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adoption Under English law ( Adoption Act1976; Children Act1989]], an adoption order anulls all rights and responsibilities of a child's original parents, and vests them in the adopters. The child is then deemed to be the legitimate Legitimacy child of the adopters; he or she has the same rights of inheritance as any natural children the adopters may have. Any person under the age of 18 is elligible for adoption, but in practice most adoptions are of young children. Adoption of female children is subject to the same regulations as for males, with the exception that a single man may not adopt a girl. Otherwise, a married couple -- domiciled in the U K Domicile -- may apply to adopt jointly, and anyone to adopt singly, subject to the following requirements:
at least one adopter is 25 years of age, or at least one adopter is over 21 years of age and related to the adoptee, or one adopter is a parent of the child. This last point deals with adoption of an illegitimate child by a parent and someone else. Note that adoption by married couples is the only form of joint adoption allowed in English law.
Adoption orders can be granted by most civil courts. Normally the order will be granted if:
the court is satsifed that the adopters are suitable, and the natural parents consent, or their consent can be dispensed with (if, for example, they have abandonned or neglected the child]], and the spouse of a sole adopter consents. On the whole the court will attempt to treat the needs of the child as the overriding concern. The natural parents cannot 'unreasonably' withold consent, but the court may consider such factor as, for example, religious preference a 'reasonable' case for allowing the natural parents to withhold.