Step-parent adoption

Step-parent adoption

If you’re a step-parent to an adopted child, you can apply to become their adoptive parent in exceptional circumstances.

You’ll need to contact your local authority first about step-parent adoption; get in touch with your council if you live in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth or Southampton.

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Criteria for step-parent adoption

  • A step-parent can apply for an adoption order for a child they live with in exceptional circumstances where the welfare of the child requires it.
  • An adoption order is permanent and cannot be revoked. These are not made lightly by the courts.
  • All legal ties with the non-resident birth parent are severed.
  • There are alternatives to step-parent adoption which may more appropriately secure a child’s place in your family. For example, a step-parent who is married to the resident parent can gain Parental Responsibility (PR) by entering into a formal agreement with all those who hold Parental Responsibility, the child’s name can be changed by deed poll, or by applying to the court for a Parental Responsibility Order or a Child Arrangement Order.
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