Legally, you must:
- be over 21 (there is no upper age limit)
- have lived in the UK for longer than one year and intend to stay
- be clear of certain criminal convictions or cautions, particularly any for sexual or physical violence, or offences involving children. If you have a criminal record, please discuss this with us as it may not prevent you from adopting.
- You can be married, in a civil partnership, single or living with a partner of any gender.
- You need a spare room and to be living in either rented or your own accommodation.
- You need to be physically and emotionally well enough to keep up with a child throughout their childhood and beyond. You will need to have a health assessment with your GP.
- You need to have the financial means to look after a child and be able to take a period of adoption leave if you work (one person in a partnership). A low income won’t necessarily prevent you from adopting.
- You need to have ended fertility treatment and taken time to recover physically and emotionally.
- You must have been a non-smoker for at least six months.
- Any other children you have must be three or over.
- You must be willing to learn about a child’s past life experiences and how this may affect them as they grow up. If you have had a difficult early life yourself, this won’t necessarily prevent you from adopting.
- It helps if you have experience of looking after children.
- You need the time, skills and commitment to give a child a safe, stable and loving home.