Please note we are no longer servicing the Chiswick office although we can visit you at your home or offices.
Our offices are now located in central London in Mayfair – click the contact button for details.
Our offices are now located in central London in Mayfair – click the contact button for details.
Overseas adoption is governed in England by the Adoption Act and various international conventions such as the Hague Convention. We can assist by putting you in touch with a specialist Notary* for authentication of documents and “apostille certification” of adoption documents.
Find out more and how we can help you, by completing your details below or continue to full article
International adoption is the practice of exporting children overseas to people who wish to become their legal guardians. It is often used as a humanitarian tool to enrich the lives of children who have suffered in their childhood. International adoption trends show that adoption predominantly occurs with a couple or a family adopting a child
Local authorities are required by law to offer an international adoption scheme. Furthermore, independent adoption agencies exist which are registered to offer international adoption. It is important to realise that international adoption regulation laws vary from country to country. In the UK, the fundamental regulations are that the child cannot be cared for in their own country, that the adopter has been classified as adequate to adopt overseas by a UK agency and that the adoption is in the interests of the child.
One large factor regarding adoption is the condition of the countries where international adoption primarily occurs. Political unrest and social unrest are major influences; statistics show that Vietnam experienced peak adoption figures (with the children moving to the US) in the years following the Vietnam war (ironically with America).
Adoption figures were low during the war, perhaps due to both the taboo and the hardship as a war was occurring. However, when the war ended, demand in the US rose. This shows that countries affected by war generally increase demand for adoption overseas perhaps due to the sympathy generated because of the poor living conditions that arise due to a nation at war, with children living there seen as collateral damage.
In this way, many couples from MEDCs adopt because they believe that they are giving the children there an alternative future with a greater chance of success and happiness. Further proof is that adoption figures increased in South Korea after the Korean war and also concerning Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In recent years, there have been a number of high profile cases regarding international adoption, which have caused both controversy and renewed interest in the topic. Most notably, internationally-famed pop singer Madonna adopted a baby from Malawi who she named “Mercy”. Many Malawians applauded her actions, claiming that she had saved the child from a bleak future. This support included the uncle of the child. There was also opposition to the decision. Many cynics said that it was wrong to randomly select a single child aside from others in a country of poverty and some believe that it was a publicity stunt by Madonna. Either way, the child is no longer in poverty.
Another case that occurred in January 2012 involved women selling their babies to a human trafficking group who then sold the babies on to couples looking to adopt. In return, the birth mothers received money and had their medical bills paid. Such cases carry devastating personal damages, to the babies born and also to those who try and obtain a baby through this; the couple were forced to return the baby. Child trafficking also flourishes in countries with political upheaval, due to lawlessness and international adoption demand. A major example was Haiti, with orphans of the earthquake being abducted and sold.
On a final note, international adoption is beginning to decline. In recent years, government guild lines in certain nations have become stricter. Organizations such as UNICEF have acted to set up guidelines to protect vulnerable children from child trafficking, including making international adoption harder. This attitude is also evident in the creation of the moratorium on international adoptions in Guatemala, another major source of adoptions.
Additionally, medical advancements such as IVF have helped deal with infertility. This has undoubtedly led to a decline in international adoption because one of the main reasons behind this decision is because some couples cannot procreate; as a result , they adopt a child to care for as their own.
Despite all the controversy, international adoption has changed millions of lives for the better and will continue to do so. International adoption is a lifeline for children who are living in poor conditions. International adoption gives them potential access to their basic human rights that might previously have been unattainable (such as food and water) as well as giving them a better education and healthcare. If anything, government legislation has ensured that almost all international adoptions are legitimate, to help combat child trafficking while also improving lives. J Cage 2012
Edward Young Notary Public is a limited company registered in England and Wales (UK). Offices across London, United Kingdom in Chiswick, Hammersmith and Holborn.
The following notes are for the assistance and guidance of clients of Edward Young, Notary Public, London (the Notary Practice).
It is our aim to provide a good service to all notary clients. Any client who has cause for dissatisfaction or complaint should immediately notify Edward Young Notary Public at the Chiswick Office.
The Notary Practice is regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury in London:
If you have complaints about our notary service please do not hesitate to contact Edward Young Notary Public, and if the matter cannot be immediately resolved he will refer your complaint to the Notaries Society of which he is a member, who have a Complaints Procedure which is approved by the Faculty Office. The Notaries Society is the representative body of notaries public in London and within the UK.
