Who can apply to adopt?

Who can adopt?

There is no typical adoptive parent in the same way as there is no typical child.

Applications are welcomed from all people regardless of their gender, race, religion or sexuality.

You can be single, married, in a partnership or not, or with or without children.

The child's ethnic orgin, culture, language and religion are taken into account wherever possible when seeking a family. We believe that placing a child with a family of similar ethnic origin and religion can best meet a child's needs.

Legal requirements

Age Adopters must be over 21. There is no upper age limit but your age will be considered in relation to the needs of the children.

Residence To adopt from within England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you must be habitually resident or domiciled within the UK for at least a year before applying to a local authority or adoption agency to become approved as prospective adopters. You need to be living in suitable accomodation.

Disclosure Barring Service ( DBS) You cannot adopt if a member of your household has convictions or cautions for particular offences, such as violent or sexual offences against children.

Other checks

As well as the above we will also seek medical information from your GP and positive references from people who know you well. References will also be requested  ie from family members, employers and others.

Some commonly asked questions:

Q. How long will it take for us to be approved as adopters?

A: We aim to complete your assessment within 6 months from the time that we receive your Expression of Interest Form.  

Q.  Can I adopt if  I have recently undergone fertility treatment?

A. If you are unable to have children because of fertility difficulties, and are currently undergoing fertility treatment, now may not be the ideal time to pursue an adoption application. We recommend that you wait six months following your last fertility treatment before starting the adoption process.

Q. I am over 40. Am I too old to adopt?

A. No, there is no upper age limit although we will consider your age against the age of the child you could care for.

Q. Can I adopt more than one child?

A. Yes, we need families who can adopt two or more children so that siblings can stay together. However it will depend on your assesment and discussions with your social worker about what would suit your family situation best.

Q. How long will it take before a child is placed with us?

A. This very much depends on the needs of the children available for adoption at the time of your approval. Most adopters have a child placed with them within 12 months and adopters who can meet the needs of particular groups of children such as siblings or older children means you be be more easily matched to children waiting for a family.

Q.  Can I adopt if I have a health condition?

A. All prospective adopters need to have a medical and our agency medical adviser would consider any health issues alsongside your ability to care for a child. We would look at all health issues on an individual basis and that many health conditions wouldn’t prohibit someone from adopting.

  Q. I smoke, can I adopt?

A. Because of a child's need to live in a smoke free environment we cannot place a child under 5 years with you if you smoke.

 If a child over 5 is placed with you, we would recommend you don't smoke within the home.

 If you have stopped smoking you can begin the adoption process once you have not smoked for 12 months for under 5s.

There may be many other questions you have. You are welcome to discuss these with a social worker at the home visit.