Adoptions / Permanence Orders

In Scotland, courts are often asked to deal with applications for an adoption order in respect of a child. Adoption changes the status of the child to that of being a child of the adoptive parent or parents. The adoption order will remove the parental responsibilities and parental rights of the natural parents. An exception to this is where the adoption application is being made by the spouse or partner of one of the natural parents and the child is still living with that natural parent.

Another order which affects the long-term care of a child is a “Permanence Order”. A permanence order is applied for by the local authority (Social Work). A permanence order will give the local authority responsibility towards the child and the right to decide where the child lives in the long term. Often the order will also give the local authority other parental responsibilities and parental rights and remove the parental rights and the parental responsibilities of the natural parents. It may also provide other people, such as foster carers, with some parental responsibilities and parental rights. A permanence order might also deal with whether the child can be adopted in the future and whether the natural parents’ consent to such an adoption be dispensed with.

It is sometimes the case that there can be contact between a child and their natural parent after an adoption order or permanence order. Contact might be direct between parent and child or indirect (sometimes called letterbox contact).

These applications make fundamental changes to the lives of children and their families. They are complex court processes and people involved in them will usually need specialist advice and legal representation.

If you need advice or help with an application that you are involved in, or may be about to be involved in, please call us now on 0141 552 6382 to arrange a free consultation.