Hughes Fowler Carruthers


Anyone planning to adopt a child from overseas faces a formidable set of rules and regulations.

These vary according to a large number of different factors including:

  • Whether an adoption order has been made in the child’s home country;
  • Whether that order is recognised in the English jurisdiction;
  • Whether the child’s home country has ratified the 1993 Hague Convention on Inter Country Adoption; and
  • Whether “special restrictions” apply to adoptions from the child’s home country.

Prospective adopters will need permission from the relevant authority in the child’s home country to take the child from that country to the UK for the purposes of adoption, and they will also need entry clearance for the child so that he/she has permission to enter the UK.

The first step in any of the scenarios above is to obtain an assessment by a recognised adoption agency and the agency’s formal approval of the adopters’ suitability to adopt. It is likely that the adopters will have to deal with courts or similar institutions in the child’s home country as well as the courts in this country.  At some point, the adopters will be in contact with the social services department of the local authority in which their home is located.

Without following the correct procedures, prospective adopters can encounter serious problems when bringing a child into the UK for adoption. Criminal sanctions can follow in some circumstances.

With our depth of experience in complex international adoptions, Hughes Fowler Carruthers can assist in navigating all the different processes.  We also ensure that our clients have the right advice from our well-established connections with Immigration specialists to obtain the necessary entry clearance.


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