If I do not meet the general criteria for Adoption, are there any exceptions that I can rely on?

Yes, the Court can make an order for adoption in exceptional circumstances such as:-

  1. the Applicant is below 25 years of age and not more than 21 years older than the child, if:-
    • the Applicant and the child are related, or 
    • they are not related but there are special circumstances.
  2. no consent from the parent or guardian is provided, the Court is satisfied that the parent or guardian:-
    • neglected or abandoned the child,
    • cannot be found, or
    • is unfit by reason of physical or mental incapacity.