When stepparents are taking day-to-day responsibility for stepchildren they may want to make their relationship with these children more formal. One way to do this is through adoption. Step parent adoption (SPA), also known as Non-Agency Adoptions (NAA), is a way that a child can be adopted by a family member including step parents. It transfers full parental responsibility for a child to that person, alongside the resident birth parent and offers the child/young person a legal, permanent relationship with the adoptive parent
There is no automatic right to adoption and it is not appropriate for every child in a step family.
The assessing of people for Non-Agency Adoptions is the statutory responsibility of the Local Authority in which you are resident. An initial call to them should help you clarify if adoption is the right process for your family situation, as there may be other solutions that can be explored in the first instance.
As an agency, FFC do not carry out NNA assessments in our own right, however, we do have contracts of work with several local authorities (including Plymouth, Somerset and Devon County Council) to do assessments for them. We have built up a huge amount of expertise over the years on the most effective way of carrying through these assessments to get the right outcome in court in a timely fashion.
If you are interested in considering adoption within your family you will need to contact your local authority or Regional Adoption Agency in the first instance and ask them what their process entails. If they are happy to contract us to do the work they will refer your case to us, we would then be in touch with you to start the assessment at the earliest opportunity once necessary checks and references have been completed.
Who Can Apply for Step Parent Adoption?
You can apply to be an adoptive parent either individually or jointly with someone else. You do not have to be married.
However, the following criteria must be met: