International Adoption

International Adoption

You can adopt a child from overseas providing it can be shown that it is not possible for them to be cared for in their own country of origin, and that adoption in the United Kingdom would be in the child’s best interests. Bear in mind the United Kingdom restricts adoption from certain countries and you would need to persuade the Intercountry Adoption Team why your case should be an exception to the rule.

The first step which needs to be taken to start the process of adopting a child from a foreign country is to contact your own local authority or adoption agency specialising in adoption of a child from overseas.

The Hague Convention

Either party to a marriage can apply to the Court for a divorce. The divorce procedure is started by sending to the Court a divorce application known as the Petition. The party making the application is known as the Petitioner, the receiving party is known as the Respondent. To prepare the divorce petition we will require your marriage certificate, the court fee and details as to the grounds for divorce.

Where possible, we will try to agree with your spouse which party will initiate the process and the grounds for divorce. This will then allow the divorce procedure to continue on an undefended basis.

The Hague Convention

You will be able to seek a formal recognition of any adoption that has taken place in another country providing they are signatories to The Hague Convention, an international treaty wherein different countries recognise orders made in respect to children in others, which can then be registered at the Office of the Registrar General,

thereby securing Parental Responsibility and providing the child with a status the same as though they had been your legal child from birth. However, it is important to note that it you live abroad then you must follow the adoption rules of the country in which you reside, and that other countries to which you subsequently travel may not necessarily recognise the adoption.

If you seek to adopt from a country in which any order would not be automatically recognised in the United Kingdom, you need to apply for an Adoption Order in the same way as you would do for a child based in the United Kingdom, providing of course you have been previously recognised as suitable as an adopter and once the child has lived with you for more than a year.

The steps you need to take differ depending on where you seek to adopt from and it is important to obtain legal advice about which steps to take in any circumstances before applying for any adoption order. It may also be necessary to obtain expert immigration advice in combination with advice regarding the adoption itself.


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