Adoption & Immigration

Family on beach - adoption & immigration

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767


The Immigration Rules on international adoption have always been complex, because there is such a wide variety of potential adoption scenarios across borders, ranging from formal adoptions pursued via professional adoption agencies, to family arrangements which come out of often difficult circumstances, for example, relatives abroad unable to care for all their children.

UK law legally recognises only adoptions in a limited number of foreign countries; for the rest, Immigration Rules often come into play when seeking the entry of an adopted child.

In June 2024, as part of its drive to simplify the rules, the Home Office introduced Appendix Adoption to the Immigration Rules. This replaces existing provisions for children entering the UK for adoption which have for many years been contained in Part 8 of the Immigration Rules. The new Appendix and its accompanying guidance aim to provide clearer and more consistent international adoption rules.

Speak to one of our solicitors about how to ensure the correct immigration status when adopting from overseas, call us today on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

Father and boy on bike-child dependant visa

What are the adoption routes set out in Appendix Adoption?

  • Hague Convention: this route applies where the adoption is via an adoption agency under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Most Hague Convention adoptions will be completed overseas, however for some countries the adoption is completed in the UK and the child must apply for entry clearance to come to the UK for the adoption to be completed.
  • Recognised Overseas Adoptions: this route allows a child to apply for entry clearance to come to the UK where they have been adopted overseas in a country where the adoption is recognised under UK law, or where the adoption has been recognised by order of the High Court in the UK.
  • De Facto Adoption: this route is for a child to apply for entry clearance where the child has been living with their adoptive parent(s) overseas for at least 12 months and there has been a genuine transfer of parental responsibility.
  • Coming to the UK for adoption: this route is for a child to apply for a visa where they are in a country whose adoptions are not recognised in the UK and the child is coming to the UK to be adopted under UK law. Where applicable the relevant UK authority must have issued the adopters with a certificate of eligibility to adopt.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

Turquoise illustration - mother swinging child

What are the key changes to international adoption rules?

  • Simplifying immigration eligibility requirements for the Hague Convention and Recognised Overseas Adoption routes. This includes removing the requirement for the child to have the same rights and obligations as any other child of the marriage or civil partnership. It is no longer necessary to provide evidence that the child is being adopted due to the inability of the original carer to care for the child; nor that there has been genuine transfer of parental responsibility and the requirement for the child to have lost or broken ties with their family of origin. These requirements had become outdated in the context of modern adoption law; there was no longer a need to impose such requirements in Immigration Rules because all such matters are considered as part of formal adoption processes, which are overseen by the family court.
  • Where one parent is on an immigration route to settlement, international adoption rules stipulate that the child of that parent must meet the financial requirements under that settlement route.
  • Where a child has entered the UK under Appendix Adoption and has been granted temporary permission (for the adoption to be completed in the UK or because one parent has temporary permission on a route to settlement), the child will be able to settle on the route their parent is on or under provisions in Part 8 of the Immigration Rules once the adoption is complete and their parent has settled.
  • Appendix Adoption allows a consideration of Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) under the Immigration Rules if other eligibility requirements are not met. This means that an application may be granted where the decision maker is satisfied the refusal would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant and their family unless the applicant does not satisfy certain suitability requirements.
  • Where entry clearance is being sought under the Appendix Adoption, a Certificate of Eligibility from the relevant Central Authority confirming the prospective adopter(s) have been assessed and approved, may be required. Published guidance sets out when such a certificate is required.

To speak to one of our solicitors about international adoption and how to make a successful application. Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

Legal 500 - leading firm

"I trust the fact that the team will creatively and intelligently deal with complex issues with a sense of ownership and a commitment to delivering an outcome. I have great confidence in their seriousness and skill."

Legal 500 2024

How we can help

The expert solicitors at Latitude Law can provide expert advice on all aspects of international adoption arrangements. We can provide detailed guidance about the requirements or prepare relevant immigration applications.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Latitude Law has significant experience of advising families looking to adopt overseas. We have assisted clients with tackling some of the most complex issues that can arise from such arrangements, across a wide range of countries.

Thanks to our extensive knowledge of the law and immigration rules, we are able to provide pragmatic advice and meet our clients’ needs. We can advise you with confidence and ensure the entire immigration procedure runs smoothly and efficiently for you.

Working with a law firm can be a big decision, which is why we ensure that our clients are at the heart of everything we do. We are a highly driven team that is dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice.

As a boutique law firm specialising in UK-inbound immigration, our experts understand the complexity and uncertainty that constantly shifting visa and residence policies create for entrepreneurs looking to invest and work here. Our lawyers can provide up-to-the-minute legal advice on how any changes will impact your application.

We are pleased to be recognised as a leading law firm by the following independent bodies: The Times Best Law Firms 2024, Chambers & Partners 2024, Legal 500 2024 and Who'sWhoLegal 2024. These endorsements from the international legal directories demonstrate our integrity and success in dealing with difficult cases. We are also proud of our 5-star Google reviews from over 150 satisfied clients.

Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Let our legal experts take the uncertainty out of of your international adoption case so you can start your successful journey towards bringing your family to the UK today.

Illustration laptop - white

Contact us

As the requirements for adopting from abroad are extremely complex, to ensure success, you should seek specialist advice from an immigration solicitor before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist lawyers can advise you about your individual requirements and ensure that your supporting documentation is compliant with the very latest immigration rules.

Get in touch with our legal team today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Face your future knowing you have the dedicated support of one of our expert lawyers.

Our other relevant visa services

Pregnant woman

Surrogacy & Immigration

Travelling abroad to enter into a surrogacy agreement is becoming increasingly common, but it is as legally complex as it is emotionally challenging. Surrogacy is legal in a relatively small number of countries. In some, such as India and Nepal, laws have been tightened in recent years due to perceived abuses by commissioning parents. In the UK it is possible, but cannot be a commercial transaction (“reasonable expenses” only may be paid). It is absolutely essential that you get advice on the processes involved at an early stage. Read more here

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

Meet our experts

Latitude Law logo

Contact us now to arrange a FREE initial consultation with an experienced UK-inbound immigration lawyer

Call on 0300 131 6767 or complete our contact form and we will get back to you within 1 working day

Your information will be used in accordance with the privacy policy