Could you adopt?

All kinds of people adopt – you could be one of them.

The most important thing if you’re considering adopting is that you’re able to give a child a stable and loving home and lots of love, understanding and support through childhood into adulthood.

If you’re over 21, we’ll consider you as an adopter regardless of your background, gender, marital status, race, disability or sexuality.

Obviously, there are some things we have to consider before we accept you as an adopter, so we’ve included the following information to give you an idea of whether your circumstances would suit adoption.

Your health

  • You need to be well enough physically and emotionally to care for children, so before you start the adoption process, we’ll ask you to have a medical check.
  •  If you’ve had a recent illness or bereavement, you may need time to recover before considering adoption.
  • You can apply to adopt if you have a disability. We’ll ask you about the nature of your disability when you first get in touch and consider the impact on your ability to look after a child.
  •  If you smoke, it doesn’t mean you can’t adopt, but it’s unlikely that we’d place a child under the age of five years old with you.  If we had to decide between two families who could offer the same care to a child, one of whom smokes and the other doesn’t, we’d be more likely to choose the non-smoking family.
  • If you’re having fertility treatment, we wouldn’t usually assess you as a prospective adopter, but would recommend you wait for at least six months after treatment before starting the adoption process.  This is because it can be difficult to pursue two different routes to parenting at the same time.

Your circumstances

  • Age – you must be 21 or over but there’s no upper age limit.
  • Family – you can still adopt if you already have children of your own.  If you’ve given birth to a child or adopted a child in the last year, we’d suggest you wait at least a couple of years before adopting.
  • Marital status – this doesn’t affect your chances of adopting – we have adopters who’re single, married, in heterosexual and same sex partnerships.
  • Work – it doesn’t matter whether you’re working or not; providing you can meet the living costs of a child, you can still adopt.
  • Where you live – you don’t need to own your own house to adopt, but the child will need a bedroom of their own, so you do need enough space.
  • Criminal record – if you have a police record, a lot will depend on the kind of offence, the circumstances and how long ago it was committed.  We’ll consider all cases individually.  However, if you have a record of offences against children, or significant offences of violence, we will not consider you for adoption