Adoption by a step parent

Under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 a person may apply to adopt their step-child, previously both the step and birth parent had to apply jointly.

A solicitor should not be required unless the case is complex or contested.

Applying for an adoption order

Write to the local authority where you live to set out your intention to adopt the child or children.

This letter must be signed by the applicant and include:

  • the full names and dates of birth of each child to be adopted
  • the applicant’s address and telephone number
  • the full name of the birth parent with whom the child/children to be adopted lives
  • the name, address and phone number, if known, of the absent birth parent

When the letter is received a social worker will arrange visit the applicant and partner to talk to them and the child/ren, undertake the required checks and write the report which guides the court.

This is a lengthy process and could take up to a year before the application is heard by the court.

The absent birth parent will normally be required to give their formal consent to the adoption.

Adoption applications can be made to either a County Court or a Magistrates (Family Proceedings) Court. You can obtain application forms from:

Newport (Gwent) Civil and Family Court
5th Floor Clarence House
Clarence Place
Newport NP19 7AA
Telephone: 01633 245040

Office hours are 10am – 4pm, Monday to Fridays.

The original application form and three photocopies should be returned to the court office together with:

  • The applicant’s marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • A full (long version) birth certificate for each child to be adopted
  • The court fee for each child or sibling group

Cheques should be made payable to ‘HMCS’ (Her Majesty’s Court Service)


Contact the South East Wales Adoption Services (SEWAS) for more information.