Adoption Focus believes that all children have the right to a loving, safe and stable family life. We want to encourage as many people as possible to come forward as potential adopters to help make this difference to a child’s life.
Adoptive families may not be experienced parents, but they do need to have had some experience of children and to have the ability to parent someone else’s child. If you don't have much experience with children, you need to consider how you could achieve this. For example, you could volunteer at a playgroup, school or activity group, or look after your friends’ children or care for them over a weekend.
It is also important to think about why you want to be a parent, what you can offer a child and what you hope to gain through adoption.
The right time for you is when you are ready to adopt. We would ask you to consider the following factors when making your decision:
- Will my age be a problem?
- Your home environment
- Existing family
- Your finances
- How long is the adoption process?
"She jumped into my arms shouting ‘Mummy’!
Best. Moment. Ever.
It wouldn’t have happened without the support of Adoption Focus."
Adoption Focus adopter testimonial
Will my age be a problem?
Legally, you must be over the age of 21 in order to adopt. There is no upper age limit. However, when considering how you are going to meet the needs of a child throughout their childhood and into adulthood, you do need to consider your health and energy levels, and to think about the types of children you could consider adopting.
Your home environment
As part of the process of getting started with adoption, one of our specialist adoption social workers will come and visit you in your home.
You don't have to be a homeowner, but you do need to be settled in your home e.g. secure tenancy; affordable mortgage, and it must be safe for a child to live in. You will be considered for adoption if you are happy to make space in your life and home for a child and can provide a stable and loving environment. Local authorities would normally expect you to have a spare bedroom.
Your children’s needs and their attitude to the adoption would need to be considered. This includes considering the children living with you, as well as those who live with a previous partner. You should also consider that children placed for adoption would usually be younger than any children already in the family.
Children need security and stability, and they need you to be available for them. Financial difficulties will impact on your ability to parent. It is important that you manage your finances well and can adapt to the financial demands arising from parenting, for example, a reduction in income if your working hours need to be reduced.
How long is the adoption process?
The adoption process is a two-stage process and can take up to a year. Here’s a brief summary:
- Stage One involves registration, initial checks and references and takes two months. After successful completion of Stage One, applicants may take a break of up to six months before commencing Stage Two.
- Stage Two can take up to four months and involves further training and assessment with an allocated social worker. It is complete when the recommendation of the Adoption Panel is verified by the Agency Decision Maker. Once approved, family finding will begin.