Adoption is a lifelong commitment. You are providing a permanent home for a child or young person in a stable and secure environment, where they can grow.

Call us on 0800 917 0925 for more information about adoption.


If you want to adopt a child you:

  • must be at least 21 years of age
  • must be fit and healthy – all adopters need to have a medical assessment with their GP as part of the assessment process
  • can be single, married or in a long term relationship
  • are expected to have been living with your partner for at least 2 years if in a relationship
  • must be able to show you have the financial means to offer a stable and secure home to a child
  • can either own your own home or be renting.

If you have children of your own

They'll be included in the approval process. We usually give a minimum age gap of 2 years between any birth children and adopted children (with the birth child as the oldest child).

If you're currently having infertility treatment

We'd expect you to have finished any infertility investigations or treatments before you think about adoption.

If you work full time

We're looking for adopters who have the time to meet the children's needs, especially in the first year of the adoptive placement. We expect one carer to be available to care for pre-school children. Statutory adoption pay and adoption leave are available for adoptive parents.

If you smoke

We don't place children under 5 years with applicants who smoke. It's recommended that before you apply to adopt you give up smoking for 6 months and have evidence of this from your GP.

If you have a police record

Every applicant has an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check. We need you to tell us if you have a criminal conviction or caution. You won't be considered if you or any adult in your household has been cautioned or convicted of any offences against a child, relating to pornography or bodily harm to a child.

Equal opportunities

We consider applicants regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability, as long as the needs of the child are met. Where possible, we try and match the ethnicity and religion of each child to the adoptive parents.