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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34272
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My wife (a Bulgarian citizen) and I (a UK citizen) adopted

Customer Question

My wife (a Bulgarian citizen) and I (a UK citizen) adopted two children more than a decade ago in Bulgaria and our adoption is recognised by the Bulgarian authorities. Since then, due to my job, we have always lived in third countries, most recently in Germany, but recently moved back to the UK. Am I right in thinking that for the UK to recognise my adoption - and for them to gain the right to become UK citizens too - I need to apply for a court order? And to do this I would need to hire a lawyer? An initial inquiry suggested this process could cost thousands of pounds. Is this indeed the case and if so is there anything to be gained from going ahead? Would they not become eligible for UK citizenship in any case, along with my wife, after living here for three years? Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for the questionMy name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help youHow long have you been back in the UK?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Clare, I returned to the UK (after 20 years abroad) in January but the family joined me only in August, after the children completed the school year in Berlin, our last home.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - i should have asked earlier - ho wold are the children - and please please do not worry - all will be well at no incredibly vast expense!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Our son is 13 now (he was one and a half when we adopted him in 2003) and our daughter is 11 (she was just four months when we adopted her in 2004). They are now both happily settled here and attending a local school here in Essex where we live.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Clare, when will you be able to get back to me with an answer to my query or at least some suggestions? You have only asked me questions so far, which I have promptly answered. Thank you.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
My apologies for the delay.If you wish the children to have British Nationality - and why would you not - then you will need to apply to adopt them here in the UkThe starting point is to contact the Adoption Section of the local Social ServicesHaving a Social Worker involved in your lives is not easy - but the applictaion you are making is straightforward although no doubt great concerns wil lbe raised about the Consent of the Biological parents BUT there are many precedent so there should be no problemhttp://www.jordanpublishing.co.uk/system/uploads/attachments/0002/0789/A59.pdfhttp://www.jordanpublishing.co.uk/system/redactor_assets/documents/597/A59_Notes.pdfYou shoudl wait until you have live din the Uk for at least a year before the applications go to the courtThe fee will be £175 per child.I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the reply. I read through the links you sent but am wondering whether these are relevant in our case. We have adopted the children already in Bulgaria under the Hague Convention and have a document certifying that. The form provided in the link seems aimed at prospective parents starting the process from scratch, so is this not redundant in our case? We had a social study completed prior to our adoption about a decade ago. Bulgaria and the UK are both signatory states to the Hague Convention and therefore is the Convention certificate we have not sufficient basis for applying for UK citizenship for the children? Also, would the children, like my wife or any other EU national, not qualify at the very least for UK citizenship after three years of living here? Thank you.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Whilst you have indeed completed all the first part of the process you still need to adopt the children here in the UK - the final step of the process as the Uk does not recognise the Bulgarian adoption if it was made prior to 3rd January 2014Of course you can indeed wait for five years and they can apply for citizenship then
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, thank you for that. Just to clarify your earlier post, then, I must now wait about a year from the date of their arrival (ie August 2016) before contacting first the social services and filling out the form provided in the link? And then we would need a lawyer to represent us in court, yes? Is that something you do and would be willing to do in our case? (though realise you may not be based in our part of the country ie Essex-London). Or perhaps the social services will be able to provide a list of lawyers in our part of the country? One other point regarding our own situation - the children were both adopted from orphanages in Bulgaria after they had been abandoned by their biological parents with whom we - in accordance with Bulgarian law - have never had any contact. I trust there must be ways around such issues. Many thanks.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Next June - or at least a couple of months prior to the anniversary of their arriving in the UK contact the Adoption Section of Children's Services and give them notice that you will be applying for the Adoption Orders.In August fill in a form for each child, take three copies and send the original plus two copies to the local family court with the fee.You do not actually need a lawyer as there is nothing controversial about this applictaion and it shoudl progress without difficulty
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for those clarifications. I shall take the steps suggested when the time comes next summer. I have no further questions. Thank you again for your advice and best wishes.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well