Adoption is the legal process whereby all parental rights and responsibilities of the birth parent(s) of a child are transferred to the adoptive parent(s).  Adoption orders can be made in favour of step parents, other relatives or people who have had no prior relationship with the child until the child was placed for adoption by an adoption agency. 

A step parent wishing to adopt a child must be resident in Scotland, aged 21 or over and married to, in a civil partnership with or living in an enduring family relationship with the child’s mother or father. 

Where there is no prior relationship between the child and the adopters, placement is usually made following the child being in the care of the local authority and an assessment being undertaken by the local authority/adoption agency of the suitability of the prospective adopter(s).

As experts in the field with many years of adoption experience, we understand that the whole process (from attending the adoption preparation groups, going through the rigorous assessment process, attending the local authority/adoption agency adoption panel for approval to be adopters, to advice being obtained from the Children’s Hearing to support the application right through to making the court application and beyond) can be an extremely challenging and emotional time.  We really care about making this process as easy as possible for you by providing supportive advice on the legal and practical aspects of adoption.  

The legal effect of an adoption order is that the child is then treated for all purposes (such as child maintenance and inheritance) as if the child was born to the adoptive parent(s).  If you are a single person or a couple considering adopting a child, we are on hand to provide you with friendly and expert advice on the full process.