Who Can Adopt

What kind of people are we looking for?

There are many myths surrounding adoption, which we want to dispel. We are looking for individuals, same gender, married or cohabiting couples who can offer love and a caring environment for a child in need of adoption. People who adopt have a range of life experiences, and may be disabled, unemployed or live in rented accommodation. Anyone aged 21 or over can apply for adoption, and there is no upper age limit.

We need people from all walks of life and backgrounds who not only have the commitment, patience, love and energy required, but also have a real understanding of children’s needs. You will need to be able to care for a child where the rewards may not be immediate and some children may need ongoing support into adulthood.

A child needs a lot of attention and care and you will need to be enthusiastic, energetic and able to commit to looking after a child as your own. Adoption is providing a child with somewhere to belong, where they can feel safe, secure and cared for, as part of a family.

14 things about… 

1. There is no upper age limit to adopt.

Adopters need to be at least 21 years old and have the potential to provide care and support for the child through to adulthood.

2. Single? LGBT?

Children have been adopted into stable, loving homes by single parents and couples, whatever their gender or sexual orientation, for many years.

3. Ethnic Matching.

There are children from many different backgrounds waiting to be adopted. As long as you meet the child’s needs you can adopt children of any ethnicity.

4. It’s quicker than you think…

In fact, you can now become approved as an adopter within six months and can have a child placed with you within three months.

5. Disabilities or not, you can still adopt.

Health problems and disabilities are not barriers to adoption, provided you can care for the child you adopt. The impact of your disability will be explored as part of your assessment and how this impact could be managed if you were to become a parent.

6. Pets are allowed!

Provided your pet does not pose a threat to the child’s health or safety, then it can be an excellent addition to the family.

7. Renting, or worried about space issues?

To become an adopter in England, you don’t need to be a home-owner, and you may have priority for council housing. If you have the space and security to care for children as they grow up you will be considered.

8. Wage is no barrier.

Being on low income or benefits should not stop you from becoming an adopter. You may be eligible for Tax Credits or other benefits and allowances, such as Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance if you adopt a disabled child.

9. You can adopt if you already have children.

…and you can adopt more than one child at once – some children will have siblings also wanting to be adopted.

10. British resident?

You need to have been living in the British Isles for at least a year to apply for an adoption order.

11. Criminal conviction?

Having a criminal record does not necessarily mean you won’t be able to adopt – it depends on the nature and severity of the crime and how long ago it was committed. However, people with convictions for violent or sexual offences against children cannot adopt.

12. Statutory Adoption Leave.

Employed adopters are entitled to adoption leave and may be entitled to adoption pay, which is a legal right. We expect adopters to take this leave at the initial stages. Some children may need a bit longer to settle with you, so flexibility about returning to work may be required.

13. Smokers cannot adopt.

Unfortunately we are unable to accept applications from someone who smokes and wishes to adopt a child under the age of five years. You will need to be smoke free for at least six months before we can consider your application to adopt.

14. IVF Treatment.

In order for couples/individuals to come to terms with the emotional and physical demands  of pursuing medical investigations and fertility treatment, we expect people to have ended their treatment for at least six months before making an application to adopt.

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