Are you eligible to adopt?

Can I Adopt?

If you're looking to adopt a child just remember, there’s no perfect profile of an adopter. Children need adoptive parents who will provide a stable, caring home, love them for who they are and care for them throughout their childhood and into adult life

We take people from all backgrounds through the adoption process. Whether you're single, married or in a relationship, already have children or not, and whatever your ethnicity, we'll welcome your enquiry. 

If you're not sure whether you're eligible to adopt or not, please don't rule yourself out, just contact us. We'll answer your questions professionally and discreetly.

Contact us

Can you adopt?

We help people from all backgrounds and in all situations to become successful adopters. Here are some main questions we are asked by prospective adopters.


Too old or too young?

Applicants must be aged 21 or over. There is no upper age limit but there is an expectation that applicants should be able to see a child through to adulthood.


Any existing children?

We welcome applications both from people who already have children and those who don’t.

Your children’s needs and their attitude to your adoption plans would need to be considered during the assessment - this includes the views of your children who live with you, as well as those who live with a previous partner, and adult children who have grown up and live independently. It is also usual that children placed for adoption tend to be younger than any children already in the family.


Applicants need to have good physical and mental health, and if you have a disability you should be in a position to manage this effectively. All applicants will be asked to have an adoption medical with their own doctor.

If you have an existing health concern, consider your adoption plans with your doctor, and ask for their advice on what you should discuss with us if you’re considering being an adopter.

We do not require that potential adopters must have had infertility treatment before coming into the adoption process. However, if you have had fertility treatment this needs to have ended before you commit to the process.

Faith, culture and ethnicity

We welcome enquiries from people of all ethnic backgrounds. We're particularly keen to recruit black and dual heritage adopters for the black and dual heritage children who are waiting longer for new families.

Applicants may be practising a faith or maybe nominal or non-practising or have no religion at all. You will be asked about this because if birth parents have requested that their child is raised in a particular faith, efforts will be made to meet their request.


We welcome applications from:

  • Married couples
  • Couples who have a civil partnership
  • Unmarried couples
  • Single people
  • Divorced people

When applying as a couple, the stability and length of the partnership will be considered – it’s important that adopted children are placed into secure and stable homes.

Regardless of your relationship status, it’s most important that the child is entering a stable and loving environment.

Domicile Status

If you are applying as a couple, at least one of you must be a resident of the British Isles or both of you have been ‘habitually resident’, which means that you have lived permanently in any part of the British Isles for at least one year ending with the date of the application. A court would not grant an adoption order to anyone who does not have 'leave to remain', or permission to stay in this country for a specific period of time, with your activities limited to the restrictions of your visa. For this reason, we would not be able to accept an application before this matter is resolved.

Single applicants must either be residents of the British Isles or have been ‘habitually resident’ in a part of the British Isles for at least one year before submitting an application.

Criminal offences

If you have a criminal conviction, this will not automatically prevent you from being considered as an adoptive parent.  Anyone wanting approval as adopters, and members of their household aged over 18, must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check - previously known as CRB checks. Having a conviction doesn't necessarily prevent you from being considered as an adoptive parent, but there are some ‘specified offences’ including some sexual offences and those against children, which will prevent you. We will discuss the results of the DBS check with you.

"From the very beginning we have been highly impressed with the level of professionalism, courtesy and deft touch with which everything has been handled. 

Every aspect has been so well thought through, looking at the process through the eyes of prospective adopters.

Thank you for all your support."

Adoption Focus adopter testimonial