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Step-parent adoption

Step-parent adoption allows you to become the legal parent of your partner's child or children from a previous marriage or relationship.

How do I apply?

You need to contact us if you want to adopt your spouse’s or partner’s child. You must do this at least three months before applying to a court for an adoption order. The child must also have lived with both of you for at least six months.

We’ll then send you a leaflet which highlights the issues involved with step-parent adoption, and explain the alternatives and the step-parent adoption assessment process.

The assessment process

If you decide to go ahead and apply for an adoption order, one of our social workers will prepare an assessment report on you, your partner and the child to help a court decide if you can adopt.

If granted, the adoption order granted by court gives you parental responsibility for the child, along with your spouse or partner. It takes away parental responsibility from the child’s other birth parent and anyone else who previously had parental responsibility.

More information and advice

Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service provides useful information and advice for children and their families.

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