Alternatively, you can complain to the Notaries Society direct. Please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to:-
Finally, even if you have your complaint about notary services considered under the Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may at the end of that procedure or after a period of eight weeks from the date of making the complaint to me, make your complaint direct to the Legal Ombudsman (whose contact details are set out below) if the matter has not been resolved to your satisfaction:
Please enquire for full details of our charges. As indicated in these Terms of Business these charges may be subject to variation.
Notarisation requires a high standard of care, as reliance on such acts is made by clients, third parties and foreign governments and officials. The Notary has a responsibility to protect against error, omission, alterations, fraud, and forgery these are the duties of the Notary Public.
Notarisation is not rubber stamping exercises and the requirements of accuracy and validity cannot be overridden by urgency or expense.
Unless otherwise agreed in writing Notarial responsibility is limited to the Notarial formalities and does not extend to advice on or drafting of documentation or on the matter under consideration.
In order to meet the high standard of Notarial acts, the Notary Public is required to obtain proof, of identity, any represented legal capacity and authority, clients understanding of documentation, interpretation/or translation into or from other languages, effectiveness of documentation, validity, signature and witnessing, observance of required formalities both in England and abroad, and the requirements of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and/or any relevant consular or similar authorities.
In the case of individuals, proof may be required, with production of appropriate certificates where applicable, of birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, deed poll on change of name, or statutory declaration. Identification of individuals will be required.
Individuals should produce a current passport or, in exceptional cases, other proof of similar validity and reliability, which may include identification by third parties known both to the individual and to the Notary Public.
In the case of companies, details of the proof and information required, depending on the circumstances and service required, should be discussed in advance with the Notary Public. Notarial attendance at a company board meeting may be required in some cases. This may be arranged at our offices if required.
Edward Young Notary Public conducts Company searches which may be required in support or proof of certain corporate acts. It is required that these are obtained direct from Companies House by the Notary, at the cost of the client. Time should be allowed to obtain these in advance of any personal attendance.
An Apostille, which is the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office endorsement of Edward Young being a Notary Public, is required in some cases for use abroad, as an additional authentication to notarised documents. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Legalisation Department will affix an Apostille to the Notarisation of Edward Young Notary Public.
Depending on the receiving country’s requirements, the endorsements of the relevant High Commission/Embassy/Consulate of the country in which it is proposed to use the document the subject of a Notarial act) may also be required.
Once we have lodged documents with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or Consulate we do not take any responsibility for the loss or damage of those documents by any third party. We take the responsibility to convey documents on behalf of our clients to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Consulates – we cannot guarantee third party action/inaction.
This is usually obtained by the Edward Young Notary Public at the expense of the client and is usually applied for by post. In urgent cases a special, registered courier may have to be employed to deal with the Business Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth office Legalisation counter in Central London. Same day Apostille fees are high as are the special registered courier fees for wait and return services.
Preparation of documentation for Notarization is formal and prior preparation of documents or draft documents may be required.
Early discussion of outline requirements with Edward Young Notary Public is advised and it is helpful to email Edward Young Notary Public the documents prior to appearance.
Time, expense, and error, may be saved if clients, or their advisors, provide, in advance of any personal consultation, the originals or exact and complete photocopies of:-
Copies of documents produced ancillary to or in support of Notarial acts may be required for retention, as will copies or original duplicates of Notarial acts, to form part of the required Notarial register/record.
Documents to be notarised should not be bound, as the Notary may have to re-bind them with a covering Notarial Certificate.
Translations may be required of documents before and/or after or as part of a Notarial act. The Notary can usually arrange or advise on this aspect if required.
An initial appointment and an appointment to finalise the Notarisation may be required, particularly if documentation has to be prepared in formal style.
Personal attendance at our office will usually be required to ensure all necessary secretarial facilities are available. However, in exceptional cases, attendance arrangements out of the office can be made, these are at additional cost.
The Notary service is co-located at the 152 Chiswick High Road London W4 1PT offices of Sutton-Mattocks & Co LLP.
Details of clients of the practice and matter references will be stored on computer for archive and retrieval purposes and may be used to mail client communications from the Notarial service.
Notarial Clients are asked to supply clear instructions, including all relevant background information, at the outset and as the matter continues. Company clients should nominate one individual who is authorised to give instructions on the company’s behalf in relation to each matter. Reference should be made to the Notes for Guidance.
Notary fees are based on a charge out rate of £200 per hour with a £80 minimum fee.
