt a child?

There are certain conditions which must be met for an adoption order to be granted. The court must not make an adoption order unless it considers that it would be better for the child that the order be made than not.  When you apply for an order the child to be adopted must be under the age of 18.  The prospective adoptive parent(s) should be at least 21 years of age (there is no upper age limit).  If a prospective adoptive parent was not born in Scotland, he or she can apply as long as they have been living in Scotland for at least a year.  Married couples and couples in a civil partnership can apply for an adoption order, as can unmarried couples, as long as they are living together as if husband wife or civil partners, and in an “enduring family relationship”.  An order can be applied for by a single person.  If the child to be adopted is aged 12 years or over, the child’s consent to the adoption order being granted must be obtained (unless the court is satisfied that the child is incapable of consenting to the order). If the child is under 12 their views must be taken into account if they have the maturity to have a view on the adoption application.

If considering adopting a child you need to contact a registered Adoption Agency (unless the child is your close relative or step-child). The Adoption Agency will carry out thorough checks to make sure that you are suitable to adopt.  This will involve looking into your medical history (although  a health condition will not automatically prevent you applying)your criminal record (and those of any other people living with you) and your finances (although having a low income or being unemployed is not necessarily a bar to adopting).  Home visits will be carried out to make sure that your home provides a safe environment for a child. If the Agency decide that you are suitable to adopt, the next step is to match you with a child – you can use Scotland’s Adoption Register to help – find out more here:

This initial process is likely to take well over a year.  Once a child has been matched to you, he or she will be placed with you (there is an additional process which requires to be followed in order to allow the child to be placed) and, once placed, the agency will carry out further checks to ensure that the placement is right for you and the child.  Only then can an application be made to the court for an adoption order.

If you are considering adopting a close relative or step-child, you need to let the local authority know and they will investigate your circumstances and prepare a report for the court.

Having a criminal record won’t automatically bar you from applying to adopt (unless your record relates to offences involving children).  The Adoption Agency will consider all of the circumstances, for example: the nature of your criminal record; the number of offences; the time passed since offending; and your current attitude towards your offending behaviour.

There is no legal requirement for children to be placed with parents of the same ethnicity, although consideration will be given to racial, cultural, and linguistic factors.

The 2007 Act sets out five conditions which must be met before the court can grant an adoption order, including that the child’s biological parent understands what the effect of making an adoption order would be and consents to the making of the order (consent is ineffective if given by the child’s birth mother less than 6 weeks after the child’s birth) unless there are grounds to dispense with their consent. 

Seeking to adopt a child from overseas is usually even more complex.

The Adoption Process - Family Solicitors Glasgow - Get in touch with our Adoption Lawyers

The Adoption process is complex. It’s important that you seek legal advice from a family lawyer who deals with adoption cases at an early stage in the process.  Contact Simplicity Legal today to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced adoption solicitors.  Our team of family lawyers can provide you with the advice you need if you are considering adopting a child and, if you proceed with an application for an adoption order, we will guide through the legal process. Contact us on 0141 433 2626 today or contact through or form.

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