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Thinking of adopting a child?

If you are considering adoption, there are many things to think about and it can take some time to weigh up all of your options.
Adoption is a long process, usually taking at least 6 months. However, if you enter the process knowing all the facts, it will make the process much easier.
First, in order to be able to adopt a child in England and Wales you must be over 21 years old and either:

Single
Married
In a civil partnership
A same sex or opposite sex unmarried couple
The partner of the parent of the child

A common misconception is that there is an upper age limit. However, this is not true and you do not have to be a British citizen either, although you or your partner must live permanently in the UK and also have lived in the UK for at least a year before starting the process.
The process begins when you contact an adoption agency. They will discuss the process with you and provide you with information about what will happen. Once this has happened, you will be asked in for a meeting to discuss the process in more detail.
Once you have decided this is something you wish to continue with, you will be asked to complete an application form. Once the form is complete, you will be asked to attend adoption preparation classes, see a social worker for an assessment to make sure you are suitable to adopt, have a police check and provide three references to support your application. In addition, you will need to have a medical examination to ensure that you are fit and well to adopt.
After this process is complete, your application will be given to a panel who will assess your suitability and hopefully approve your application. After which, you will be added to the Adoption Register for England and Wales, which holds the details of all children who need adopting.
Before starting the adoption process, it is important to understand the legal processes and the implications of adoption and discussing this with a family law solicitor will help clarify the details for you.Source

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