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.