Adoption Law.

Private Adoption Law Solicitors for Building Families.

Considering adoption to start or expand your family is an exciting and significant step, and at Lanyon Bowdler we will be with you all the way.

We have the experience and knowledge to advise you on all the legal aspects of the process, providing you with exceptional guidance and support so that you can focus on the emotional side of this incredible journey.

The family law solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler have helped with many successful private adoptions over the years and have the experience and expertise to successfully navigate the various challenges the process can present.

If you are exploring the possibility of a private adoption or need advice about what to do next, please contact Lanyon Bowdler’s family law team today for an informal and confidential chat.

What is Adoption and Private Adoption?

To adopt a child in England or Wales, an adoption order must be granted by the court to sever the legal relationship between the child and their birth parents, and form a new one between the child and their adoptive parents.

The child’s birth certificate will then be replaced by the adoption certificate, legally naming the adoptive parents.

In some, rare instances, some contact may be maintained with the child’s birth family but this is not usual or common.

Private adoptions, where non-agency adoption is permitted in instances where existing relatives wish to adopt the child or where the child has lived with the proposed applicants. These are defined by the Adoption and Children Act 2002, allowing adoption by relatives including:

  • A grandparent
  • Siblings, including half siblings
  • A step-parent

Aunts and uncles, including either parent’s half siblings, or aunts or uncles by marriage or civil partnership.

If a private adoption takes place without the correct legal guidance, you could face criminal prosecution, so you must take professional advice from specialist solicitors lawyers to ensure you are acting within the law and to safeguard the child’s future.

The Adoption Process

If you are considering adoption, we suggest you take legal advice as soon as possible so you can thoroughly consider all the implications, and any potential complications that may arise in your application or assessment. The adoption process can be lengthy, time-consuming and demanding so you need to be certain it is a challenge you are able to commit to. We will help to support you as you come to a decision, offering clear and pragmatic advice whenever you need it.

What is the adoption process?

The stages of the adoption process include:

  • Your assessment, which can be expected to take around three months
  • If successful, you will apply to the court for an adoption order

From the moment of your initial application, we can help and will talk you through exactly what you can expect to happen throughout your assessment and beyond, including making a will.

Revising or making a will when adopting a child

As part of the adoption process, you will be asked to identify those who will be named as guardians for your child in your will. It is likely that you will be required to alter your existing will or make a new one, to protect your adoptive child and any other children you may have in the future.

As a full-service law firm, we can provide a seamless, end-to-end service across all areas of law to help you through the various stages of the adoption process. Working alongside your dedicated family law solicitor, our employment lawyers can help you understand your legal rights as an employee, while our Wills and probate team can help with your inheritance planning. By working collaboratively across all departments, we can ensure that everything runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible and there are no unnecessary delays or disruptions.

Our Adoption Law Expertise

Our lawyers are experienced in dealing with adoption cases. Get in touch today and we would be more than happy to help.

Our private adoption advice and legal services

At Lanyon Bowdler, we will provide you with clear, honest and practical advice, free of any confusing jargon or legal terminology. We recognise that adoption is both rewarding and fulfilling but it is not without its challenges, and we can help you identify any issues and support you through them. We can:

  • Provide straight-forward information about the process and potential complications.
  • Provide advice to non-British citizens about adoption in England or Wales, including eligibility.
  • Help to make your application to the court.
  • Prepare all documentation and information for your court hearings.
  • Attend court with you, or on your behalf.

In instances where a potential adoption has been refused, we will be swift to instigate the appeals process to try and overturn the decision.

Why we care?

The bond between a child and its parents is one of the strongest, regardless of genetics or biology, and we want to help as many people as possible create their family and ensure a firm legal foundation to provide peace of mind and security for the future.

Our lawyers are wholly committed to helping families come together and will work with a level of dedication and commitment that is second to none, to help make the process towards parenthood as simple and straightforward as possible for you.

Why choose Lanyon Bowdler?

