Overseas adoption and immigration guidance
Immigration solicitors are pleased to note that the Home Office has issued new overseas or intercountry adoptionguidance for those adoptive parents looking to adopt from overseas. The guidance should help both immigration solicitors and prospective adopters understand the intercountry adoption process and the Immigration issues arising from overseas adoption.
UK Immigration and adoption solicitors
London based OTS Solicitors specialise in adoption law and Immigration law. If you are interested in intercountry adoption or need specialist immigration law advice about returning from overseas with your adopted child call the friendly expert team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. Appointments are available through video conferencing, Skype or by telephone appointment.
The new inter-country adoption guidance
The new inter-country adoption guidance issued by the Home Office is entitled ‘Adopted Children and Children Coming to the UK for Adoption’.
The guidance focusses on overseas adoption and the process to achieve entry clearance for an adopted child and looks at the Immigration Rules and overseas adoption. Most Home Office officials and immigration solicitors would agree that inter-country adoption is a highly complex area as well as the adoption process being a highly emotional and anxious time for adoptive parents. Therefore any guidance to assist prospective adopters is to be welcomed.
The Immigration Rules and entry clearance for adopted children
If you are an adoptive parent who has adopted from overseas, or is thinking of doing so, it is vital to understand the Immigration complexities of bringing your child back to the UK. Immigration solicitors tell prospective adopters that the ease of bringing the child into the UK will depend on the nature of the adoption. To most prospective adopters it doesn’t really make sense that the ease of your child entering the UK depends on the legal technicalities of the overseas adoption and court order. That’s why adoption solicitors recommended taking expert legal advice and doing your research on inter-country adoption before committing to an overseas adoption.
Inter-country adoptions can be categorised as follows:
- Intercountry adoptions under the Hague Convention – this is the most straightforward type of overseas adoption. If an adoption takes place under The Hague Convention then an agreed international adoption process is followed. The adoption of the child can be completed in the overseas country where the child was born or in the UK. If the adoption order is to take place in the UK then a prospective adoptive parent can apply to the Home Office under paragraph 316D of the Immigration Rules for entry clearance. The child should be granted two year entry clearance to enable the adoption process to be finalised in the UK. With a Hague Convention adoption order the adopted child will automatically become a British citizen if one of the adoptive parents is British or the child will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain
- Designated adoption – a designated adoption is where the overseas adoption takes place in a country that isn’t signed up to The Hague Convention but the UK recognises the legality of the adoption order made in the overseas country. To secure entry clearance to the UK an adoptive parent can apply to the Home Office for indefinite leave to enter under paragraph 310 of the Immigration Rules provided that the adoptive parents are settled in the UK. An alternative application can be made for limited leave under paragraph 314 of the Immigration Rules if one adoptive parent only has limited leave or is applying for limited leave with a view to settlement in the UK
- Non-designated adoption – a non-designated adoption is shorthand for an overseas adoption that takes place in a country that is not on the UK’s designated adoption list. The overseas adoption order is not recognised in UK law as the overseas country is neither a signatory to The Hague Convention or on the designated country list. This type of inter-country adoption is the hardest to secure entry clearance to the UK for the adopted child. The adoptive parents can ask the Home Office to treat the adoption as a ‘de facto’ adoption or the adoptive parents can go through the UK’s overseas adoption process
- De facto adoption – a de facto adoption enables a child who has been adopted overseas, but the adoption order isn’t recognised in the UK, to enter the UK. However, the Immigration Rules and guidance says that the family must have lived together for eighteen months, including the twelve months before making the Immigration application. The Immigration application is either made under paragraph 310 or paragraph 314 of the Immigration Rules depending on the circumstances of the adoptive parents
- UK overseas adoption process – if an adoptive parent chooses this route then they will need to be approved in the UK by an adoption agency as a suitable adoptive parent for the purposes of an inter-country adoption. When the adoptive parent is matched to a child the adoptive parent can then apply to the Home Office for the child to secure limited leave to enter under paragraph 316A of the Immigration Rules. The limited leave lasts for two years. During the two year period of leave the adoptive parent can apply for a UK adoption order. Once the UK adoption order has been made an application can be made to register the child as a British citizen or to secure Indefinite Leave to Remain for the child.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
When it comes to inter-country adoption it is best to do you research first about the Immigration issues involved with your overseas adoption. If you don’t do your research first, you may be surprised by how complicated the inter-country adoption process and the securing of UK entry clearance is for your adopted child. For those of you who are able to choose adoption from a Hague Convention signatory the adoption process and the steps to your child acquiring British Citizenship are far more straight forward. It is therefore best to ask both adoption and immigration law questions before you start the adoption process or to get specialist legal advice to ensure you secure UK entry clearance for your adopted child as quickly and as easily as possible.
UK Immigration and adoption solicitors
London based OTS Solicitors specialise in family and adoption law and Immigration law. If you are interested in intercountry adoption or need specialist immigration law advice about UK entry clearance for your adopted child call the friendly expert team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. Appointments are available through video conferencing, Skype or by telephone appointment.