What is step parent adoption?

Adoption as a step parent will result in the holder of the Adoption Order becoming the childs/ren legal parent forever and being granted parental responsibility. The Order will end the legal relationship between a child/ren and the other parent and their wider family, which includes the child losing out on maintenance and inheritance rights. The childs/ren surname will also be changed unless the court declines this.

This Order will remain in force even if you and your partner divorce or separate. An Adoption Order application is recognised in the courts as a very important decision for a child and as such the court will only make this Order if it is satisfied that it is in the child’s best interests.

How do I apply to adopt my step child/ren?

If you are interested in adopting your step child then you have a duty to notify us (Local Authority) three months prior to submitting an application to court. We will then assess the perspective adopter and provide a copy of the assessment to the court. There is also a fee for this assessment. To declare your intention to adopt your step child/ren please write to: The manager of the Kinship Team, Cambridgeshire Professional Development Centre, Foster Road, Trumpington, Cambridgeshire, CB2 9NL. 

Further information

Yes. For many families step parent adoption is not a suitable, but there is still a benefit to the step parent sharing parental responsibility with those that currently hold it. You may want to consider if making an application for a 'Child Arrangement Order' is a more suitable way forward. We recommends that family’s wishing to make applications for legal Orders, seek out independent legal advice to ensure that you are well informed and advocated for.

In order to be approved as an adopter we (Local Authority) will complete an assessment about you and your family called an Annex A report. The assessment looks at the following:

  • Your step child’s needs both now and in the future, their wishes and feelings and what is considered to be in their best interests.
  •  The report also considers the views and roles of everybody with parental responsibility
  •  The report considers the applicants suitability to adopt which includes their capacity to care for a child, their personal history and the relationship with the other parent and whether or not any other Order should be considered in line with what is in the best interests of the child/ren.

A step parent adoption assessment is undertaken by a Social Worker from the Kinship Assessment Team. The assessment process will normally take between 6-10 weeks and will then be either provided directly to the court if we are directed to do this or to the lead applicant.

Applicants are required to pay £69 for their application which covers the cost of both DBS checks and seeking references. Payment of this sum does not guarantee a positive assessment, however is required in order to proceed with your application.

For further information, please contact the Kinship Assessment Team on 01223 699768 or email [email protected] .

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