Adoption is the process by which all parental rights and responsibilities for a child are permanently transferred to an adoptive parent by a court. As a result the child legally becomes part of the adoptive family.
An Adoption Order transfers Parental Responsibility for the child from the birth parents and others who had Parental Responsibility, including the local authority, permanently and solely to the adopter(s). An Adoption Order can be made where the Court agrees that adoption is in the best interests of the child and Parental consent to adoption has been given or dispensed with by the Court.
Where a child has been placed for adoption by an adoption agency, the child must have been living with the adoptive applicants for a minimum of 10 weeks before an adoption application can be made.
The child, once adopted, is deemed to be the child of the adopter(s) as if he or she had been born to them. The new relationship continues into adulthood and throughout the lives of all involved. The child's birth certificate is changed to an adoption certificate showing the adopter(s)to be the child's parent(s). A child who is not already a citizen of the UK acquires British citizenship if adopted in the UK by a citizen of the UK.