We are one of five councils in the northern Yorkshire and Humber area delivering adoption services as part of One Adoption North and Humber.
This regional approach to adoption services allows children to be placed in a more timely way and helps to support you on your adoption journey. It also means a wider audience of potential adopters can be reached, and enables us to develop our services more effectively and share good practice across the region.
Our adoption staff will continue to work with children’s social care in the local area, to ensure continuity of care and support for children and families. Our priority is to place children needing adoption without delay, and with families able to meet their needs. We also aim to make the assessment and approval process for people who want to adopt as quick and efficient as possible.
Find out more about adoption
Adoption is life changing for adults and children. You can find out more from the One Adoption North and Humber website:
- who can adopt
- children who need adopting
- the adoption process
- adopter family stories
- support for families who adopt
- adoption information events
- questions about adoption
You can download the One Adoption North and Humber statement of purpose from the One Adoption website. Visit the First4Adoption website for general information on adoption.
Contact the adoption team
In addition to the North Yorkshire Council, the regional adoption service also includes East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull City Council, North East Lincolnshire Council and City of York Council. If you live in or near these areas and you are interested in adopting, contact One Adoption North and Humber for more information.
Tom Maxwell is the service manager for our and City of York Council’s adoption team. Tom is also the adoption support services adviser.
Step parent adoption
If you live in North Yorkshire and are interested in step parent adoption, please contact our adoption team.
What is step parent adoption?
Some people decide they want to adopt their partner’s child or children. This can sometimes be known as step-parent adoption. This would mean taking full parental responsibility for the child in the eyes of the law and should not be taken lightly.
Firstly, it is important to remember that adoption is a legal process and may not be right for all step families. Any decision should be made very carefully. Everyone concerned would be interviewed as part of the process, including you and your partner, the child, the child’s other birth parent and grandparents.
If an adoption order is made, all legal links between the child and birth family are cut. The child will lose all inheritance and maintenance rights from their birth family unless this is stipulated in a will. You should talk to the child (age appropriate) about this decision and consider their feelings.
What do I need to do to adopt my partner’s child?
Firstly, you need to meet the following criteria:
- the applicant must be over 21 (unless they are a parent in which case it is 18)
- the applicant must be domiciled in the British Isles or have been habitually resident in the British Isles for a year prior to the application
- the subject child must be below 18 at the time of the application to court and final adoption order must be made before child turns 19
- the child must have lived with the applicant for a minimum period of 6 months
- if the applicants are local authority foster parents, the condition is that the child must have had his home with the applicants at all times during the period of one year preceding the application
- the applicant must give the appropriate local authority written notice of his/her application to adopt at least three months and no more than two years prior to the application in order that it may produce a report as to the suitability of the applicant to adopt the child
Alternatives to step parent adoption
There are a number of alternatives to consider which can give you parental responsibility without formally adopting the child:
- parental responsibility agreement/order
- parental responsibility refers to all of the legal rights and responsibilities that a person can exercise in relation to a child. The child’s mother automatically has parental responsibility for a child. The child’s birth father may acquire parental responsibility in a number of ways e.g. by being married to the birth mother, being registered as the father on the birth certificate if the child was born after 1 December 2003, being appointed guardian or by the making of a parental responsibility agreement or court order
Child arrangements order
Previously known as `residence` or `contact` orders. This is an order that specifies the arrangements concerning with whom the child is to live or spend time with. Such orders can be applied for with the consent of all persons with parental responsibility for the child or by making an application to court if there is no consent. If the order states that the child is to live with a parent and their partner (step-parent), the step-parent will acquire parental responsibility for the child in addition to the parents with parental responsibility, so long as the child arrangements order is in place. Child arrangements orders usually last until the child is aged 16 or in some limited circumstances until the child is 18. As with parental responsibility orders/agreements, child arrangements orders do not sever the child’s legal ties with their birth family.
Appointing a testamentary guardian in the event of the death of a parent
It is possible for a parent(s) to appoint a testamentary guardian who can, in some circumstances, assume parental responsibility for the child in the event of the death of the parent(s) making the appointment. This is sometimes referred to as “testamentary guardianship”. If this is something you wish to consider you are advised to seek independent specialist legal advice.
If there is a specific issue concerning the child`s welfare or up-bringing that those with parental responsibility for the child are unable to reach agreement on, an application can be made to court for a decision relating to that specific issue, or to prohibit a person from doing a specified action in relation to the child. These orders are called `specific issue orders` or `prohibited steps orders` and can be used in some circumstances to resolve disputes about such matters as schooling, medical treatment, participation in religion and so on.
Changing a child`s name
A child`s surname cannot be legally changed by any person unless all persons with parental responsibility for the child have consented or the court gives permission for the child`s surname to be changed. If all of the relevant persons do consent the name can be changed by making a deed poll/statutory declaration. If it is not possible to obtain all of the relevant consents an application can be made to court.
A child's name can be changed if an adoption order is made. If you are applying to adopt a child you can specify in the relevant section on the adoption application form what name you would like the child to be known by once the adoption order is made.
The court or parents may decide that no formal order of the court is required in the best interests of the child.
For further information please see our step parent adoptions guidance page.
Get in touch
If you would like to know more about step parent adoption, or to make an enquiry contact us.