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Adoption

Our Family Law department comprises our Partners, Susan Wightman and Sally McCartney.  Susan was admitted as a solicitor in 1987, came to Kippen Campbell in 1991, and has been a partner since 1996.  She is a Law Society of Scotland Accredited Family Law Specialist, a designation first awarded to her in 1997.  She is also a member of the Family Law Association and a qualified Collaborative Family Lawyer.  Sally was admitted as a solicitor in 1997, joined the firm in 2003 and was assumed as a partner in 2009.  She is a member of the Family Law Association.

Both Susan and Sally often accept instructions from both prospective adopters and from children, as well as children’s biological parents, guardians and other family members. Whether you are seeking a court order, or simply wish to know your rights, we will guide you through the options open to you, and explain your legal position every step of the way.

Fixed fee services

We offer a fixed fee service, for actions following the undefended adoption procedure.  An undefended adoption procedure may be appropriate only where you are seeking to adopt children under 16 years of age, and where the application is unlikely to be opposed.  We will first meet you to consider and discuss if these procedures are appropriate for your case. This may require us to gather information so we can be sure that the procedure is appropriate.

For this first meeting, our fixed fee will be £300 plus VAT at 20%.

Our fixed price includes meeting you, taking your instructions and providing advice on the adoption procedure; collecting information from you about your position, your finances and family circumstances; and assessing if this procedure is appropriate in your case and advising you on the next steps.

If this procedure is appropriate, then our fixed fee will be £1,200 plus VAT (£1,440 inclusive of VAT).  This excludes outlays (fees which may need to be paid to third parties).

The outlays will include:

Court fees: These increase annually. The current fees are £132.

Service fees: Service by sheriff officer, where service by recorded delivery has not been possible. The current fee is variable but usually about £120.

Reporters’ fees.   The court will appoint reporters to make enquiries and to report to the court.   The costs of the reports are very variable but are unlikely to be less than £1500 and can be up to £3000.   Some, but not all, reporters are VAT registered so VAT may also be payable on the report costs.

Our fixed price includes drafting the adoption petition, lodging the application and any supporting documents with the court, reviewing and advising on reports, and attendance at court when the petition calls.

This fixed price will only cover the services mentioned. Your case may require additional work that is not included. We will discuss this with you at our initial meeting. If additional costs arise due to unforeseen circumstances, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you of any increase in price that may arise.

Non-Fixed Fee Charges

Where we are unable to offer a Fixed Fee, the work undertaken will be charged by reference to an hourly rate.  Our hourly rates are revised on 1st May each year, with Susan’s current hourly rate being £255 per hour plus VAT (currently 20%) broken down into £25.50 per 6-minute units or part thereof.  Sally’s hourly rate is £245 per hour plus VAT (currently 20%) broken down into £24.50 per 6-minute units or part thereof. Additionally, a charge of 5% of the total assessed fee, plus VAT, will be charged to cover posts and incidents.

Telephone calls will be charged at £25.50 and £24.50 per 6-minute unit or part thereof, respectively.

Letters will be charged at 1.25 units per page of 100 words or part thereof.

The drafting of Deeds and Court documents will be charged at 5 units per sheet of 200 words or part thereof.

Copying will be charged at £1.00 per page for the first copy of any document and 40p per page for each subsequent copy.

There will be a separate one-off charge of £25 plus VAT at 20%  in respect of our gathering (and updating, where necessary), documentation to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering regulations and administrative matters when opening your file.

The number of hours spent on your case will be determined by the complexity and the unique circumstances of your case.  We will discuss the likely cost of your case with you at our initial meeting. If additional costs arise due to unforeseen circumstances, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you of any increase in cost that may arise.  The hourly rate does not include any outlays that may be required.  These are variable depending on the nature of the case.  We will discuss what these may be at our initial meeting.

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