Step Parent Adoption

What is step-parent adoption?

When step-parents are taking day-to-day responsibility for step children, they may want to make their relationship with these children more formal. One way is through step-parent adoption. This is when the resident birth parent and their partner share parental responsibility for the child. Adoption offers the child a legally permanent relationship with the adoptive parent which they will keep for all their lives.

The child must have lived with both of you for at least 6 months and while you don’t have to be married, both Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness recommend that you should have been in a relationship for at least 2 years.

There is no automatic right to adoption and it is not appropriate for every child in a step-family.

It is important that you read the step-parent adoption information sheet before making a decision to proceed. 

If after reading the Information Sheet you wish to go ahead with the process and you live in Cumberland Council area you will need to inform Cumberland Children’s Social Care, or if you live in Westmorland and Furness Council area you will inform Westmorland and Furness Children’s Social Care that you want to adopt your spouse’s or partner’s child.  You must do this in writing at least 3 months before applying to a court for an adoption order. This can be done by either letter or email (contact details are in the Information Sheets below).

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