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Following the making of Final Care and Placement Orders, parents or others with parental responsibility (PR) who have had a change in circumstance (S.47(7) Adoption and Children Act 2002) can apply for leave to oppose the application for an Adoption Order. Under s47(5) Adoption and Children Act 2022, the parent/person with PR must have leave from the court to make this application. Leave from the court means that the court must give permission to make this application.

The implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Legal Aid: Family and Domestic Abuse) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2023, means that those making an application for leave to oppose after 1 March 2023 will be able to access non-means and non-merits tested legal aid allowing them to seek legal advice and representation.

The court has to consider a two stage test. The first stage is to look at whether the parent/person with PR has had a change in circumstances since the Placement Order was granted. The change will be considered on a case-by-case basis but will need to be one that is sufficient. Examples of a change in circumstance could include (but are not limited to) demonstrating abstinence from alcohol or substances or separating from a relationship which featured domestic abuse and sustaining this change.

If there has been a change in circumstance, the next step of the test that the court will consider is whether it should re-look at the plan for adoption. The court’s paramount concern would be the child’s welfare in the short-term, mid-term and long-term.

For further information or advice on requesting leave to oppose adoption, please contact our child law specialists on 01924 431774 or send an email to


The above article is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any part of the information given.