Adopting a Child in the UK: A Guide for Same-Sex Couples

Are you an LGBT couple looking to build your own family by adopting a child? Unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, in the U.K. are allowed to adopt since about 10 years ago. Here are the things you need to know about adoption in the U.K.


LGBT parents are no different from other parents
This is supported by a recent U.K. study. When it comes to parenting and raising a child, as well as maintaining parent-child relationships, lesbian and gay parents perform just as fine as their heterosexual counterparts. They’re just as capable of ensuring a child’s well-being. Bullying and teasing of children raised in LGBT families is rare in the U.K.

Know your legal rights
The Adoption and Children Act of 2002, which started to be implemented in December 2005, gives same-sex couples and single people regardless of sexual orientation the right to adopt a child in the U.K. This makes U.K. one of the 14 countries in the world that allow legal adoption for same-sex couples.
The law doesn’t require same-sex adopters to be married or in a civil partnership. You’ll just need to prove that you’re living together and in a long-term relationship.
Note that the law applies only to the U.K., so adopting a child outside of the country isn’t considered legal.
Most importantly, the law protects you from any discrimination and rejection based on your sexual orientation. Ideally, all adoption agencies in the country provide equal treatment to all prospective adoptive parents regardless if they are heterosexual or not.
Eligibility requirements
You must meet the following criteria before you can adopt a child in the U.K.:
• Not younger than 21 years old
• U.K. residents
• No convictions for offences
Adoption process
If you meet all the requirements and you’re confirmed to be able to provide for a child’s needs, then chances are good that your adoption application will be approved. As with heterosexual parents, you will be evaluated based on your health, age, financial situation, and other factors that gauge your parenting capability.

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