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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35086
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I want my new partner (who I am marrying next year) to adopt

Customer Question

Hi there
I want my new partner (who I am marrying next year) to adopt my infant son. However, we have only been together since March of this year, and by the time we make the application, will have only been together for 10 months. Do you think the court will look upon the application unfavourably for this reason? Most local authorities specify a relationship length of 2 years, but as my son is only 18 months, I'd really rather this be done sooner rather than later whilst he is still unaware of what is going on. Do you think a local authority would make an exception on this basis? Many thanks
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Usually, the period of living together as a family is at least 6 months as you will read here

and here you will see that it means at least one year although some local authorities require two years.

go down to the section headed Requirements before a stepparent…

but each case is of course decided on its merits.

So it comes down to your local authority and of course the other parent as to whether the other parent would agree or object.

I would start by getting in touch with the local authority which is what you have to do in any event.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more than 35 years - and have dealt with many adoptions in that time

There is no point in making the application until you have been together at least a year.

Your desire to get it done whilst your son is "unaware of what is going on" will in fact have the exact opposite effect to the one you want.

It will raise serious concerns with the Social Services and indeed could delay rather than speed up the process.

Social Services will wish to be certain that the child will always know the truth about his family story (in an age appropriate way of course)

Realistically the child will not have any knowledge or understanding about what is happening whether it is one year you wait or two, so do not worry about that.