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Adoption from care

Since the Adoption and Children Act 2002, the main decision about adoption is normally made either when a care order is made in respect of children or shortly afterwards, with the making of a placement order.

It is at this stage that birth parents and other relatives can contest a future adoption. Their opportunities to do so once the child is placed with adopters are very limited. Normally adopters will be helped by their local authority with the adoption process. However, not all cases are straightforward and we provide advice and representation to all those involved in the adoption process, either legally aided, privately funded or funded by the local authority to:

  • Prospective adopters where there are complications in the adoption proceedings, such as a birth parent applying for leave to contest the adoption on the grounds that their circumstances have changed, or where birth parents or other relatives are applying for contact on the adoption order being made.
  • Birth parents wishing to apply for leave to contest their circumstances have changed since the placement order was made or to apply for contact on adoption.
  • Children where they are made parties to the adoption and when a children’s guardian is likely to have been appointed.
  • Relatives including siblings of the adopted child on cases such as applying for contact on adoption, or after adoption orders have been made.

Written by Naomi Angell and Bridget Thompson 

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