Who can adopt

Who can adopt

Adopters come from a variety of backgrounds and you can adopt a child in the UK if you are:

  • single, married or unmarried
  • from any ethnic or religious background
  • heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
  • a homeowner or living in rented accommodation
  • employed or on benefits
  • have birth children or have adopted already

There are only 3 factors that will automatically stop you from adopting a child in England:

  • You must be over 21 years of age.
  • You must be a permanent resident in the UK and have been so for at least a year.
  • You can’t adopt if you or anyone living in your household has a criminal conviction or has been cautioned for specified criminal offences against children and/or some sexual offences against adults


Am I healthy enough to adopt?

Agencies want to know that you are fit and healthy enough to parent a child through to adulthood. Any serious illnesses or health conditions will need to be taken into consideration and you will be asked to have a medical.

Can I adopt if I’m disabled?

Being disabled doesn’t automatically exclude you from adopting a child. In some cases, experience of disability can be an advantage in raising an adopted child. Discuss your situation with your local adoption agency.

Will I need a spare bedroom?

Adoption Agencies normally prefer that prospective adopters have a spare bedroom for a child placed for adoption. There may be some flexibility, depending on the age of the child and the possibility of converting existing accommodation to create an extra bedroom.

I have a dog – will I be able to adopt?

Your adoption agency will need to be satisfied that any pets you own will not threaten the health or safety of a child children’s health or safety. Some children may suffer from allergies which would prevent placement with some pets.