Adoption Process & Special Guardianship

The adoption process by its nature is a complex and specialist area of law. It is the legal process through which someone gains care and legal responsibility for a child with the consequence that their parent losses their parental responsibility for the child.

Adoption can only be achieved by an application to court and subsequent court order.

An Adoption Order can arise from several different situations:

  • Adoption process through an adoption agency
  • Foster carer adoption
  • Step parent adoption
  • Adoption process by a relative
  • Adoption process after care proceedings
  • International adoption

Before making an adoption order the judge will require a report from social services summarising their views about the application and prospective order. The court may also appoint an independent guardian to scrutinise the reports and act as an independent voice for the child

Whether you are a prospective adopter or a parent whose child may be adopted we can advise you sensitively and professionally. Our solicitors include members of the Law Society Children Panel – this means that they are recognised specialists in all cases concerning children.

Special Guardianship Orders (SGO)

Special Guardianship Orders (an SGO), like adoption orders, confirm that a child lives with someone other than their parent. A Special Guardianship Order gives that person Parental Responsibility for the child but unlike an adoption order, does not take parental responsibility away from the child’s parents, they remain mum and dad.

Like an adoption order, a Special Guardianship Order is intended to be permanent and can only be varied in limited circumstances.

Special Guardianship Orders often arise when a younger child is placed with a family member sometimes after the intervention of social services.

Special Guardianship Orders can only be made by a court, and the judge will require a report to be prepared by social services. That report must set out the local authorities views about the application and consider what support (both practical and financial) the special guardian and child may require. The social workers report therefore requires careful scrutiny and knowledge of what support the local authority are obliged to provide or may be appropriate.

An application for a special guardianship order sometimes arises at the conclusion of care proceedings when a child has been placed with a family member and the application is made with the support of the local authority who will often fund advice to the prospective special guardian or the application itself. We are happy to accept instructions on this basis whilst not letting the source of funding compromise our independent advice.

Our solicitors have a wealth of experience advising and representing both parents and applicants. It can be confusing to know what to do for the best; our solicitors can discuss all the available options with you and advise you on the merits of each available order. For those people not eligible for legal aid we offer a fixed fee initial appointment of up to one hours advice for £50 plus VAT.

To arrange to meet with one of our solicitors please contact us on 0161 4297251.

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