Frequently Asked Questions

Some people rule themselves out of adoption before they’ve even spoken to anyone. A lot of the time it’s because they’ve assumed they won’t be allowed to adopt or that it wouldn’t be right for them.

We want to share with you some of the questions we frequently answer, so you can see that adoption is actually very individual. If you think there’s a reason you can’t adopt, talk to us, we’ll always look carefully at your situation.

Q

Can I only adopt children from the same ethnic background?

A

No matter what your ethnic background, you can adopt children from any other ethnic background. Adoption agencies will help prepare for this scenario in order to assist you in understanding and promoting a child’s ethnic identity.

Q

Does my disability stop me adopting?

A

Being disabled does not exclude anyone from becoming an adopter. Your ability to look after a child – with support if necessary – is part of the assessment process.

Q

Can smokers adopt?

A

Smoking doesn’t necessarily rule you out from adopting. However if two families can offer the same care for a child, but one of them smokes, the likely choice would be the non-smoking family.

Q

What if I have a criminal record?

A

Convictions and cautions for offences against children or vulnerable people mean you can’t adopt. As do certain sexual offences. Any other criminal record will be considered during assessment, and will be looked at individually, so please talk to us before you rule yourself out. It’s your ability to provide safe and secure care that matters.

Q

What if I already have children?

A

This can be a great benefit. Adoptive parenting is different, but your experience can be invaluable. But we do advise careful consideration about the age gap between children in your family and the age of the child/ren you want to adopt.

Q

I’ve had fertility treatment, does this affect things?

A

We’ve helped lots of people who have had, or are having fertility treatment, our advice is that it’s best to complete any treatments or medical investigations before applying to adopt. If you’ve got any doubts about this please get in touch with us for an informal chat.

Q

Does my sexual orientation matter?

A

No. We welcome everyone. You can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and it doesn’t affect your right to adopt. We’re interested in your ability to care for children.

Q

Is my employment status considered?

A

Although your financial circumstances and employment status are considered as part of the adoption assessment, what we’re looking for more than anything, is that you’re able to provide security for a child.

Q

Do I have to be married?

A

Single people are just as welcome as couples to adopt. In fact, sometimes a single parent family may suit the child/ren more. If you’re single, like all adopters, a good support network around you will be important.

Q

How old do I need to be?

A

The only age restriction is that you are over 21. There is no upper age limit. You just need to be fit and healthy and able to help your child/ren through to adulthood.