Adopt a stepchild

How to adopt your partner's child.

To adopt a stepchild (known as partner adoption), you apply as a sole applicant.

  • You must be aged 21 years or over
  • You need to satisfy the court that you are living as partners in an enduring family relationship if you are not married to the child’s parent
  • You can be a same sex couple and do not have to be in a civil partnership

Your first contact will be with a member of the Adoption South East Horsham Team, who will talk you through the ways of securing parental responsibility for a stepchild in your care.

The court must look at all the options; therefore, you and your partner will be expected to obtain independent legal advice to advise you of alternatives to an Adoption Order before any application can be considered.

Should you wish to proceed with a step parent adoption application, the team will take your details.

We will contact you once a social worker has been allocated. It is the role of the social worker to complete a court report about your suitability to adopt. This must consider the wishes and feelings of your stepchild or children and the importance of stability and permanence in your relationship with your partner.

Last updated:
20 November 2023
Share this
Share this

Do you have any feedback about this page?

Help us improve this website

Let us know if this page was helpful so we can make improvements. Add a star rating and leave your feedback below to show how useful you found this page.

Rate this page:
Clear star rating...
  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.