Adoption by Step Parents and Family

You must inform Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption in writing of your intention to apply for an Adoption Order before applying to the Court.

Please include all of the following information in your letter:

  • The children’s full names, address and dates of birth.
  • Your full name, address and date of birth.
  • Current partner and birth parent of the children’s full name, address and date of birth.
  • The length of your relationship with the children’s birth mother and how long you have been living in the same household on a full-time basis. You should have been in a relationship for more than 2 years, and have been a part of the family for more than 6 months.
  • The full name, address and date of birth of the children’s absent birth parent.
  • Confirmation that the children are fully aware of the application and their knowledge of who their birth father is. Although this is dependent on the ages of the children, there is an expectation that if they are of an age that they have some understanding, that this has been discussed with them fully before a Social Worker undertakes their first visit.
  • The level of contact between the children and their absent birth parent.
  • Confirmation that the children’s absent birth parent has been made aware of the application and what his views are.
  • The letter needs to be signed by both yourself and your current partner, who is the parenting birth parent.

You should address your letter to:
Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption
Level 7
Ty Pennant
Catherine Street
CF37 2TB

  • What happens next?
    • A social worker skilled in adoption work will be appointed to write the report and return it to the court.
    • The report is very detailed and will contain information about all family members. This will include information about the child's natural father/mother, whether or not the couple were married at the time of the child's birth.
  • What checks need to be carried out?
    • You will be asked to complete Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) forms for anyone over 16 in your home. These confirm your identity and will be checked against all national police records and other official databases. Any convictions, cautions and warnings will be disclosed. Your social worker will ask to see documents that verify who you are and will sign the back of the form in your presence. An explanatory leaflet will be given to you regarding this part of the process.
    • If you are a parent of the child you will not need to have medical checks undertaken but if you are a relative you will need to attend you GP and ensure a report is sent to the Court verifying your health situation.
    • If the child you wish to adopt is not a birth child  a medical report in respect of the child will be required by Court.The charge for medical reports can vary but this cost has to be met by the applicant.
  • Notifying the Court

    When your social worker has completed the report you will need to complete an application via the GOV.UK website. You can download it from their website, or call them on 02920 376400 and they will send them out to you. There is a fee for this, but not a fee for our services. A user guide to the legal process of adoption can also be downloaded from the same website. The court will write to us and request that a report is compiled.  

  • The Legal Process
    • The Court will send you an appointment quite soon after your application has been lodged there. This is called a Directions Hearing. The Court will ask you and your appointed social worker various questions and estimate how much time will be needed for the report to be submitted. You will not need a solicitor for an unopposed application, but if you wish to appoint one then they will attend the hearing on your behalf.
    • You will need a solicitor if the child's natural parent is not willing to give their consent and you were once married to them.
    • If you have given a natural parent what is called parental responsibility for the child you wish to adopt they have a legal right to oppose your application. Your social worker will be able to explain this in more detail when you meet.
    • It is important that you are aware of the legal situation once you have lodged your application. This Local Authority will have a legal duty to become responsible for the child's welfare until an Order is made. This does not mean that your child is 'In Care', but it does mean that the social worker has a duty to visit and maintain contact with the child until the adoption hearing.
    • The social worker has to form an opinion as to whether adoption is in your child's interests based on the information available to them. It is the Judge who makes the final decision.
    • Confirmation that the child/ren’s absent birth parent has been made aware of the application and what his/her views are.
    • If you decide not to proceed at any point you will need to notify the Court of that decision, and the Court will in turn notify us.

Enquire/Contact us

  • 0800 023 4064