United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship (Child - Adopted outside the UK)

Listen to our RECENT WEBINAR where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss the ways in which children under 18 can have rights to British nationality.

Adoption outside of the UK
If a child was adopted outside the UK, then one needs to look at the natural (or biological) parents to determine whether the adopted child has a claim to British Nationality. The nationality of the adopting parents will normally have no bearing on the nationality of the child, though again there are some exceptions.

2.1 Adoptions before 1983

Where an adoption took place before 1 January 1983 in a country recognised by the UK for this purpose, the adopted child can obtain the Right of Abode if one of the adoptive parents was a British citizen. 

2.2 Adopted children who are still under 18

For as long as an adopted child is still a minor (under the age of 18), then this adopted child could be registered as a British citizen if one of the adoptive parents is a British citizen. It is a complex application, and is granted by discretion.

2.3 An adoptive grandparent born in the UK

If a parent of one of the adoptive parents was born in the UK, the adopted child could still qualify for the UK Ancestry if they are a) 17 or over and b) hold a Commonwealth passport.


Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth.

WhatPassport.com is a subsidiary of Sable International.

Sable International offers a range of services relating to UK and Australian immigration. For over 20 years, we have been helping people with their UK and Australian visa applications. We assist with applications for Ancestry visas, spouse visas, work visas, Tier 1 visas, UK working holiday visas, UK dependant visas, Tier 4 visas, UK Visitor visas, sponsorship visas or UK permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. We also specialise in UK visa extensions. If you’ve overstayed your visa, our Overstayer Status Trace service can assist to regularise your visa status.