Adoption header image showing multiracial families


Adoption isn’t child’s play. But we can help make it work.

Many prospective adopters struggle with the fact that something that springs from such genuine motives – the desire to give a child the love and stability of a ‘forever home’ – should be subject to so much red tape. Even though they understand that the interests of the child are of paramount importance – and therefore need a high degree of legal safeguard – it can still be a stressful experience.

Whilst professional legal advice can’t help you avoid the process, it can help navigate you through and advise you on every step. You’re not on your own.

There are several types of adoption and they are all undeniably complex and involved, but don’t be put off. Our adoption team are here to demystify the adoption process and give clients a clear understanding of both the formalities and responsibilities. It’s our job to make everything clear, to guide you through and to make you feel as comfortable as possible with the whole process.

How we can help

We can act for anyone seeking to adopt a child – step parents, couples or singles, married or unmarried, same sex couples  – and we can advise on all types of adoption arrangement, including:

  • Adoption by step parent
  • Adoption by relatives
  • Adoption by foster parent(s)
  • Adoption from care
  • International adoption – where the child is being brought from outside of England and Wales, and immigration laws also apply
  • Local authority adoption – where a local authority is placing your child for adoption
  • Special Guardianship Orders


Because we know that it can be hard to find time, where possible we offer flexible appointments to suit you. Our Sheffield office opens until 7.00pm every Wednesday to accommodate late appointments.

All of our offices offer a free 30 minute pre-booked initial appointment on your first visit with us. 

The Adoption team

The Adoption team are part of the Family Law department at Howells.

The Howells team is one of the best in the country. It has been consistently highly ranked for family work in the north, and is overseen by the hugely respected and much admired Alyson Siddall. Alyson has developed a group of many talents but with shared values. Tough and resolute in their legal representation, sensitive and compassionate in their client relationships, the team understand that they’re not dealing with ‘cases’ but with people, not bound up in legal process but in real lives.

Chambers UK
Howells was highly ranked as a law firm for Family Law by Chambers UK 2018. The prestigious guide said Howells is “Increasingly active in dealing with high net worth cases and child abduction cases over the past year. Bolstered by a designated mediation and collaborative law group.”

Legal 500 2018
The Legal 500 2018 ranks the Family department highly and states that Howells is “Howells handles the full spectrum of matrimonial work and children law matters. Alyson Siddall is ‘hugely experienced but always still keen to learn’, and heads the department which benefits from individuals based across Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. Siddall is regularly instructed in complex financial arrangements and has additional expertise in private children matters and collaborative law. Sharon Lockwood is another key name to note for financial work, while Sarah Walker is highlighted for childcare matters.”

Please click here to view the family law department staff profiles.