Relatives, step-parents and foster-carers may wish to apply to the court to adopt a child in their care. These proceedings are referred to as ‘non-agency’ or private adoptions because they involve adoptive placements that have not been arranged by the local authority or another adoption agency. The Adoption and Children Act 2002 makes specific provision for such adoptions and a detailed reading of the primary and secondary legislation is necessary to ensure that the correct procedures are followed and the relevant criteria, including the residence requirements, are met.
We have long-standing experience in representing parties in non-agency adoptions including where there is an international element. Many members of the Public Law team also undertake cases involving applications to recognise foreign adoptions.