Adoption Lawyers in Glasgow

We understand how complex the adoption process can be. That’s why we do everything we can to make the process as straightforward and plain sailing as possible.

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Adoption Lawyers in Scotland

Adoption is a complex legal process whereby all the paternal rights and responsibilities of a child are granted to the adoptive parent(s). Once the process is complete, the adopter will become the child’s legal parent.

The court order for adoption means that the birth parents will cease to have any rights or responsibilities for the child, and the order is irreversible, except in incredibly rare circumstances.

At Neil Kilcoyne Solicitors, we have seen how emotionally and logistically stressful the adoption process can be. We work hard for our clients, to help parents-to-be unite their families and protect the children involved, whether you’re adopting within the family, locally, or internationally.

Adoption Law in Scotland


If you’re considering adopting a child who is a close relative or stepchild, such as your niece, nephew, or your partner’s child, the process can feel overwhelming. But rest assured, there are steps in place to support you through this journey:

  • First, reach out to your local Social Work Department to express your desire to adopt. They will guide you through the necessary steps and prepare a report for the court.
  • Next, your Solicitors will assist in preparing an application (known as a Petition), which will be submitted to the local Sheriff Court.
  • The court will then schedule a Hearing and appoint an independent Solicitor to represent the child’s interests, ensuring their well-being is prioritised.
  • While the consent of the birth parents is typically required, exceptions can be made in certain circumstances, such as if they are deceased or unfit to care for the child.
  • Additionally, if the child is 12 or older, their agreement to the adoption is crucial. For younger children, their thoughts, and feelings will be considered if deemed mature enough by the court.
  • If there are no objections, a Hearing will be arranged to finalise the Adoption Order, ensuring it is in the child’s best interest.


Remember, if you’re seeking to adopt due to difficulties conceiving, you may need to engage with an adoption agency. They will assess your suitability as an adopter and help match you with a suitable child. From there, the process aligns with the steps outlined above.

How can an adoption lawyer help?

The adoption process isn’t always as straightforward as it seems on the surface, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from your commitment to providing a loving home for a child. Having an adoption lawyer, or a solicitor with experience in family law, on your side throughout the process can prove invaluable when navigating the complexities of various adoption and child protection laws.


At Neil Kilcoyne Solicitors, our expert family lawyers committed to putting your specific needs at the heart of our service. Whether you’re considering adoption or exploring other child-related options, we’ll stand by you every step of the way. We can guide you through the full span of the adoption process, which includes:


✅ Helping you get to grips with the legalities

✅ Foreseeing any likely costs

✅ Explaining what certain adoption agreements mean in real terms

✅ Offering advice on whether adoption is the right path for you

✅ Providing representation and support in dealings with individuals and agencies involved

✅ Offering insight and assistance with other child-related matters, such as residence,  permanence, and parental orders.


Your family’s well-being is our priority, and our team is committed to ensuring your journey is as smooth and compassionate as possible.

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Who can adopt a child in Scotland?

If you want to adopt a child, you will usually need to be 21 or above, and there is no upper age limit. However, you have to be domiciled in Scotland for at least one year. You can apply to adopt a child if you are; single, in a civil partnership, married, or divorced. You can also still apply for adoption if you have other children, either by adoption or biologically. You must also meet certain criteria from the outset, and an experienced family lawyer will be able to give you advice on whether you are eligible, and/or what you need to do to get there.


If you’re applying to adopt a stepchild, you must:


  • Be married to, in a civil partnership with, or living in an ‘enduring family relationship’ with the biological mother or father of the child. The definition of an ‘enduring family relationship’ is nuanced and varies based on individual circumstances. There’s no fixed duration that defines this bond, as each situation is unique. However, what remains constant is the importance of demonstrating a stable and enduring connection.
  • The mother or father of the child must be 18 years old or more, and have parental rights and responsibilities.
  • Both you and your partner or spouse must live or have lived in Scotland for at least one year.


Neil Kilcoyne Solicitors have an abundance of experience in family law, including parental rights and responsibilities, and cohabitation rights.


So, if you’re looking for expert legal advice and expertise, you’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with us today using the contact form at the bottom of this page and one of our helpful experts will be in touch with you.

Free, no-obligation consultation

Neil Kilcoyne Solicitors offers specialist and expert legal advice to people who are going through divorce and separation, marriage and relationship breakdowns. For a free telephone consultation, call us today.


Even if you have prior criminal convictions, adoption may still be a possibility, as each case is carefully evaluated by the Court based on its unique circumstances. However, if any of these convictions involve offences concerning children, the likelihood of your application being approved is slim. It’s important to note that if you’re going through an adoption agency, they will typically deem you unsuitable as an adoptive parent if you have convictions for certain specified offences. Our family lawyers are here to guide you through this process with understanding and support, ensuring your best interests and those of the child are prioritised.

There isn’t a legal mandate regarding your health status, and having health issues wouldn’t automatically disqualify you from obtaining the adoption order. However, the Court would take into account any health concerns that might impact your capability to care for the child. If you’re considering adoption through an agency, they may request to review a medical report from your GP.

The timeline for adoption varies depending on the path you choose. For non-agency adoptions, the process can be completed in a matter of months. It starts with informing the local authority of your intention to adopt, followed by their assessment. Then, your adoption lawyer can file a petition with the court, and a first hearing is usually scheduled within 6-8 weeks. In many cases where there is no opposition, the adoption order is granted at this initial hearing. However, if there is opposition from the birth parents, the process may extend with further court hearings.

On the other hand, for agency adoptions, where children are placed for adoption by the local authority or other adoption agencies, a home study is conducted, which typically takes a few months. A child can be placed with you as soon as three months later, but it might take up to a year. Following that, the court process will proceed accordingly. Neil Kilcoyne Solicitors are here to guide you through every step of the journey, ensuring the best possible outcome for you and the child involved.

Typically, a straightforward case will cost around £3,000.00 + VAT. More complicated opposed application costs are more difficult to predict, as costs will vary depending on different factors such as; if a Proof hearing is required, or if any expert reports are required etc.

While fostering and adopting have distinct differences legally, both play crucial roles in offering stability and nurturing environments to children who need it most.

Fostering involves providing temporary care and support to a child who is unable to live with their birth family for various reasons. Fostering is often seen as a temporary solution, with the ultimate goal being reunification with the birth family or transitioning to a permanent placement, such as adoption.

Adoption, on the other hand, is a legal process that results in permanent placement of a child into a new family. Adoptive parents assume full parental rights and responsibilities, providing a lifelong commitment to the child as their own.

When it comes to the consent of an adoption, several individuals and factors can come into play, depending on circumstance:


  • Those entrusted with parental rights and responsibilities, typically the birth parent(s), play a significant role.
  • Adoption agencies have the power to decide whether they allow you to adopt a child under their care, based on specified criteria.
  • If the child is 12 years old or older, their consent is valued and sought in this important decision-making process.
  • While a natural parent’s consent is typically sought, there are circumstances where the court may understand and accommodate exceptions. This could be if the parent is deceased, cannot be located, lacks the mental capacity to provide consent, struggles to fulfill parental duties, or if the child’s welfare necessitates it.
  • For children under 12, while formal consent isn’t required, their voices are still considered vital. Social workers and the Curator take great care to understand and respect the child’s wishes and views regarding the adoption to the fullest extent possible.