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What is an adoption order?

An adoption order is what makes an adoption legal. If you’re adopting a child, it’s important know what to expect at the various stages of the adoption process.

In this article, we’ll explain the adoption order in detail, including how long an adoption order could take and what it means when you obtain one.


What does an adoption order mean?

An adoption order takes the parental responsibility away from the birth parents of a child (or anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child) and gives it to the person/people adopting the child (the adoptive parent/s).

Once an adoption order is made, the adoptive parent/s become the child’s legal parents. This means that the child will have the same rights as if they were the adoptive parent/s’ birth child.

In order to get an adoption order, you have to apply to the court. The court will only make an adoption order if the child’s biological parents consent or if the child would be at risk if they weren’t adopted or if the parents are incapable of giving consent.

An adoption order will not be made unless the court believes it is in the child’s best interests.

adoption order


How to apply for an adoption order

‘Form A58: Apply for an adoption order’ should be completed and submitted to the court.

Applications for an adoption order must be sent to the Family Proceedings Court (FPC). In some instances, such as if the case is particularly complicated, the application may be sent on to an Adoption Centre.


How long does an adoption order take?

A child must live with its adoptive parents for at least 10 weeks before an application for an adoption order can be submitted.

The process that will be followed once the application has been submitted will depend on the details of the case. The court could, for example, ask for a CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service) officer to be appointed to act as a children’s guardian.

The court process will be quicker if the people who currently have parental responsibility for the child agree to the adoption.


What does an adoption order look like?

An adoption order can have a number of conditions attached to it. For example, it could specify that the child should have regular contact with the birth parent/s.


What happens after an adoption order?

After an adoption order is made, the adoptive parents become the child’s legal parents.

The adoptive parent/s can now buy a copy of the adoption certificate, which replaces the original birth certificate.


Can an adoption order be revoked?

Normally, an adoption order cannot be revoked. However, another adoption order could be made to take parental responsibility away from the adoptive parents.

If you are intending to apply for an adoption order, or would like to know more about your rights as a birth parent, get in touch to speak to one of our specialist solicitors.


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you with an adoption order?

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to an adoption order, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on adoption

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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09th April 2020

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