Notary Fees are assessed mainly by reference to the time spent on the matter, on the basis of an hourly charging rate. Details of the hourly rates applicable to any particular matter are available on request. Rates are reviewed from time to time. It is always our policy to try to agree a fixed fee with you.
In accordance with Notarial practice guidelines, (which stipulate that fees should be fair and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the case), our notary fees may also include an additional element reflecting other factors including value, importance, speed, complexity or special skills.
If instructions are terminated for any reason, a charge will be made for all work carried out to date. Separate charges are made for any disbursements or expenses incurred on behalf of clients.
Notary fees include preparatory and drafting work, correspondence and attendance. The Notarial practice is not registered for Value Added Tax and expenses and disbursements will be charged gross.
Except in the most routine cases, it is difficult to estimate how many hours of work will be required to complete a notarial matter, bearing in mind the variety of circumstances that may arise. However, guidance as to likely costs will be given, where possible, on request. Any estimates given will be based on the information available to the Notary Practice at the time and, although given in good faith, will not be binding. Variations in the instructions given, including requests for additional work or unexpected developments and/or inexperience, incompetence or lack of co-operation on the part of other parties or their advisers may increase costs.
Clients should ascertain whether they are covered by any relevant insurance in respect of either liability or legal expenses. If so, they should inform the Notary Practice and notify the insurers of the possible claim and of the Notary Practice ‘s involvement as soon as possible. Insurance policies commonly provide that a delay in informing the insurers of a potential claim on the policy invalidates the insurance policy.
We reserve the right to ask for money to be paid on account of notarial work to be done, disbursements to be made or expenses to be incurred. Such funds are held in our Client Account until such time as an invoice is submitted or a payment made on a client’s behalf. Credits to the Client Account should be made in sufficient time to allow for bank clearance before they are required.
Notary Fees are normally due for settlement on completion of work and prior to release of completed notarised documentation.
Notary Fees are provided on Invoices which are delivered where required for work carried out, expenses incurred and disbursements made during the conduct of a matter.
Invoices must be settled within 30 days or, if requested, immediately if further work on the matter is required. Any queries concerning an invoice should be raised immediately upon receipt.
In the event of payment not being made as requested, we reserve the right to decline to act any further on behalf of the client and/or to exercise a lien on any papers or documents of the client which are in our possession, until payment has been made.
Interest is chargeable from the date of the invoice on invoices outstanding for more than 30 days at 4% per annum above the Base Rate from time to time in force of NatWest Bank.
The client may terminate instructions to the Notary Practice in writing at any time. In the event of payment not being made for an invoice or on account as requested, or in the event of the client’s insolvency or if a conflict of interest becomes apparent or if the client fails to instruct the Notary Practice properly, the Notary Practice may decline to act any further on behalf of the client. The Notary Practice may exercise the lien that arises on any papers, documents, money or securities of the client which are in the Notary Practice’s possession until payment for any outstanding charges has been made.
Where a client requests that an notary fee invoice is to be paid by a third party on behalf of a client and such third party does not pay the invoice within 30 days of issue of invoice the instructing client will immediately be liable to discharge that invoice for notary fees.
Where the Notary Practice accepts instructions from a limited company, the Notary Practice may require personal guarantees in relation to its notary public fees and disbursements from appropriate directors or shareholders (or other individuals or companies) at any stage in the transaction or proceedings unless the company has deposited sufficient funds on account as described in 5 above. Where the person instructing the Notary Practice does so on behalf of two or more persons, each of those persons shall be jointly and severally liable to the Notary Practice for the obligations on the client imposed by these Terms.
he Notary Practice complies with the Data Protection Act 1998. Clients’ personal data may be used and disclosed by the Notary Practice to third parties in the course of providing services to the client, and marketing those and other services provided by the Notary Practice to the client (e.g. seminar invitations and newsletters) and for regulatory purposes. The Notary Practice is required to maintain personal data for regulatory and insurance purposes provided by the Notary Practice for a period of time after conclusion of provision of services to the client. If a client does not wish personal data to be used for marketing purposes as mentioned above, the client should notify any the Notary Practice in writing. Some clients’ files (and personal data therein) may occasionally be made available on a confidential basis to an external quality assessor or auditor. The Notary Practice will be entitled to carry out such credit or other searches in respect of clients as it considers appropriate.
