London Borough of Croydon

Step-parent adoption enquiry

Step-parent and partner adoption is where the new partner of a parent adopts the children, becoming their legal parent and sharing parental responsibility. This offers the child a legally permanent relationship with the adoptive parent. It means that the child's resident parent and their partner will share responsibility for the child. The child's other legal parent will need give permission in most circumstances.

Croydon Council Adoption Team has a legal duty to prepare a court report where there is to be a ‘Non-Agency Adoption’. That means where the child involved is not ‘looked after’ by the Council, but is living with their birth parent and step-parent or with another close family member, such as a grandparent, who wishes to adopt them. In a step-parent (partner) adoption the adopting parent must:

  • notify Croydon Council of their intention to adopt in writing at least three months before applying to the court for an adoption order.
  • be over 21 years
  • have lived with the child for a minimum of the 6 months leading up to making the application.
  • be the long-term partner  of the birth parent ; they don’t have to be married
  • be aware that the Court will expect the involvement of the absent birth parent to get their consent or discover their wishes and feelings about the adoption
  • be aware that if any of those involved are not British citizens, the court will contact the Home Office for their views.

For relatives wishing to adopt, the above factors also apply, but the child has to live with the adopter constantly for the last three years, or three years out of the past five years. There are some other requirements such as medicals being completed and referees interviewed.

Please complete the online step-parent adoption enquiry form. A duty social worker will make contact with you to take further details and explain the process.