Apply to Adopt Step Children

If you want to adopt step children the Adoption Team are here to give you advice

If you are thinking of adopting a step-child, you should call the Adoption and Permanence Team at Bournemouth Children’s Social Care. We are happy to give advice before you make a definite decision about applying to the court.   

You should also contact the child’s absent parent to see what they think.

The process

If you then decide to apply to court, you will need to formally write to the Team manager of the Adoption and Permanence Team to let Children’s Social Care know you are planning to apply. 

You then have to wait for three months before the court will accept your application.

If you live in Bournemouth, you should apply to the Family Court sitting in Bournemouth. It will cost £170.00 to lodge the application with the court. You may need a solicitor if we can’t find the child’s absent birth parent, or if they aren’t in agreement with you adopting the child.

Once the court has accepted your application, a social worker from the Adoption and Permanence Team will need to visit you and the child and the absent birth parent. They will be asked by the court to find out all about you and your family. They will have to write a report for the court which will contain all of that information. 

They will visit your family members and complete checks with:

  • The police, in the form of a DBS check
  • The probation service
  • The NSPCC
  • Education
  • Health 

The court’s decision 

The court has to consider the best interests of the child throughout their life. They may make an adoption order, or they may decide that adoption would not be suitable for the child.

They might not make an order at all, or one or more of the following alternative orders:

  • Child Arrangement Order - this is a decision on who the child lives with and has contact with. The person who has a Child Arrangement Order shares parental responsibility with those who already have parental responsibility, usually the birth parent.
  • Specific Issue Order-This is a decision on one area of the child's future, such as their education.
  • Prohibited Steps Order-This stops someone from doing anything with the child that anyone else with parental responsibility hasn’t agreed to.

Contact Us


Adoption & Permanence Team

01202 456743


Adoption & Permanence Team

North Bournemouth Local Office
27 Slades Farm Road
BH10 4ES


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