Could you adopt?

Find out if you are able to adopt a child and the qualities you need to have.

This is a question you are likely to have been considering long and hard. Here are some things to consider:

  • Why do you want to adopt?
  • Are you ready to completely change your life and prioritise a child’s needs?
  • Do you feel you are ready to become a parent? Maybe it is your first time or maybe you have parented before.
  • Do you not only have a place in your heart for a child, but also a place in your home?
  • Can you provide an emotionally and financially secure environment for a child?
  • It is never easy bringing up a child, so do you have friends and family you can go to for advice, help and support when needed?
  • Could you care for a child who has been traumatised, abused or experienced a poor start to life?

Who can adopt

The one thing that all approved adopters have in common is the desire to give a child a secure, loving and permanent home that can meet the needs of that child.

Before looking into adoption you need to be:

  • over the age of 21 but can come from any walk of life and background
  • clear of criminal convictions against children
  • resident in the United Kingdom and 'habitually resident' for at least one year before applying
  • flexible and able to meet the many demands of caring for a child
  • determined and driven to improve a child's life
  • good physical and mental health and will be able to nurture a child through to adulthood.

You do not need to:

  • be under a particular age - as long as a you can meet the demands, there is no age limit
  • own your own home - as long as the building is suitable for caring for a child, it does not matter if you own or rent it
  • be married - a single person, or a partner in an unmarried couple can adopt, as can people in a civil partnership, or in any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender relationship
  • have a clean criminal record - although offences against children immediately prohibit a person from adopting a child, other convictions do not necessarily rule an individual out from adopting. We would consider you on an individual basis.

We also have a specific requirement that:

  • if you are adopting a child under 5 years old then you must have a non-smoking household.

You can find additional information on the adoption process in our information pack.

“Looking at our kids asleep every night makes our hearts soar; we look at each other, smile and still can't quite believe how lucky we are to have two such gorgeous children.” Andy and Paula, Crawley
Last updated:
29 June 2018

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