Relinquished children—adoption agency duties towards the parents of children relinquished for adoption
Produced in partnership with Jason Hadden of St Ives Chambers
Relinquished children—adoption agency duties towards the parents of children relinquished for adoption

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Jason Hadden of St Ives Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Relinquished children—adoption agency duties towards the parents of children relinquished for adoption
  • Consent
  • Duty on adoption agency to provide counselling and information
  • Referral to the independent officer and form of consent
  • Should any form of consent be preferred by an adoption agency?
  • Can consent be withdrawn?
  • Unborn relinquished children
  • Relinquished children under six weeks of age
  • Timetable for children of different ages
  • What points should a legal adviser to an adoption panel keep in mind when advising those on the panel?
  • more

Adoption and Children Act 2002, s 19 (ACA 2002) governs parental consent to children being placed for adoption with prospective adopters.

ACA 2002, s 20 governs advance consent to the making of a future adoption order.

An adoption agency may place a child for adoption with prospective adopters where it is satisfied that each parent or guardian of the child has consented (and has not withdrawn the consent) to the child:

  1. being placed for adoption with prospective adopters identified in the consent, or

  2. being placed for adoption with any prospective adopters who may be chosen by the agency

The agency cannot place a child with prospective adopters pursuant to ACA 2002, s 19(1) consent where:

  1. an application for a care order has been made and not been disposed of, or

  2. a care or placement order has been made after consent has been given

In this context, a parent is a person who has parental responsibility. A father without parental responsibility is not entitled to consent to placement for adoption or adoption itself. It is important for professionals to check whether a child’s father has parental responsibility at an early stage to avoid delay.

If a child is placed with prospective adopters pursuant to ACA 2002, s 19 consent from a mother and the father subsequently obtains parental responsibility for that child, he will be deemed to