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I’m undergoing or have undergone international adoption and I am in dispute with someone

When a dispute arises in international adoption, it can be emotionally fraught and legally complex. You may be facing a challenge from foreign or British authorities, or you may be in a dispute with your spouse or partner.

Whatever the issue, it is important you resolve it properly, whether that means litigation or negotiation. Engaging with the issue head-on will help you, your family, and your child to enjoy security and certainty.

The law surrounding adopted children can be complex, especially where there is an international element. There are many issues to consider, from government regulations to the welfare of the child, and it is vital to have prompt and correct legal advice.

As a top family law firm, incorporating world-leading expertise in fertility, adoption and family law, Vardags can help you steer you through this complex process. Our advice can help you in any dispute in relation to the adoption process, or family life afterwards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Relationships between adoptive parents and birth parents can vary. It is important to appreciate what each party is looking for in that relationship: whether it ends when the adoption is finalised, whether it continues through the child’s life, or perhaps neither party wishes for a relationship at all. Should the relationship become difficult it may be worth considering setting out in writing the expectations of each party. This will help to establish how matters are to progress and reminds each party of their reasons for entering into the adoption. In the event that the relationship deteriorates significantly, it is essential to seek the assistance of a third party.

In the event that you and your partner are in the process of adopting a child from overseas, but you are concerned about your relationship and the effect of any possible separation on that adoption, it is important to be aware of your options. Where an adoption has not yet been finalised, a divorce by the prospective adoptive parents may affect the finalisation of the adoption. If the birth parents’ rights have not yet been terminated, there is a risk that they might object to their child being adopted by a single parent, or by a couple in dispute. If their parental rights have been terminated, it is the court who will consider the impact of a divorce on the adoption, and who will have final approval.

Bringing a child into the UK for the purposes of adoption is a criminal offence, punishable with up to 12 month’s imprisonment and/or a fine. In order to bring a child into the UK for the purposes of adoption, there are strict regulations that need to be complied with, preferably in advance of bringing the child in. It is vital to seek legal advice prior to bringing a child who you wish to adopt into the UK.

If you bring a child from abroad into the UK without having complied with the relevant regulations, you must notify your local authority of your intention to adopt that child as soon as you arrive in the UK so as to avoid criminal sanctions. Whether you are worried about your legal status, or whether you have already been accused of not having complied with the regulations, it is vital to seek legal representation. Vardags can act quickly and effectively to help you secure yours and your child’s legal status. Alongside our family lawyers, we have top criminal defence lawyers in house to defend you in criminal proceedings, should it become necessary.

OUR Children & Family TEAM

Caroline Korah

Partner - Head of Children Caroline Korah Vardags Partner Head of Children
“Caroline Korah is a highly dedicated lawyer who fearlessly represents her clients’ interest” 
Legal 500

Lucy Bolton

Partner - Divorce & Family Lucy Williams Vardags Partner Divorce & Family
“Lucy Williams is loved by clients and counsel” 
Legal 500

Jemima Kearney

Assistant Solicitor Jemima Kearney Graduate Trainee Solicitor

Is Vardags Right For You?

We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

When you contact us a member of our client relations team will take the full details of your situation, assess whether we can assist you, and if so, determine the best team for your case. 

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