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Printed: 12/07/2020
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Applying for an adoption order

Updated: 01 July 2013

The necessary documents for an application for an adoption order will be filed in the Family Court by a solicitor acting for the adoptive parents (or, rarely, by the applicants themselves).

It is usual for an interim order of adoption to be made first and then, no less than 6 months (unless otherwise determined by the judge) and no more than 12 months following the granting of the interim order, an adoption order can be made following a social worker’s report. When the application and all the necessary supporting documents are filed in the Family Court, s10 of the Adoption Act 1955 requires the Registrar to request a social work report. The Registrar must give you notice of the hearing of the application, as you are entitled to appear at the hearing, to cross-examine, call evidence, and address the Court.

This would only happen if you were to strongly oppose the order being granted. Section 10 of the Act does not require a report if one of the parents is an existing parent of the child, but the Family Court has issued a practice direction requiring a report for these cases. Adoption applications are heard in chambers in informal circumstances, the applicants and the child attending personally unless the court directs otherwise.