Adoption by step-parents
Adoption by step-parents

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Adoption by step-parents
  • Acquisition of parental responsibility by step-parents
  • Who may be adopted
  • Effect of an adoption order
  • Status of adopted children
  • Step-parent adoptions
  • Conditions to be met prior to the application
  • The parties and those to whom notice is to be given
  • Application
  • The final hearing
  • more

Acquisition of parental responsibility by step-parents

A step-parent who wishes to acquire parental responsibility for a step-child with whom they are living may do so by:

  1. entering into a parental responsibility agreement or obtaining an order for parental responsibility—see Practice Note: Acquisition of parental responsibility by step-parents and others

  2. being named in a child arrangements order (CAO) as a person with whom the chid is to live, as a consequence of which they would have parental responsibility for the child while the order remains in force so far as providing for the child to live with them

  3. becoming a special guardian, although this will enable the step-parent to exercise parental responsibility to the exclusion of all other parents with parental responsibility and so would not usually be appropriate in a family involving a step-parent living with a natural parent with parental responsibility

  4. obtaining an order for adoption of the child

See also Practice Note: Acquisition of parental responsibility by step-parents and others.

For completeness, it should also be noted that in the event that the step-parent is no longer living with the child the court may grant them parental responsibility for the child if they are named in a CAO as a person with whom the child is to spend time or otherwise have contact.

Who may be adopted

An