What is Adoption?

Adoption is a legal process which allows you to become the parent of a child or children who can no longer be cared for by their birth parents. You will take over all legal responsibilities and have the same rights as if you were the child’s birth parent. They will take on your surname and become a member of your family for life.

We aim to complete the adoption process from application to approval within six months.

If you are hoping to adopt a younger child, please be aware that there are very few healthy babies placed for adoption, so we’d urge you to consider adopting a child up to four years of age. If you request an Information Pack we have also included details in there about Concurrent Planning and Fostering for Adoption that provides alternative ways of welcoming a younger child into your life with the possibility of adopting him or her at a later stage.

Fostering for Adoption

Fostering for Adoption places a child during the period of temporary Local Authority care with approved adopters who are able to take on the responsibility of foster carers. If the court agree that the child should be adopted, and the adoption agency approves the...

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Is fostering for adoption right for me?

There will be a number of things that you will need to think about as a Fostering for Adoption carer. In the fostering role you are caring for the child under the direct supervision of the local authority so you’d need to consider whether this is something you’d be...

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What are the advantages of fostering for adoption?

Children are placed with carers who may become their adopters, giving permanence at an early stage. It avoids the damage caused by ending temporary foster care relationships which they will have experienced as the primary parenting relationship. It allows a bonding...

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Concurrent Planning

Concurrent planning is for babies and young children under the age of 2 in care who are more likely to need adoption but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family. Concurrent carers perform the role of a foster carer whilst the courts decide...

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Who can be a concurrent carer?

To be a concurrent carer, you need to be resourceful and emotionally mature, able to put the needs of babies and young children first, and respect and work with a child’s birth family in the early months. People from different backgrounds and religions, single parents...

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What are the benefits of concurrent planning?

The great advantage for the babies and young children is that: It speeds up the planning for their lives. It will avoid the stressful upheaval for the child when moving from foster home to a new adoptive family. The bonding period with their adoptive parents can begin...

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  Myth Busters


Myself or my partner smokes

If you or any member of your household smokes, you will not be able to adopt a child under five years of age or a child of any age who has disabilities or a respiratory illness such as asthma. Whilst we do realise that people who smoke can make excellent adoptive parents, we need to ensure the healthiest environment possible for the children concerned. So we will ask you to contact your GP or a smoking cessation service, if necessary, to help you quit or significantly cut down your smoking prior to adoption.

I am too old to adopt

There is no upper age limit to becoming an adoptive parent, but you do need to be aged at least 21 to apply. It is all about having the maturity and life skills to care for an adopted child into their adulthood. So, as long as you are fit and healthy enough to do just that, your age will not be a problem.

I cannot adopt as a single person

Your marital status is absolutely no barrier to becoming an adoptive parent. In fact, sometimes, single people are best placed to offer the one-to-one commitment and care an adopted child needs. Even if you are unmarried and in a serious relationship, you can adopt as a single person or as a couple with your long-term partner of at least two years.

My full-time job will be seen as a negative

Far from it! It is important that you lead your own fulfilled life too and if you feel you can cope with the additional demands of bringing up a child, then we will support your decision. We will probably ask that you take some leave from work when a child is first placed with you, especially if you are adopting as a single parent or if the child has had a bit of upheaval.

I can’t adopt if I’ve already had kids

Actually sometimes your experience as a birth parent can be a real advantage! But if you are looking to adopt then we’d need to talk to your children to get their thoughts and feelings too. It’s very rare that we’d place a child with you who is older than your birth children, and we’ll usually ask that there is a minimum 2 year age gap between your birth and adopted children.

My sexuality will count against me

No. We’re interested in people who will become brilliant adoptive parents and provide loving homes to children who desperately need them. Your sexuality is the last thing we’ll be concerned about.

You need to be a homeowner to adopt

Quite simply, no you do not! If you rent your home all we ask is that you have a long-term lease to be able to offer stability plus enough space to give each child you adopt their own bedroom

I’m disabled or have health issues so I can’t adopt

Of course we’d need to discuss the nature of your disability or health problem with you to ensure that you won’t be unduly affected by the demands of adopting a child. But in many cases your application can go ahead. Please note that every potential adoptive parent has to undergo a full medical assessment no matter what their current health status. It’s then up to the Medical Advisor to decide what’s best in each case – so please don’t let any disability or health issue stop you from finding out more.

Unemployed people cannot adopt

All we need to know is that you can cope with the financial demands of bringing up a child, so being out of work will not count against you.

I can’t adopt with a criminal conviction

This depends. Obviously if you’ve been convicted of a violent crime or a sexual offence against children you cannot adopt. But if you’ve been convicted or cautioned for other offences we’d urge you to be open and honest with us and we’ll then take into account what the offence was and how long ago it occurred. If you’re at all worried about your own or a partner’s criminal conviction, please call us for a confidential chat and we’ll advise you if there’d be a problem with your application to adopt.