It is the policy of the Notary Practice to use e-mail wherever possible. Where a client has provided us with an e-mail address, eg, by sending the Notary Practice an e-mail, the Notary Practice will assume that it may use that address for the sending of unencrypted sensitive or confidential correspondence or documents to the client. We may also, during the course of a matter, send unencrypted sensitive or confidential information to other persons involved, unless specifically requested by them or the client not to do so. All e-mails sent by the Notary Practice and attachments thereto should be scanned for viruses by the recipient.
The Notary Practice operates a money-laundering reporting procedure as required by law whereby, in the event of any suspicion as to money laundering, information will be revealed to the appropriate authorities. All payments to the Notary Practice’s client account must be made via a UK clearing bank. Cash payments will not be accepted. Clients will be required to provide satisfactory proof of identity and full details of the source and proposed destination of funds. Pending this, funds may be frozen and the Notary Practice will not accept any responsibility for loss or delay caused by the failure of clients to provide such information promptly.
1.13.1 No liability for loss (including, but not limited to, damages, costs and interest) to clients or other parties, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise will be accepted by the Notary Practice, its partners, agents or staff in relation to any matter in the absence of specific written agreement to the contrary referring to this term and signed by the principal of the Notary Practice in excess of the lower of:
13.1.1 The sum of £750,000 for any one claim.
13.1.2 The amount of the Notary Practice’s professional indemnity insurance cover from time to time. The present cover is for not less than £750,000. Specific cover for higher limits may be obtainable in certain circumstances at the expense of the client.
13.2 The amount of any liability is to be reduced so far as may be appropriate to take account of the degree of responsibility of any other professional or other advisers whom the client has consulted in relation to the matter as if the Notary Practice had successfully claimed contribution from them under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 taking no regard for any limitation agreed between the client and such advisor, and they had the resources to meet the same, provided that the Notary Practice shall not be obliged to make or pursue any such claim for contribution.
13.3 No liability whatsoever will be accepted on the part of the Notary Practice, its partners, agents or staff in relation to any loss, damage or liability whatsoever caused directly or indirectly to any party other than the client for whom the Notary Practice has agreed to act in connection with the relevant matter. No third party shall have any right to enforce any contract by the Notary Practice to provide advice or services or to rely upon any advice given or opinion expressed by or on behalf of the Notary Practice. The application of any legislation conferring on third parties contractual or other rights, including the Contract (Rights of Third Parties Act 1999) shall be excluded insofar as permitted by law.
13.4 In any event, no liability whatsoever will be accepted on the part of the Notary Practice, its principal, agents or staff where such liability either arises from any instructions or information given by the client or by any third party being incomplete, inaccurate or incorrect; or where such liability is for any indirect, economic or consequential loss or damage, costs, expenses or other claims for consequential compensation whatsoever or howsoever caused which arise out of or in connection with the services provided by the Notary Practice or for loss of profit, loss of business, loss of data, depletion of goodwill or loss occurring in the normal course of business or otherwise.
13.5 All searches of the Register of Companies carried out by the Notary Practice are made using the Registrar of Companies’ on line service. To the extent that the Registrar does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions arising from use of the on line service, the Notary Practice accepts no responsibility or liability arising from reliance upon the results of such searches, if they should subsequently be found to be inaccurate or incomplete.
These limitations will apply notwithstanding any express or implied term of business or any collateral agreement or warranty, whether express or implied.
The Notary Practice will not be liable for any loss or damage arising as a direct or indirect result of the supply of services being prevented, hindered, delayed or rendered uneconomic by reason of circumstances beyond the Notary Practice’s control, including but not limited to Act of God, war, riot, strike, lock out, trade dispute or labour disturbance, accident, breakdown of machinery, fire, flood, storm or difficulty or increased expense in obtaining information or services of any description.
English law shall be the applicable law and the English courts shall have sole jurisdiction in the case of any dispute. If any provision of these terms is held by any court or other competent authority to be void or unenforceable in whole or part, these terms shall continue to be valid as to the other provisions thereof and the remainder of the affected provision.
We attach great importance to dealing with clients’ affairs in strict confidence. However, some files may occasionally be made available on a confidential basis to an external Quality Assessor in connection with quality control. We can arrange to withhold any particular file from random selection for such inspection, upon request. The professional body regulating Notarial practice also has rights of inspection to ensure good practice and conduct.
We do not advise on foreign law but act in an evidential, authentication capacity.
Edward Young Notary Public is a limited company: Edward Young Limited with registered address at 2 Melton Court Twickenham TW1 3HT.