Appealing an Adoption Order

Appealing against an Adoption Order is not easy and it is essential to have help from adoption law experts to stand the best chance of success.

An adoption order removes a child permanently from their birth parents. Before an Adoption Order is made, a Placement Order will be made, allowing the child to go and live with the potential adoptive parents. Birth parents can ask the court to revoke a Placement Order in certain circumstances and can also ask the court for leave to appeal against an Adoption Order. If leave is granted to appeal, then in some situations an Adoption Order may be overturned.

Appealing an Adoption Order is difficult and it is important to act quickly once the order has been made. A strong case will be needed, with valid grounds for an appeal. For example, where a birth father has not been considered during the care and adoption process, they may be able to challenge an order, or where a birth parent has been unfairly pressured into agreeing to an adoption.

It is vital to use solicitors who have experience in this challenging area of law. At Crisp & Co, our adoption solicitors have a high level of expertise in dealing with adoption cases, to include appealing against Adoption Orders and taking action to stop the adoption process.

You will find our team sympathetic and understanding as well as being knowledgeable about the adoption procedure and the correct way to oppose an adoption. If an Adoption Order has been made in respect of your child and you wish to challenge this, speak to one of our experts without delay about taking steps to overturn it.

Book your free initial consultation with our adoption appeals solicitors

Contact our adoption lawyers today to book your free 1-hour consultation and discuss your case with an expert member of our team.

Or complete our simple online enquiry form and someone will be in touch shortly.

For more information in respect of our services in this area, see our page on Adoption.

Our solicitors’ expertise with appealing against Adoption Orders

If you wish to overturn an Adoption Order, we will provide clear advice and guidance. We will give you a realistic assessment of your case and set out the process that you will need to undertake to raise an appeal.

We have experience across a full range of adoption and care proceedings, including:

  • Advice in respect of potential adoption proceedings
  • Representation during adoption proceedings
  • Making an application to oppose adoption
  • Putting together a strong case on your behalf to overturn an Adoption Order
  • Representing children who wish to be returned to their birth parents and/or sever the link with their adoptive parents

We know how devastating an Adoption Order can be for a birth family and we always work quickly and with great attention to detail, doing all we can to bring a successful appeal. Our team understands the importance of working proactively and the tight deadlines involved in this area of law.

We will provide you with the support you need throughout and make sure that we are available to speak to you and answer your questions when needed. We have represented many families in adoption matters and you will find us understanding and knowledgeable.

How opposing an adoption and adoption appeals work

What is adoption?

Adoption is the legal process of removing a child from their birth family and placing them with a new adoptive family. The birth parents will no longer have parental responsibility, which will be transferred to the adoptive parent or parents.

An Adoption Order is a legal document issued by the court that severs legal ties between birth parents and the child. It means that the child will become a permanent legal member of the new family for the rest of their life.

What happens if the local authority tries to take my child for adoption?

The process of removing a child from their birth parents will start with a case management hearing. It is important to instruct expert family law solicitors as soon as possible so that you have proper representation.

Placing a child for adoption without the consent of both parents can only be done if the child’s welfare requires it and as a last resort.

This means that there is an opportunity for one or both parents to work to demonstrate that they can meet their child’s welfare needs.

At the case management hearing, the court will set a timetable for the child for future legal proceedings. Having expert legal representation will give you the best chance of putting your case clearly and demonstrating that you are able to meet your child’s needs.

If the local authority Children’s Services believe that your child should be adopted, they will ask the court to grant a Placement Order. This will allow them to place your children with other carers, often someone who may later adopt them. If the court makes a Placement Order, your parental responsibility is transferred to an adoption agency and will usually be shared with the potential adoptive parents.

You and your child’s other birth parent will be asked if you consent to the adoption process. Where the court believes that it is a requirement that your child is adopted for welfare reasons, it can decide to dispense with the need to obtain your consent and that of your child’s other birth parent.

An Adoption Order can only be made after a Placement Order has been made.

When will the court make an Adoption Order?

The court will only make an Adoption Order when it believes the following to be true:

  • A child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm, attributed to a parent. This includes taking action or failing to take action that could result in significant harm.
  • Reasonable efforts to help the parent or parents have been made by the local authority.
  • No relative is able to provide a home for the child.
  • Long-term foster care would not adequately meet the child’s needs for a permanent home.

How do I stop the adoption process?

It is important to act quickly once you know that the adoption process has been started. You can contest an application for a Placement Order.

If potential adoptive parents are found, the local authority will apply for an Adoption Order at this point. As a birth parent, you are entitled to be represented during the legal proceedings and you can make an Application to Oppose.

How do I oppose an Adoption Order?

You will need the permission of the court to oppose an Adoption Order. Your solicitor can make an Application to Oppose and will need to show the following:

Sufficient evidence of change

For the court to allow you to oppose an Adoption Order, you need to demonstrate that your circumstances have changed for the better.

In previous cases, the court has stated that this test should not be set too high so that it is unachievable. If you are able to demonstrate that the situation you are in has changed, then you will also be entitled to have the removal of the need for you to consent to an adoption reconsidered by the court.

If you are not able to show sufficient evidence of change, you cannot progress further with your application. If you can show change, then the court will proceed with a second stage in considering your Application to Oppose adoption.

The child’s best welfare interests throughout their life

Where you are able to show that there has been sufficient change for you to have grounds to oppose an adoption, then the court will need to consider what is in your child’s best interests in respect of their welfare.

It will look at the following points when considering this:

  • The child’s wishes and feelings, in light of their age and understanding
  • The needs of the child
  • The likely effect on the child of being removed from their birth family and being adopted by a new family, to include the long-term effects
  • The child’s age, sex, background and any other relevant characteristics
  • Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering in the future
  • The relationships the child has with relatives and others in their life, to include:
    • Whether a relationship could continue and what value this would have to the child
    • Whether another relative of the child is able to provide a safe home life for the child and meet their welfare needs
    • The wishes and feelings of the child’s other relatives

Where the court grants the application, then an appeal against an Adoption Order can be made to the court.

Appeal against an Adoption Order

In considering your appeal against an Adoption Order, the court will look at whether you were given the help you should have been by the local authority in providing adequate parenting and meeting your child’s needs.

It will also consider issues such as whether the proper legal process was followed, to include consultation with both parents. Where you were coerced into consenting to an adoption or you were unfairly pressured, you may also be able to have an Adoption Order overturned.

Why choose Crisp & Co for advice on appealing an Adoption Order

At Crisp & Co, we are family law specialists, representing individuals and families across the UK.

We have an in-depth understanding of the adoption appeals process and can provide you with expert representation straight away. Appealing an Adoption Order is a difficult process and it is crucial to act quickly and to instruct a solicitor with genuine expertise in this complicated area of law.

Our adoption law team have wide experience in all aspects of the appeals process and will step in without delay to ensure you have the best representation and the strongest case possible.

We hold the Law Society accreditation in Family Law Advanced for our experience and skills in handling complex family law cases, including difficult adoption issues.

Get in touch with our solicitors about appealing an Adoption Order

Contact our adoption lawyers today to book your free 1-hour consultation and discuss your case with an expert member of our team.

Or complete our simple online enquiry form and someone will be in touch shortly.