As one of the leading full service solicitors in the region, we are able to provide you with seamless legal provision encompassing most areas of law, so that no matter what challenges arise, we have the expertise and know-how to deal with them swiftly and effectively.

Having had extensive experience helping clients through the adoption process, we understand fully the different obstacles it can present, but we have the expertise and in-depth knowledge to overcome them both quickly and efficiently. We possess the understanding and empathy you will need from your legal team and will be on hand to provide you with maximum support at what we know can be an emotional and anxious time.

We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and you will find us readily available to listen, offer advice and answer any questions you may have. You will find our advice clear and easy to understand so that you have a comprehensive understanding of the law surrounding adoption and how it relates to your own situation.

We understand that no two families are the same and we will take the time to get to know you so that we are able to provide you with a completely bespoke and personalised service that addresses your particular circumstances.

Recognised as one of the region’s leading family law firms, we are consistently recommended by The Legal 500, which is the national guide to recommended legal practices and lawyers, and are also recognised and ranked as Band 1 for Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas in the 2024 edition of the Chambers UK directory.

Your Adoption Law questions answered

Can I adopt a step-child?

To be eligible to adopt your step-child, you must be over the age of 21 and have lived with your partner and their child for a minimum of six months immediately prior to the adoption.

Adopting your stepchild will permanently end the legal relationship they have with their other parent, who must give permission for the adoption to take place. Your child will no longer be entitled to any inheritance or maintenance payments from this parent and you will have full, permanent legal responsibility for them, even if you were to separate or divorce from your partner or spouse in the future.

Am I eligible to adopt?

Adoption in England and Wales is open to anyone over the age of 21 regardless of their relationship status. Single applicants as well as same-sex and heterosexual couples are all eligible to apply.

Other criteria that prospective adopters need to meet before being considered include:

  • They must have a permanent address in England or Wales, even if they are not a British citizen.
  • They must not have a criminal conviction for certain offences.

Anyone meeting these initial criteria will then be subject to an assessment to evaluate their suitability and capability for meeting the needs of an adopted child, taking into consideration their:

  • Physical health
  • Emotional well-being
  • Current and past relationships with partners, friends and family
  • Support network
  • Experience with children
  • Financial position
  • Work commitments
  • Ethnic and cultural background
  • Empathy and understanding of the potential issues being dealt with by an adopted child
Can I adopt a child if I have a criminal record?

If you have previously been convicted of a crime, you are not necessarily prevented from adopting a child.

There are certain serious criminal convictions that would disqualify a person from the process but most cases are decided on an individual basis.

If you are concerned that your criminal record may be a barrier to you becoming an adoptive parent, don’t hesitate to contact us for further advice.

Can I adopt if I have a disability?

Yes, you can. Disability or health issues don’t necessarily disqualify you from being able to adopt. Each case is considered on its own merits but if you have any questions or concerns relating to your health, it is best to take the appropriate legal advice as soon as possible to avoid any complications later on.

How much do adoption law services cost?

At Lanyon Bowdler, we have developed a number of flexible payment options to make our top-level legal service available to all.

These include fixed fees and pay as you go arrangements, as well as traditional hourly charging rates so that whatever your budget or financial circumstances there will be a payment plan to suit.

You can utilise our legal service as much or as little as you want, and we will be immediately upfront and open about what you can expect to pay based on your requirements. For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will talk you through all the available options in detail.

Testimonials

What our clients say.

I would not hesitate to recommend LB Solicitors to anyone needing guidance and representation for family law or divorce proceedings. My solicitor was thorough and diligent, balancing professional rigour with fairness, reasonableness and sensitivity. I feel this approach helped me to obtain a satisfactory settlement avoiding costly and unnecessary conflict.

Jon
via ReviewSolicitors

Since dealing with Lanyon Bowdler they have been diligent, efficient and at all times very helpful along with being structured in dealing with matters, fees and clarity on all levels. Thank you.

Michael
via ReviewSolicitors

I was clearly informed of progress step by step. The service you provided was very good.

