Does a convention adoption order give British citizenship?

 

Most people assume that if you adopt a child from overseas that the child will automatically acquire the citizenship of his or her adoptive parents. The position is a lot more complicated than that. That is why those parents who chose to adopt a child from overseas are encouraged to take both expert Immigration law legal advice from Top London immigration solicitors as well as specialist adoption law advice from the best London children law solicitors.

 
When it comes to overseas adoption, Immigration, and citizenship law, the position is confusing for adoptive parents. The Top London immigration solicitors say that is because an adopted child can: 
 

• Have automatic British Citizenship by virtue of the adoption order; or 

• Acquire British Citizenship by the Home Office using its discretion to register the child as a British citizen after an application is made; or 

• Not have British Citizenship, resulting in an application having to be made for leave for the child to enter the UK and for the child to remain in the UK. 

 
The best London immigration solicitors know how stressful it is to hear that your adopted child does not have automatic British Citizenship and appreciate the fears you will experience until you have sorted out British Citizenship or the correct paperwork to enable your adopted child to secure leave to enter and to remain in the UK.
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 recommended solicitors who also specialise in family and Immigration law. OTS Solicitors provide seamless Immigration and adoption law advice. Please get in touch with us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors and expert adoption solicitors.
 

Convention adopted children and British Citizenship 

 

The Top London immigration solicitors say that some children who are adopted will automatically have British Citizenship under sections 1(5) and 1(5A) of the British Nationality Act 1981.  
 
The 1981 Act says that where:
 

• any court in the UK or, on or after the appointed day, any court in a qualifying territory makes an order authorising the adoption of a minor child who is not a British citizen; or

• a child who is not a British citizen is adopted under a convention adoption

That the minor child shall, if the requirements of subsection (5A) are met, be a British citizen from the date on which the adoption order is made or the convention adoption is effected.

The requirements under section 5(b) of the Act are:

• That on the date on which the adoption order is made or the convention adoption is effected the adopter or, in the case of a joint adoption, one of the adopters is a British citizen; and

• That in the case of a convention adoption within subsection (5) (b) of the 1981 Act, the adopter or, in the case of a joint adoption, both of the adopters are habitually resident in the UK or in a designated territory.

 

What is a convention adoption order? 

 
The best London immigration solicitors will tell you that convention adoption orders are legally defined in Section 50 of the 1981 Act.
In essence, a convention adoption means an adoption order effected under the law of a country or territory in which the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention) is in force and certified in accordance with Article 23(1) of the Hague Convention. 
 

Are overseas adoption orders always convention adoption orders?

 

Overseas adoption orders are not always convention orders. The best London immigration solicitors advise that whether an overseas adoption is a convention adoption depends on:
 

• Whether the adoption order was made or effected in a country or territory where the Hague Convention is in force; and 

• The Hague Convention was in force in that country or territory at the time that the adoption order was made or effected;

• The adoption was effected under the law of that country or territory; and

• The adoption was certified under Article 23(1) of the Hague Convention.

 

What does certification under Article 23(1) of The Hague Convention mean?

 
The Top London immigration solicitors recognise that talk of certification and conventions is confusing to adoptive parents who just want to know if their adopted child is a British citizen.
 
Article 23(1) says that if the competent authority of the country where the adoption order was made certified an adoption as having been made in accordance with The Hague Convention then the adoption order shall be recognised by operation of law in the other Hague Convention contracting States. 
 
What that means for adoptive parents is that if an Article 23 Hague Convention adoption certificate has been obtained for an overseas-adopted child, then the adoption will be classed as a convention adoption.
 

Requirements for a convention adoption order child to be an automatic British citizen 

 
The best London immigration solicitors say that under section 1(5A) of the 1981 Act a child who was not biologically born with British Citizenship but adopted under a convention adoption order will only automatically acquire British Citizenship by virtue of the convention adoption order if:  

 

• On the date of the adoption at least one of the adoptive parents was a British citizen; and

• Both of the adoptive parents (if a joint adoption application) were habitually resident in the UK or a British Overseas Territory on the date of the adoption.

If the requirements are met, then the Top London immigration solicitors say that a British passport application for the adopted child should be made and should be submitted with:

• The child’s Article 23 Hague Convention Adoption Certificate;

• The adoption order by the overseas court;

• Documentary evidence of the adoptive parents’ British Citizenship;

• Documentary evidence of the adoptive parents’ habitual residence in the UK.

 

Tips for parents thinking of adopting from overseas 

 

If you are thinking of adopting a child from overseas, then you should get as much advice as you can do before you start the adoption process, including legal advice. That is because the legal process of adopting a child and the child acquiring British Citizenship is not always straightforward. The Top London immigration solicitors think that it is best that adoptive parents know the steps that they will have to take so that they can make informed choices over, for example, the country that they adopt a child from.
 
The Top London immigration solicitors realise that you may not have much choice over the country that you chose to adopt from because of a preference to adopt a child who comes from the same country of origin as you and with whom you will be able to share a cultural identity and heritage. However, if you do not have a strong preference for the country of origin of the overseas adopted child the best London immigration solicitors say that the legal process and the securing of British Citizenship is easier if you adopt from a country where convention adoption orders are made.
 
Whatever your child’s route to adoption and the acquisition of British Citizenship you need expert help and advice to guide you through the legal process.
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
As top London Immigration and children solicitors OTS Solicitors are uniquely placed to guide adoptive parents through the minefield of adoption and Immigration legislation, providing expert Immigration and family law legal know how combined with practical tips from our extensive experience, all delivered in a sensitive, caring manner.
 
OTS Solicitors cannot promise to make the adoption and Immigration process easy. No top London children solicitor or Immigration solicitor can do that. What OTS Solicitors can offer is the comfort of having a family and Immigration law expert in your corner to make the legal process as stress free as possible, knowing that you have the best London children and Immigration solicitors behind you in your quest to adopt.   
 
Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors and expert adoption solicitors.
 

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