Adopting Step Children
What you need to know about adopting a partner’s child
You may want to adopt your partner’s child or children and take full responsibility for raising them. Adoption is a legal process and the court will ask Children’s Social Care to interview everyone concerned including:
- You and your partner
- The child
- The child’s other birth parent (not your partner) and their parents
They’ll then report what they learn to the court.
What adoption means to the family
Everyone will need time to get used to the new relationships. You should talk to your adopted child (or children) about any big decisions you have to make, and consider their feelings.
Even quite young children can have a simple understanding of what adoption will mean for them. A social worker will want to know what they think. They will help them to understand what is proposed for their future.
Adopted children may feel a sense of loss. This could be for:
- Their birth parent’s absence.
- Losing their original surname.
What adoption means legally
If an adoption order is made, you will take on parental responsibility for the child. All legal links between the child and their birth relatives are cut. The child’s surname is changed.
The child will lose all inheritance and maintenance rights from their birth family. However, they will have the same rights as any of your own children.