4. Applying for an adoption court order

To make an adoption legal, you need to apply for an adoption court order. This gives you parental rights and responsibilities for the child.

The child must have lived with you for at least 10 weeks before you apply.

Once the order has been granted:

  • the adoption becomes permanent
  • the child has the same rights as if they were your own birth child, for example the right of inheritance
  • you can buy a copy of the adoption certificate - you won’t get this automatically

The order also takes away parental responsibility from:

  • the child’s birth parent(s)
  • anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child

How to apply

Most applications for adoption orders are done at a Family Court.

You need to send the court a completed application for an adoption order - Form A58.

Getting an adoption certificate

If your application is successful, the General Register Office will create an adoption certificate. This replaces the original birth certificate, and shows the child’s new name.

If you want a copy of the new certificate you need to buy one - you won’t get it automatically.

A ‘full’ copy of the certificate costs £9.25. You can order one:

You need the full version for most legal tasks for your child, for example getting a passport.

Adopting a child you’ve been fostering

You need to be reassessed and approved as adoptive parents if you want to adopt the child you’ve been fostering.