Section 29 - Adoption by certain couples
117.By virtue of subsection (1), “relevant couples” may make an application for adoption where both members of the couple are at least 21 years old, and neither applicant is a parent of the child to be adopted. Further, at least one of the conditions in subsection (2) must be met, namely that at least one member of the couple must be domiciled in the British Islands or that both members of the couple have been habitually resident in the British Islands for at least 1 year before the date of the adoption application.
118.A “relevant couple” is defined in subsection (3) and means a married couple, civil partners or a couple that is living together in an enduring family relationship, whether or not that relationship is heterosexual or homosexual. The phrase “enduring family relationship” is used to indicate two people who are in a relationship that is akin to a marriage or civil partnership. The length of a relationship or financial interdependency will be relevant factors in assessing the overall strength of a relationship and the suitability of a couple to adopt.
119.The definition of enduring family relationship does not apply to two people who do not have a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership, such as two platonic friends or two siblings who live together.
120.For the purposes of this section, subsection (4) defines a ‘parent’ to be a parent who has any parental responsibilities or parental rights in relation to the child.