Adopting a child involves navigating a complex, legal road. However, it’s to be expected given that a child’s future is at a stake. Hiring a family lawyer to help with an adoption application gives you the legal support you need. Here’s what the adoption process involves and how Holland Family Law Leicester can help…
The Adoption Application
Your adoption journey starts when the child first comes into your life but procedurally, with the filing of an application form. It’s at this stage that a family lawyer can give you advice on completing the form as it can be confusing.
If errors are made on the form it could delay the adoption process. A family lawyer is able to guide you through the form to ensure that it’s correct, which will help to avoid delays.
Social Worker Investigation
You may already be working with a Social Worker. However, once your adoption application has been filed, a social worker will be assigned to investigate your suitability to adopt a child, carrying out a thorough background check and speaking to the child about adoption. A confidential report is then issued by the social worker following their investigation.
You can receive a copy of the report directly or, if you instruct Holland Family Law, we can receive the report on your behalf. The information made available to you is often restricted and it’s never shown to the birth parents.
Following the completion of background checks, the process becomes a little more complex as approval needs to be sought from the birth parents as to whether they agree to the adoption. In most cases, birth parents do not agree to an adoption.
Under these circumstances, the Court has to review the case, which often involves a lengthy and time-consuming investigation to establish whether adoption is in the best interests of the child. It’s down to the judge to decide whether to overturn a birth parent’s refusal to agree to a child being adopted.
Filing a Statement
If a birth parent refuses the adoption, you will be asked to file a statement of facts supporting your application, which will help the Court during its investigation.
The Court’s investigation is carried out by a Court officer – who at this point is the child’s guardian – who files a report with the Court. You are unable to see the report, unless you hire Holland Family Law to represent you, in which case, some details from the report can be shared with you.
The final step is an adoption hearing, which is held at Court and at which the child(ren) must be present by law so that the final adoption order is made while they’re in attendance. This is normally a very happy occasion and nothing to be concerned about.
How Holland Family Law Can Help
Holland Family Law is here to help you get the ball rolling with your initial adoption application, ensuring that all the paperwork is present and correct to help avoid delays in the process.
Holland Family Law’s senior solicitor, Jennifer McNeil, offers potential adoptive parents key guidance and support in her handling of adoption applications.