You can adopt if you are over 21 and there is no legal upper age limit for adopters.
We look at everybody’s circumstances on an individual basis. When placing children we need to be confident that you have the energy and life expectancy to care for the child/ren throughout their childhood and into early adulthood.
We will explore with you the age of the child/ren that you are able to consider and your combined age (if applying as a couple) will help us to determine together the age of the child that would best suit you.
Children come from all walks of life and from various ethnic backgrounds.
That is why we need adopters who are from different ethnicities so that you can bring your own cultural experiences to match those of the children waiting.
We are looking for families to provide children with loving and stable homes.
Our main focus is about your ability to parent through adoption; it’s the stability of your relationship that is important.
That is what matters, not your sexual orientation.
You can adopt if you’re single.
However, if you are in a relationship but do not share a home, we would expect to involve your partner in the process.
You can become an adopter if you follow a religion.
The important thing is for us to understand how your faith fits into your lifestyle and what this experience will be like for a child when they join your family.
There a certain criminal convictions that would prevent you from adopting, these are serious offences that relate to vulnerable adults or children.
We are not here to judge you, but it is important that you are honest with us from the start as we will need to talk to you about any offences at an early stage in the process.
Many people thinking about adoption have no parenting experience but we will work with you to identify what experiences you have from other areas of your life that are relevant, e.g. if you have worked with children or done voluntary work. You’ll be surprised at how relevant these experiences can be. If you do not have any previous child care experience it would greatly strengthen your application to seek this through baby sitting/caring for the children of relatives or friends or through voluntary work e.g. at schools or nurseries/beavers, rainbows etc.
If you have had or are undergoing fertility treatment we would want you to complete this treatment before applying to adopt. We understand that either process can be emotional and it is important that you are able to prioritise adoption as the way to becoming parents. We would usually want you to wait at least 6 months after your last cycle of fertility treatment but we will discuss your individual circumstances with you at the start of the process.
We would want to discuss your long term plans for returning to work after adoption leave. As an employee you are entitled to adoption leave and if you have worked for your employer for 6 months or more, statutory adoption pay. Returning to work on a either a full or part time basis will not prevent you from adopting, though depending on the age and needs of your child, you may need some flexibility in terms of your working week to ensure that you can provide consistency and stability for your child.
If you don’t own your own home you can still adopt. Children need a safe and secure base and as long as you provide that you can still become an adoptive parent.
Being divorced/separated or having remarried does not prevent you from adopting. As part of your assessment we would need to contact ex-partners from any significant previous relationship regardless of whether you were married or not; unless there is very good reason not to do so. This is particularly pertinent where you have parented children together and we will talk to you more about this during the process
No, each family is assessed individually, and as part of this we will assess your capacity to meet the needs of all the children in the family, in addition to an adopted child or children. We would also want to include your children in the process of becoming an adoptive family
We usually recommend a two-year age gap between any birth and/or adopted children. However, sometimes we are approached by Local Authorities to inform us that a sibling has been born to a child that we have already placed in one of our adoptive families. In such circumstances we would consider the needs of placing siblings together as the priority regardless of the age difference.
Yes, you can. We will try wherever possible to place children with adoptive families that share their ethnic and religious background. However, sadly this is not always possible and so it is then important to ensure that a family can encourage, promote, celebrate and understand the importance of a child’s religious, cultural and ethnic identity influences.
It is important to remember that all children, and especially those that are waiting to be adopted, are individual and unique and regardless of their history, our aim in finding adopters for them is so that they are given the opportunity to be the very best version of themselves, that they can be.
Each prospective adopter has a full medical as part of the adoption process, regardless of their health. As part of this we would consider the nature of your mental health problems in addition to the impact on you and your ability to parent. Each case is looked at individually by the agency medical adviser to determine your capacity to meet a child’s needs in to adulthood. We’ll work with you from the very early stages of the process to ascertain whether adoption is right for you.
Each prospective adopter undergoes a full medical as part of the adoption process, regardless of their health. As part of this we would consider the nature of your disability and the extent to which this impacts on you and your ability to parent. Each case is looked at individually by the agency medical adviser to determine your capacity to meet a child’s needs in to adulthood. We’ll work with you from the very early stages of the process to ascertain whether adoption is right for you.
We expect adopters to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle for both themselves and any child placed with them, and consider it is important that adopters model such lifestyles for children. Every adopter has to undergo a medical as part of the adoption process; an individuals weight is one aspect which will be looked at in the context of an individuals overall health and well being. We would be very happy to provide prospective adopters with advice and support in relation to this issue.
It is ok to have some debt, but we do ask that applicants are financially secure. This means that you are managing your finances and if you have debt, can evidence that you are managing and reducing this. As part of the process we will ask you to complete a budget planner to evidence that you are managing your finances and are able to provide for a child.
If you or any member of your household smokes, you will not be able to adopt a child under 5 years of age as it is recognised smoking can have a particularly damaging effect on young children’s health. Whilst you ‘may’ still be eligible to adopt an older child, the Local Authority responsible for the child would ultimately make the decision as to whether they felt you were a suitable adopter if you smoke. We would strongly urge you to try and quit smoking for your own and the child’s health.
Applicants who have previously smoked and wish to adopt a younger child must have stopped smoking or using e-cigarettes/vaping for at least six months prior to commencing the assessment process, and must provide evidence of this. A Social Worker would be very willing to help you discuss this issue and help you to obtain advice and support. We can provide you will fuller details of our smoking/vaping policy and assistance available if that would be helpful.
There are no rules about age gaps between applicants; all relationships are looked at individually and the strengths and vulnerabilities of each individual relationship are identified.
I have heard that there is a maximum gap between the age of the child and my age for me to be able to adopt. Is this true?
There is no maximum age gap between the age of the child and an adopter. We do, however, look at each case individually to assess the likelihood of an applicant being able to meet the child’s needs throughout childhood and beyond, which might, depending on your age, mean we ask you to consider older children.
Yes, you need to have at least one spare room, irrespective of your family circumstances.
The children waiting to be adopted range in age from birth upwards, some of these children are from a different ethnic group, others need to live with their brothers and/or sisters, whilst some may have some developmental delay or additional needs.
Most of the children waiting to be adopted are no longer able to live with their birth family for a variety of reasons and are likely to have experienced some disruption and difficulties in their lives.
It is important to remember that all children, especially those that are waiting to be adopted, are individual and unique. Regardless of their history, our aim in finding adopters for them is so that they are given the opportunity to be the very best version of themselves that they can be.