Adoption

Types of Adoption

General Adoption

All adopters will be assessed by social workers, approved by the Isle of Wight Adoption Panel and then be matched with a child to adopt.

Once matched the adopter(s) will meet the child or children several times before they move into the adopters’ home and usually around six months later the child/children are legally adopted through the Court

The children have usually lived with one, two or more foster carers before they meet their adopters and move in to live with them. Most children can adjust well but placement moves are not easy for children and we try to move children as little as possible. To try to better meet the needs of children there are two new routes to adoption as detailed below, which allow children to stay in one placement and live with a family who have the potential to become their adoptive parents at a much earlier stage.

Fostering for Adoption

Fostering for Adoption is when a child is placed with a family who are approved adopters and are temporarily approved as foster carers for that specific child. The aim for the child is that (although not guaranteed) they are then adopted. The court will decide if this is the right plan for the child.

The benefit of this approach is that it reduces the number of placement moves for a child. The aim is that the child will live with their likely adopters at a young age and they will be able to form attachments with their family. In a Fostering for Adoption placement more of the child’s early months or years will be spent with a family committed to becoming the adoptive parents and if adoption is the outcome, there will be shared memories from an earlier stage.

 
These types of placements will only be made when there is a strong indication that the child is unlikely to return home to birth parents or be cared for by other family members.

The placement will remain a fostering placement until the courts have decided what it is in the best interest of the child. Then if the court agrees the child should be adopted, and once a placement order is made, the placement will then go on to be become an adoptive placement. This will be discussed fully with you as part of the assessment process.

Step-parent adoption

If you are a step-parent you may wish to discuss applying for an Adoption Order for a child you live with and wish to adopt.

If you meet the criteria for this and are successful in the application, a new birth certificate will be issued for the child and all legal ties with the non-resident birth parent will be severed.

An adoption order is permanent and cannot be revoked. These are not made lightly by the courts that are increasingly cautious about granting step-parent adoption orders where there are other less draconian orders that will suffice.

Advantages of a Step-Parent Adoption Order are:

  • Your family is recognised by law.
  • All members have the same surname.
  • The child shares rights of inheritance with other children in the family.
  • Legal links with the previous family are cut.

 

Disadvantages of a Step-Parent Adoption Order are: 

  • If stepchildren are adopted, the law no longer recognises the other birth parent or any members of their birth family as having any legal link with the child. This could cause a child to feel confused or distressed and therefore any decision to proceed with a Step-Parent Adoption needs careful consideration. Please Note: Whilst legal ties will be cut it may be important to the child to maintain some link with their other birth parent or their family.

  • An adopted child loses any rights to maintenance an inheritance from the other birth parent or that parent’s family. This may not seem important at the time of the adoption, but could matter a great deal if your family has financial problems later, or if both of you were to die while your child was still dependant.

  • If stepchildren are adopted, the law no longer recognises the other birth parent or any members of their birth family as having any legal link with the child. This could cause a child to feel confused or distressed and therefore any decision to proceed with a Step-Parent Adoption needs careful consideration. Please Note: Whilst legal ties will be cut it may be important to the child to maintain some link with their other birth parent or their family.

 

Step-Parent Adoption criteria

  • You must be 21 years old or over and either married to or living with the resident birth parent in “an enduring family relationship” – The Isle of Wight Adoption Service takes this to mean relationships of three years or more.

  • You must also have been living in the British Isles or have been habitually resident for at least a year and must have lived continually with the child for at least three years.

  • We believe it is important that the child is able to express their opinion about what happens to them, so where appropriate the child will be interviewed as part of the assessment process.

  • Anyone with parental responsibility has to be in agreement.

 

All step-parent adoption orders involve an in-depth assessment by a social worker from the local authority. If you live on the Isle of Wight, a social worker from the Isle of Wight Council's Adoption team will need to assess the full circumstances of your family and prepare a report for court.

Court fees are paid by the applicant.

Contact us

If you are interested in Adoption or wish to find out more please complete our online initial enquiry form now by clicking here.