Adoption

Our lawyers specialising in adoption and parental rights are experienced in helping families legally adopt children both in the UK and abroad.  The criteria for adopting vary considerably depending on the circumstances and can at times be legally complex.

If you are considering adopting from abroad, it is a criminal offence to move a child for the purposes of adoption.  You should always seek legal advice before you take a child out of the country or bring the child into the country, with a view to adopting him/her later.

Adoption is the assumption of full legal and parental responsibility for a child.  If an adoption order is made, all ties with the birth family are cut and transferred to the adoptive family.  As a result, adoption may not always be the answer but our team can be creative and consider step-parent parental responsibility orders or special guardianship orders which may suit your situation.

Special guardianship

If a child is unable to live with either of its parents but adoption is not considered appropriate, a Special Guardianship Order may be the best option of securing the child’s welfare.  This gives a selected third person parental responsibility and enables them to make important decisions for the child without removing any of the parents’ rights.

If you are taking over the care of a child and need help or advice on how to obtain a Special Guardianship Order, book a free 30 minute consultation with us at one of our offices in Southampton, Poole, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Winchester and London (by appointment only).

Meet the team

Andrew Mercer

Partner and Head of Family
Salisbury

Grant Cameron

Partner
Southampton

Emma Wilders-Pratt

Partner
Winchester

Juliet Mayhew

Partner
Winchester

Kimberley Davies

Senior Associate
Poole

Amy Trench

Associate
Southampton

Dawn Gore

Paralegal
Salisbury

Eloise Down

Chartered Legal Executive
Poole

Emilie Holland

Solicitor
Winchester