There are many misconceptions about who can and who cannot adopt. We do not exclude anyone from consideration on the grounds of sexual orientation, race, marital status, gender, disability or employment status.
Our aim is to find loving homes for children where they can become part of caring families and have the best opportunities in life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become an approved adopter?
On average, the adoption process takes around six to eight months to become an approved adopter. However, every application to adopt is treated individually. For further information about the assessment process see your journey.
Is there an age limit to becoming an adopter?
You must be 21 and above to adopt but there is no upper age limit. However, we do need to take into consideration your individual circumstances and health to ensure that you are able to support a child into adulthood.
I'm single, can I adopt?
Yes! You can adopt whether you are single, married or unmarried. Your marital status is absolutely no barrier to becoming an adoptive parent.
Will my sexual orientation affect my application to adopt?
Absolutely not! We are proud members of New Family Social (external link), which is a UK charity led by LGBT+ adopters and foster carers. They offer support for members of our LGBT+ community throughout the adoption process and beyond.
Will a medical condition or disability affect my application to adopt?
Having a disability or health issue doesn’t automatically exclude you from adopting a child. We would need to discuss the nature of your disability or health concern and consider how this may impact on you as an adoptive parent.
Do I need to be a homeowner to adopt?
You don’t need to own your own home to adopt. You may rent privately, be in a property provided by a housing association/the local authority or own your own home. It does not matter if you live in a house, bungalow, flat or other types of accommodation.
However, it is important to have enough space to accommodate a child / children as in most cases you would need a spare bedroom.
I already have children, can I adopt?
Sometimes your experience as a parent can be a real advantage. We would need to talk to your children to get their thoughts and we usually ask that there is a minimum of a two-year age gap between your birth and adopted children.
Do I need to be employed or earning a specific income to adopt?
You don’t need to be employed or earning a specific income to adopt. During the assessment we will look at your income and management of money, so we can ensure you can support a child through to adulthood.
Once you are an approved adopter, you may be eligible to apply for certain benefits. Our team can advise you on this.
How much adoption leave will I need to take?
We recommend that at least one adopter has time off work following a child moving in with their family. A child will need time to build a relationship with their new family and it will take time for them to feel safe and secure. It is difficult to say how long this will take but the agency would expect one parent to take at least 6 months off but up to 12 months is not unusual. If an older child is moving in with their family and attends school then after a period of settling in it may be possible to work and still be there for the child at either end of the school day.
On occasions a child may need a parent to be off work longer and financial support may be available from the child’s local authority in such circumstances. For people who are self-employed and not entitled to adoption leave allowances then we would need to have a discussion about how to balance the need for work and offering a child the stability that they need early on.
Would a criminal record affect my application to adopt?
If you have a past conviction(s) it may not necessarily prevent you from adopting a child. This will be investigated thoroughly during the assessment. However, you will not be considered if an offence involves a child / children or is a sexual offence.
If I smoke does this affect my chances of adopting?
We need to ensure that babies and children we place aren’t being exposed to harmful toxins that could damage their health. As an agency we do not place children under the age of 5 years old in smoking households. Some children in our care may also have underlying health conditions which would mean they are unable to live within a smoking household. Our team will speak to you about the extent of your smoking habits and what this may mean.
I am currently undergoing IVF, will this cause me any problems with my application?
You can look at applying to become an adopter if you have previously undergone fertility treatment. We would advise a period of six months between fertility investigations / treatment and applying to adopt. This allows time to support you with coming to terms with your own loss.
Will you need to contact my ex-partner?
If you have had a previous relationship where children have been present, then we would want to talk to your previous partner due to your involvement with those children.
Can I adopt if I have pets?
A lot of children love animals, so in most cases having pets isn’t a problem. As part of the assessment process, we will complete a pet assessment to help us to understand your pet and how they are cared for within your home. The assessment will also consider whether there are any potential issues with your pet living with a child.
Will I need to attend training during the assessment process?
All prospective adoptive parents will be invited to attend Preparation to Adopt Training, which forms part of the assessment and usually takes place in Stage 1. The training is designed to prepare you for the journey ahead, to develop your knowledge and understanding of what adoption is and to know what to expect. The aim is to prepare adoptive parents for the future, by learning about key parenting skills you will need to care for children who may have experienced neglect and abuse.
We also run a number of different training courses during the assessment process that prospective adopters would be expected to attend if it was relevant to their approval:
- Family and Friends Training
- Meet the Adopters
- Fostering for Adoption Training
- First Time Parenting Course.
What support is available after I have adopted?
We will ensure that you receive all the support you need at every stage of the adoption process. We have a dedicated post adoption support team who are there to support you long after you have legally adopted a child.
If you have any further questions on the above or have your own questions which haven’t been answered here, please contact us by filling in our online enquiry form or calling 01942 487272.