I was born in the UK, but my wife is Nigerian, and does not yet have leave to remain in the country. Can we start the adoption process? If you are applying as a couple, at least one of you must be a resident of the British Isles, or both of you must have been ‘habitually resident’ in any part of the British Isles for at least one year ending with the date of the application. A court would not grant an adoption order to anyone who has not got 'leave to remain' in this country. For this reason we would not be able to accept an application before this matter is resolved.