Can you adopt an adult in the UK?
As specialist immigration and family law solicitors we are often asked questions about reuniting families through family visas or the option of international adoption. In this article we answer your questions on adult adoption in the UK.
UK Immigration and adoption law solicitors
If you have questions about adoption or family immigration law then the specialist family law and immigration law teams at London based OTS Solicitors can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete the online enquiry form to arrange a video conference, skype or telephone appointment.
Can you adopt an adult under UK adoption law?
Under UK adoption law you can't adopt an adult. The law applies whether you are hoping to adopt an extended family member, an adult step-child or a non-relative. The law also applies whether the person you want to adopt is a UK citizen or has settled status in the UK or requires a visa and entry clearance to come to the UK to be adopted.
Who is classed as an adult in UK adoption law?
In UK adoption law you are classed as an adult if you are age eighteen. Therefore, a prospective adoptive parent can only start adoption proceedings in the UK if the young person they want to adopt is under the age of eighteen at the time that the adoption court application is started.
Are there any other conditions on who you can adopt in the UK?
Under UK adoption not only does the person you want to adopt have to be under the age of eighteen but the person you want to adopt must also be unmarried and not in a civil partnership. Furthermore, they must never have been married or in a civil partnership.
Adopting a relative from overseas
Sometimes people want to adopt an extended family member from overseas in order to reunite their family or to provide a new or better life for a relative. Adoption of a relative who is approaching the age of eighteen is possible but requires specialist Immigration and adoption law advice. That is because the Home Office may decide to become involved in the adoption application and object to the child being made the subject of a UK adoption order.
Do you have to be a British citizen to start UK adoption proceedings?
You don’t have to be a British citizen to start an adoption application in the UK but you do need:
- To have a fixed and permanent home in the UK. The UK includes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
- To have lived in the UK for at least a year before you start the adoption proceedings. If you are applying as a couple then your partner, husband, wife or civil partner must have also lived in the UK for at least a year before you start the court application for an adoption order
- You must be over the age of twenty one to adopt. If you are applying to adopt with a partner then they must also be over the age of twenty one. There is no upper age limit to apply for an adoption order.
Do you have to be married to start UK adoption proceedings?
You don’t have to be married to start UK adoption proceedings. The law says that you can apply to adopt as a single person or you can be:
- In a civil partnership
- Unmarried and living with a partner. Your partner can either be of the opposite sex or the same sex
- The partner of the child’s parent.
Does a child have to live with you before you can apply to adopt them?
Under UK adoption law a child must live with the prospective adoptive parent or parents for at least ten weeks before you can apply to adopt. This is one of the reasons why you need specialist immigration law advice if you are looking to adopt from overseas.
How can I look after an overseas relative if I can't adopt them?
As UK adoption law says that you can't adopt anyone over the age of eighteen, whether they are related to you or not, this can mean that some families’ plans to help young adult overseas based relatives are thwarted. Immigration solicitorscan look at the alternative options to adoption to provide entry clearance for a relative, such as:
- A student visa
- A work visa.
These are time limited visas but they could ultimately lead to settlement in the UK. Immigration solicitors say that the best option is to take early legal advice to check out the range of available immigration solutions.
How can OTS Solicitors help you?
At OTS Solicitors we have the advantage of having teams of lawyers who specialise in family and adoption law proceedings as well as lawyers who are experts in immigration law. That means we can offer comprehensive legal advice on your best options and assist you with all your family law and Immigration law needs. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form to enable us to set up a video conference, skype or telephone appointment with one of our expert solicitors.