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  • FIRST POST
    • Stoffski
    • By Stoffski 12th Jan 19, 2:15 PM
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    Stoffski
    Can I adopt my 16 year old step-daughter without birth father's consent?
    • #1
    • 12th Jan 19, 2:15 PM
    Can I adopt my 16 year old step-daughter without birth father's consent? 12th Jan 19 at 2:15 PM
    Hi all,
    My step-daughter has lived with me (and her mum) for the last 6 years, and she recently turned 16. Her birth father is a nutter who doesn't have any contact and had a harassment order against him due to his unreasonable and aggressive behaviour. Because of this he doesn't have a current address for us and has to make contact through a 3rd party agency (although he has not tried to make contact for several years now).

    Long story short, she wants me to adopt her, but we know that birth father will never give his consent and we don't really want to stir up 'the hornet's nest' so to speak. I was just wondering if anyone knew if this were possible to do?

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 12th Jan 19, 2:35 PM
    • 3,625 Posts
    • 5,415 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 19, 2:35 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 19, 2:35 PM
    Can't help with the adoption issue, I'm afraid, but I'm sure someone else will pop up soon.

    If it helps, your step daughter can legally change her surname by deed poll from age 16 - without any parental input or permission.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 12th Jan 19, 4:00 PM
    • 5,663 Posts
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    sheramber
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:00 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:00 PM
    Adopting a step child
    https://www.gov.uk/child-adoption/adopting-a-stepchild
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 12th Jan 19, 4:35 PM
    • 1,817 Posts
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    tacpot12
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:35 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:35 PM
    This page provides a bit more of an answer to your question:
    https://www.gov.uk/child-adoption/birth-parents-your-rights

    Basically it says that your daughter's birth father be asked to give his consent, and that under 'normal' circumstances the court is unlikely to allow you to adopt without his consent. Given your step-daughter's age though, I do wonder if the court would allow the adoption if your step-daughter argues for this in court. One also has to wonder about the practical benefits of adoption to your daughter if she is sixteen already; in two years time she will be an adult and no longer need a parent (in the eyes of the law).
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
    • clairec79
    • By clairec79 12th Jan 19, 4:58 PM
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    clairec79
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:58 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:58 PM
    I think they would take her wishes into account, while this is going back a long way my husband was adopted by his step father against his father's wishes, he was asked by the judge what he wanted (of course I don't think they went into much reasoning why as he tells me it was so he had the same surname as the dog) - I believe he was about 12 at the time
    • clairec79
    • By clairec79 12th Jan 19, 5:02 PM
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    clairec79
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:02 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:02 PM
    The parental responsibility angle of her birth father may depend on if they were married

    If she's 16 then she was born before 1 Dec 2003 then unless they were married he wouldn't automatically have PR and therefore his consent may not be needed
    • ~ Daisy ~
    • By ~ Daisy ~ 12th Jan 19, 5:23 PM
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    ~ Daisy ~
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:23 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:23 PM
    The parental responsibility angle of her birth father may depend on if they were married

    If she's 16 then she was born before 1 Dec 2003 then unless they were married he wouldn't automatically have PR and therefore his consent may not be needed
    Originally posted by clairec79
    In 1997 my then husband and I went through a Step Parent adoption and we needed the absent parents permission, involving Social Services and the courts, I am now my Sons birth mother and adoptive mother, and for awhile my son became a Ward of the Court ( not something I liked considering I gave birth to him!) He was 11 at the time and had several visits with the Case worker to establish his wishes.

    Of course this may have changed now, it being 21 years later!
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 13th Jan 19, 5:46 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #8
    • 13th Jan 19, 5:46 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jan 19, 5:46 PM
    No.
    Court's are reluctant to allow step-parent adoptions at all, as it takes away from a child's relationship with their biological parents . There are provisions such as step-parent parental responsibility (and if her bio-dad doesn't have PR, you and your wife can do a parental responsibility agreement without his input, which gives you a formal legal relationship with her).
    At 16 she only needs one of her parents to consent to a change of name, so she can adopt your surname legally if she wants.

    Have you talked to her about why, specifically, she would like you to adopt her? It may be that you can do a lot to address the reasons. For instance, being open with her about things like treating her the same as any biological children you have, in your will, looking at stepparent PR (if this is an option. If her dad has PR his consent would be required as well) and supporting her to change her name if that's something she wants to do.

    I've also seen families create their own ceremonies to cover these sorts of situation - possibly a party or family celebration to mark her name change?
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