Adoption – are you searching for an adoption solicitor?
Adoption in Scotland is regulated by the Adoption (Scotland) Act 2007. Generally speaking, in Scotland the children who are adopted are either children who are looked after by the local authority or are children who are in a family unit and have a step-parent who wishes to adopt them. For the purposes of adoption a child is 18 years old or less. Step family adoptions are in fact the fastest growing type of adoption in Scotland. Recent Children’s Social Work figures reveal that 97 adoptions out of 489 in Scotland in 2013, were step family adoptions.
When making a decision in relation to an adoption, whether it is a local authority adoption or a step-parent adoption, a Court will consider many factors. The foremost legal test is whether the court is satisfied the adoption is likely to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child throughout his or her life.
Despite people’s misconceptions being over the age of 40 does not prevent a person being eligible to adopt a child, being single is also not a barrier to adopting. Having a low household income will also not preclude you from adopting a child and neither will unemployment. Having a criminal conviction does also not automatically rule you out of being a prospective adopter although the Court will take this and all other factors into consideration. Your sexual orientation will also not be a barrier to adoption. You do, however, have to be at least 21 years old or older to apply to adopt a child. Finally, the Court will, understandably, consider the prospective adopter’s health when making a decision in relation to adoption.
At Macleod & MacCallum our adoption solicitors regularly assist clients in both local and authority and step-family adoption. Morag MacIntosh and Fiona Campbell are regularly appointed by the court to prepare reports in respect of adoption proceedings. The family law team therefore keep an eye on all developments of the law in this area to ensure we can provide clients with expert law advice.