A West Midlands law firm is supporting National Adoption Week, which takes place from October 17th to 23rd.
Higgs & Sons has a team of legal experts available to guide modern families through the options and legalities of couples looking to adopt their new partner’s children.
The theme of this year’s National Adoption Week is #SupportAdoption, and Philip Barnsley, head of the family team at Higgs, comments that the right legal support is key to simplifying the process of adoption.
“Today’s modern family is very different to the mum, dad and 2.4 children we perhaps associate with past generations,” said Phil.
“Blended families with step parents, mixed race siblings and same sex couples make up a large part of modern British society, and the process for new partners adopting each other’s children into this dynamic can be difficult and drawn out.”
And he urged anyone considering adoption to first seek the right legal advice.
“Having an experienced family lawyer to help guide you through the legalities of adoption from the outset is vital. The right legal advice will help speed up and demystify the entire process.”
To begin adopting a spouse’s or partner’s child, you must notify your local authority at least 3 months before applying to a court for an adoption order. An assessment is used to help a court decide if you can adopt the child and the court will ask your local council to provide a report on your partner, the child and the other birth parent.
The report will be prepared by a social worker and will be used to help the court make a decision. If granted, the adoption court order gives you parental responsibility for the child – along with your spouse or partner.
Phil added: “Many families are already living happy and fulfilled lives co-parenting their partner’s children. A formal adoption is simply a way of ensuring a stability and security in the eyes of the law that is not afforded without the court’s stamp of approval.
“National Adoption Week 2016 will aim to encompass all aspects of adoption to demystify and clarify the adoption process, reflect the challenges of adoptive parenting and signpost the best practice available.
“At Higgs, we have a team experienced in the sensitive practicalities required to legally secure a happy ending for today’s modern family.”