Information for Non-Agency (Stepparent) Adoption Applicants
Making an adoption application needs very careful thought, even where it is a stepparent who is looking to adopt the child that they are living with. An adoption order transfers the parental responsibilities and legal rights and entitlements from the child’s birth parent to the stepparent so it is so important to explore what adoption means, not only for you as parents, but for the child, as ultimately the court’s decision will affect the rest of the child’s life.
Historically, stepparent adoption was the most usual way forward and chosen by people who wanted to take legal steps to provide stability and security for their stepchildren. This enabled the child to share the family’s name and the stepparent’s role, rights and responsibilities were recognised in the event of the death of the birth parent.
However, severing a legal relationship between a child and their birth parent needs robust consideration and today there are a variety of alternatives available which are likely to be easier to achieve for the family and may be more appropriate. This is very significant as it may be important for a child who has some involvement with both sides of his or her original family.