Adoption in Scotland is regulated by the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978. In order to facilitate the adoption process all local authorities have an adoption agency. Only the Court can make an order of Adoption.
The effect of an Adoption order
An adoption order removes the parental rights and obligations from the natural parent and transfers them to the adoptive parent. An adoption order puts the adoptive parent in the shoes of the natural parent. The person to be adopted must be under 18 years of age.
To contact us for further information regarding an adoption order in Glasgow, Paisley or Renfrewshire, please call our family lawyers on 0141 332 0915 or fill out our online enquiry form.
The Adopting Parent
Those wishing to adopt must be over 21. Married couples must, in normal circumstances, make a joint application for adoption. A natural parent can adopt their own child. This may occur where the natural parent is married to a person who is not the child’s other parent.
The Welfare Principle
As in all aspects of child care law, adoption is only granted where it is in the best interests of the child.
The Act states that:-
‘in reaching any decision regarding the adoption of a child, the court or adoption agency shall have regard to all the circumstances, first consideration being given to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child throughout his childhood; and shall so far as practicable ascertain the wishes and feelings of the child…’
Adoption orders can be granted where the natural parent has failed without reasonable cause to care for the child or the parent cannot be found. Neglect or the lack of care for a child includes ill treating or abandoning the child.
Parental agreement to Adoption
An adoption order cannot be made except where each parent agrees unconditionally to the order being made.
A mother cannot agree to adoption in the first six weeks after the birth of the child. The court can dispense with the agreement of the parent where it is unreasonably withheld. Additionally, if the parent cannot be found or, through incapacity is unable to consent, the court can dispense with that parent’s agreement.
The Adoption Order
If all of the criteria are fulfilled the court can then make the adoption order. The effect of the order is to transfer parental rights to the new parent(s). All adoption orders are placed on a register.
On attaining the age of seventeen the child is entitled to obtain information in respect of his or her birth.
To contact us for an appointment please call our family law specialist solicitor Colette Kerr on 0141 332 0915 or e-mail Colette at firstname.lastname@example.org.