Peter Weston
Shrewsbury

All work carried out effectively and efficiently.

Hubert Jones
via ReviewSolicitors

An excellent service with solicitors that you can talk to and who give you a clear understanding of all necessary legal implications and interpretations.

Eric
via ReviewSolicitors

From start to finish we had excellent service. Friendly, approachable and professional.

Carl Gittins
via ReviewSolicitors

Used Lanyon Bowdler for conveyancing and for legal advice – both solicitors I worked with were effective and professional. Law firm was fast and responsive to queries and clear pricing.

Samantha
via ReviewSolicitors

Very clear, concise advice and guidance, easy to understand.

Ian Jamieson
Telford

Good service provided throughout with clear communication throughout with all options explored.

Lee

I was impressed with the forensic approach to identifying, securing, assessing and presenting evidence over the two years that it took to finally resolve the issue.

Timothy
via ReviewSolicitors

I can thoroughly recommend the highly professional and supportive service received over the last few months.

Heather
via ReviewSolicitors

Responsive, supportive, approachable, clear and empathetic.

Lisa Thacker

Professional and prompt communication. Supportive and client focused.

Lisa Thacker
Jennifer M Whittall Ltd

Whenever I have had need to contact Lanyon Bowdler I have always received a fast, concise and friendly response.

Lee Mortimer
UK Case Management

Definitely would use Lanyon Bowdler again if I need the use of a solicitor.

Mark Bowkett
via ReviewSolicitors

Smooth and efficient service from very professional firm.

Tim
via ReviewSolicitors

We were particularly impressed with the quality of work, the speed and excellent communication.

Allenby Douglas Ltd
Oswestry

Very friendly and approachable. Very good advice

Ivor Brown
via ReviewSolicitors

Great Service; Lanyon Bowdler were excellent from the outset. Straightforward and easy process. I just sat back and waited.

Paul Rowe
via ReviewSolicitors

Everything has been professional, efficient and courteous throughout and we are very pleased, both with the service and with the eventual outcome of our case. Everything was first class and exceeded our expectations. Thank you again for providing such splendid service. It is really appreciated.

Mr N J & Dr S J Browne
Llanfyllin

Contact Lanyon Bowdler’s Family Law Team

By choosing to instruct Lanyon Bowdler, you can rest assured that you have one of the best family law teams in the region working on your behalf.

You will find all of our Family lawyers to be warm, friendly yet professional, immediately putting you at your ease and providing all the information you will need in clear and straightforward terms.

We have offices in Shrewsbury, Bromyard, Conwy, Hereford, Ludlow, Oswestry and Telford and regularly work with clients across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Mid and North Wales and throughout the Midlands, including Birmingham and Wolverhampton. As a leading full-service law firm however, we can represent you wherever you live and frequently deal with clients from all corners of England and Wales.

For more information about how we can help with the adoption process please don’t hesitate to call us for a friendly, confidential chat or you can get in touch by completing the online enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our people

Meet the team.

Sue Hodgson
Sue Hodgson
Partner
Family Law
Jon Moriarty
Jon Moriarty
Partner
Family Law
Philippa Pearson
Philippa Pearson
Partner
Family Law
Georgia Rowney
Georgia Rowney
Legal Assistant
Family Law
Lizzie Cross
Lizzie Cross
Trainee Solicitor
Family
Mia Williams
Mia Williams
Trainee Solicitor
Family Law
Anne Lewis
Anne Lewis
Associate Legal Executive (FCILEX)
Family Law
Lisa Grimmett
Lisa Grimmett
Associate Solicitor
Family Law
Caroline Yorke
Caroline Yorke
Associate Solicitor
Family Law
Fiona Cooper
Fiona Cooper
Legal Assistant
Family Law
Rachel Tomley
Rachel Tomley
Solicitor
Family Law
Erin Payne
Erin Payne
Paralegal Apprentice
Family Law
Staci Robinson
Staci Robinson
Associate Solicitor
Family Law
Laura Jones
Laura Jones
Solicitor
Family Law
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