Adoption is a legal process where a party applies to become the adoptive parents of a child under 21 years old.
If the court grants an adoption order, the adoptive parents will have legal rights, obligations and responsibilities over the child. The child will no longer have any legal ties with the biological parents.
The Family Courts hear applications for adoption orders. Applicants must complete the following pre-adoption steps required by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) before applying to the courts.
The adoption process starts at the MSF.
Before you file an application for an adoption order with the courts, you must do all of the following:
File and serve an application
Understand the documents, fees and process to file an application for an adoption order. You will need to seek consent from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to act as the Guardian In Adoption (GIA) for the child.
Submit additional documents
After the MSF agrees, you must submit their written consent to be appointed the GIA to the court. The GIA will investigate your application and prepare an affidavit based on the investigation findings. You need to submit this affidavit to the court and request a further hearing date.
You may need to attend at least 2 hearings before a judge. During the final hearing, the judge will decide whether to approve your application.
Legislation associated with this topic includes: