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Who can adopt?

We need people from all walks of life to provide permanent homes for local children through adoption. We need adopters who are active, flexible, patient and committed to caring for children who have faced adversity.

You can adopt:

  • at any age over twenty-one. There is no upper age limit but the age of the applicants will be one of the factors that is considered during the assessment and which may be relevant at the point where the family is being considered for a match with a particular child
  • you need to reside permanently in the UK and have the right to remain here
  • whether you are married, single or cohabiting
  • whatever your ethnic origin, gender, sexuality or religion
  • disability does not need to be a barrier
  • you may be a tenant or a homeowner
  • you have a spare room. A child will need their own bedroom

We do not accept applications from people who smoke cigarettes or vape due to the health implications for a child.

We accept applications from single people and couples who have been in a stable relationship for over two years. We would also ask that you wait a period of time after a break up of a relationship, loss of a loved one or any significant change in your life (marriage, civil partnership, house move).

Applications will not be accepted from women or couples who are pregnant, have a child under the age of three years old or are actively engaged in fertility treatment, including those on a waiting list for treatment. We would ask that if you have been going through fertility treatment or undergoing tests, that you wait at least six months before enquiring about adoption to allow time and space to ensure that adoption is the right journey for you.

The disclosure of a criminal record will not necessarily stop you from adopting. However the circumstances of any caution, criminal enquiry or charges would need to be explored further with your assessing social worker. Failure to declare this information may adversely affect your application.

Want to find out more? Ask us a question or request an information leaflet using our enquiry form:

Enquire about adoption