If you are considering adopting a child in Guernsey, you will first need to be assessed and approved as potential adopters by the Committee for Health and Social Care (HSC). The assessment process can take many months to complete, and it is important that you are realistic about the procedure, pressures and time involved.
An adoption order made by the Court gives adopters legal parental status, as if the child was born to them. An adoption order ends the parental rights of the birth parents. An application for an adoption order is made under the 'Adoption (Guernsey) Law, 1960'. Under the provision of this law, the category of people who can apply for an adoption order is very restrictive. Applicants must be married in order to apply for an adoption order together, otherwise only one person can apply. This means that currently unmarried couples or civil partners are unable to jointly adopt.
The application is made to the Royal Court of Guernsey. Normally, prospective adopters are assisted in making an application for adoption by HSC, however there are times when a case may not be straightforward and legal advice is required.
Legal advice is also available to support families following the making of an adoption order, including post adoption contact matters and support from HSC, and in circumstances where a placement has broken down.