Who can adopt?

We believe our children deserve the very best – and we are looking for adoptive parents who are able to provide a secure and loving home, and who are practically and emotionally ready to take on the responsibility for looking after a child.

Many of our children have had a tough and unsettled start in life, and adoptive parents will need patience and flexibility to adapt to the challenges this may bring.

All children are now told about their adoption so you would also need to be comfortable talking to a child about their history and their birth family.

If you are unsure if your circumstances are suitable for adoption, please contact us – we are here to help.

Legally, you must:

  • be over 21. There is no legal upper age limit but we do have to consider the needs of a child through to adulthood before placing them for adoption, for example if you have the energy and health to provide long-term care.
  • have lived in the UK for longer than one year and intend to stay.
  • be clear of certain criminal convictions or cautions, particularly any for sexual or physical violence, or offences involving children. If you have a criminal record, please discuss this with us as it may not prevent you from adopting.

Do I need to be in a relationship to adopt?

No – our adopters have a range of different relationship statuses – single, married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner of any gender.

Am I too old to adopt?

Legally, adopters must be over 21 – there is no upper age limit and we welcome people of all ages. As part of the application process, we will assess your ability to look after a child up to the point they are an adult. When you are deciding if adoption is right for you, being fit and well enough to look after a child throughout the whole of their childhood should be a key consideration.

Will my health affect my chances of adopting?

You will need to be physically and emotionally well enough to be able to keep up with a child throughout their childhood and beyond, so this is something to consider.

As part of the application process, you will need to have a health assessment with your GP.

Do I need to be earning a certain amount?

You will need to have the financial means to look after a child. You will also need to be able to take a period of adoption leave if you work (one person in a partnership). A low income won't necessarily prevent you from adopting.

You do not need to own your own home, but you must have enough space – including ideally a spare room – for your child, and your home must be suitable at the time you apply.

Do I need to have finished fertility treatment before adopting?

We recommend you have ended fertility treatment, and taken time to recover both physically and emotionally before considering adopting.

Can I adopt if I have a disability?

Yes. Experience of a disability can be positively welcomed.

Can I adopt if I already have birth children?

We welcome potential adopters who already have birth children, however there must be a two year age gap between an adopted child and your youngest child.

To find out more about adoption, get in touch or come along to one of our information events.