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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.

About Adoption

To adopt a child in the UK, 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 Adoption

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.

Adopting 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

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.

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.

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.

Adopting a Step-child

To be eligible to adopt your stepchild, 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.

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 the UK, 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 2022 edition of the Chambers UK directory.

How much could it 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. 

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.








I was impressed with the efficiency and welcome of staff. Excellent office layout and service.  

- Mrs S James & Mr W Parkinson, Telford

A warm welcome from the receptionist. Extremely impressed by all that have helped us, peace of mind for our future.

- Mr M Court & Mrs A May, Shrewsbury

Always very efficient in dealing with the workload and advice given in divorce. Would highly recommend the service I received. 

- Mrs Suzanne Purvin

Knowledge and information given was accurate and realistic.

- Mrs Eleanor Margaret Howells, Hereford

Very efficient, pleasant and fully explained. I am well satisfied.

- Mr Stephen Turner, Oswestry

Friendly atmosphere and very professional attitude. 

- Mr Sidney Jolliffe, Oswestry

Advice was sensible and informative. It allowed me to make the decisions with understanding potential concequences. 

- Mr Paul Simon Burgoyne, Hereford

They listened to my worries and my concerns, which put me at ease and made me feel that I completely had someone in my corner fighting for myself and children's best interests. 

- Miss Deborah Lisa Bradley, Shrewsbury & Oswestry

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