Children come into the care of their local authority for a number of reasons, usually when they have experienced or are at risk of significant harm (physical, emotional sexual abuse or neglect).
Children’s Services are given powers by the court to ensure the child is cared for safely. This often means the child is placed with foster carers while assessments are completed with birth families to help understand their capacity to parent their child. The birth family is also provided with support to help them care for their child. If it is decided that the parents or extended birth family are unable to care for the child, the child’s plan will become one of adoption.
This plan will be presented to court and if the court agrees they will make a placement order that gives Children’s Services the power to place a child with prospective adoptive parents. Family Adoption Links, along with the local authority caring for the child will identify a family who they believe can meet all the child’s needs throughout their life.
Intercountry adoption is the process by which you adopt a child from a country other than your own through permanent legal means and then bring that child to your country of residence to live with you permanently.
Our intercountry adoption service is provided by the Yorkshire Adoption Agency.
When adopting from abroad, it is important to note that you must be eligible to adopt both within the UK as well as from the relevant country overseas. Sometimes, that country’s eligibility criteria might be different or more stringent than the UK’s, so the first step for potential adopters is to check their eligibility.
If you’re a step parent wishing to adopt your spouse’s/partner’s child, the first thing you need to do is contact your local authority. You must do this at least 3 months before applying to a court for an adoption order. Please note, the child must have lived with both of you for at least 6 months.
The process to adopt is similar to an assessment through an adoption agency and will be used to help a court decide if you can adopt the child (rather than being sent to an independent adoption panel).
The court will ask your local council to provide a report on:
The report will be prepared by a Social Worker and will be used to help the court make decision. If granted, the adoption court order gives you along with your spouse/partner parental responsibility for the child.
The order then takes away parental responsibility from:
An adoption order cancels any other type of court order, such as how and when the child’s birth parent can visit the child.
If you would like further information on step parent adoption, please contact your local authority using the contact details below.
(Telephone lines – Monday – Thursday, 10am – 2pm)
(Telephone lines – Wednesday, 9am – 12 noon)