Friday 26 November 2010

International Child Adoption: The Legal Aspects of International Child Adoption

Few things come higher on the list of priorities in a person’s life, than family. This puts a decision to adopt a child as of paramount importance.

As the saying goes, you choose your friends and not your family, but what a wonderful thing to be able to choose to welcome an unloved child, as your very own, into your loving family.

The recent ‘trend’ in celebrities adopting children from abroad may well have given this life changing decision added exposure for the better, but the temptation is to all too easily skim over the extremely complex procedures put in place before you and your child can be united. Such formalities range from undergoing assessments, to visiting the child in their country, to meeting with the local authority in your own country. Not to mention having your suitability certified on paper, which requires every last i to be dotted and t crossed, in order to satisfy the necessarily rigorous paperwork requirements.

Whilst this process may seem painfully drawn out, once the adoption is recognised in the eyes of the law through all formalities being met, you and your child can enjoy your future together. This is why someone who knows what they’re doing, to advise you how you can best qualify for each of the criteria, will not only make this transition as smooth as possible, but will increase the speed at which your child can be rightfully by your side.

An adoption simply cannot proceed without first being assessed, then approved by either a local authority or voluntary adoption agency and subsequently receiving a Certificate of Eligibility and Suitability issued to you by the Secretary of State. In addition to all of this, there are certain Regulations which you must fulfil in order for your Certificate to be granted. These include applying to a local council or voluntary adoption agency to approve your eligibility and suitability for adoption, complying with the assessment process, receiving confirmation from both the council/agency approving you as well as written notification from the Secretary of State that a certificate has been issued.

Next the council/agency must be notified of the details of your new family member and a meeting must take place to discuss this in more depth, where you (and a partner) are required to have visited the child, and off the back of the visit, confirm you would still like to proceed with the adoption.

Finally, the child must be accompanied upon entering the UK along with informing the council/agency within 14 days of returning with the child, if you wish to continue with the adoption. If this new family life is to become a permanent set up, the council will make arrangements to monitor the placement thereafter.

Where we fit into this is entirely up to YOU. Whilst this is an extremely specialist area of the law, it is also one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime and the two must go hand in hand. So, whatever stage you’re at, whether wanting some general low cost advice on all the issues surrounding bringing a child back to the UK and for us to lead you through this process, or wanting more focussed advice on one particular area such as the all-important assessment process, our international adoption expert Rupinder Bains is only too happy to make that journey with you.

Child Adoption Lawyers

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