Newcastle Social Services Directorate Adoption Services recognises that the welfare of children is the paramount consideration in all the work undertaken by the Service. This principle applies to step-parent adoption applications. The Agency also acknowledges that issues in relation to identity and heritage cannot be ignored when considering whether a step-parent should adopt children. The welfare of the child in both the long and short-term will always be the paramount consideration of the service.
Under regulations which were brought in during 2005 the partner of a birth parent can apply singly to adopt a child whether or not they are married to the birth parent. This means that the birth parent does not have to jointly apply to adopt their own child, however, they may choose to. The changes also make it easier for step parents to obtain parental responsibility for their partner’s child. This could be obtained either by agreement of both birth parents with parental responsibility or the court may, on the application of the step-parent, order that the step-parent shall have parental responsibility for the child.
Applications will only be accepted from individuals who reside within the boundaries of Newcastle City Council.
Applicants must inform the Agency in writing if their intent to adopt. This letter must be signed by the applicant themselves; solicitors cannot give notification.
Upon receipt of a letter of intent, the Adoption Team Manager will confirm receipt in writing and allocate the application to an Adoption Social Worker. Upon receipt of the application, the child of the applicant becomes a protected child and is subject to welfare supervision. Welfare supervision will be conducted by an Adoption Social Worker.
Following allocation, the Adoption Social Worker will provide applicants with more information in relation to this form of adoption. If you are thinking of applying to adopt your stepchild, you should be aware of the following:
If following this discussion the applicants decide not to proceed with their application, they must notify the Local Authority in writing of their intention to withdraw.
Welfare supervision is required by law in order to monitor a child’s well being within the family proposing to adopt him/her and for the prospective adopters to receive counselling on the implications of adoption both in the long and short-term.
The Local Authority is required to provide the Court with a schedule 2 report on the application within six weeks of receiving notice of the hearing and anyone requesting sight of the Schedule 2 should be advised to seek permission of the Court
The Adoption Social Worker should attend Court with the applicants and the child. The Court may make an Adoption Order, an Interim Adoption Order for up to two years, an alternative order or refuse the application.
Page last updated: 19 June, 2012