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Related frequently asked questions
You need to be at least 21 years old to adopt.
You need to have enough space in your home to provide your adopted child with their own bedroom. You may own your own home, rent from the local authority or rent privately - what is more important is that you are able to offer space for your adopted child which meets his or her needs.
No. You should enjoy being with children and have a stable lifestyle but you don't need any special qualifications to adopt a child.
You will need the same skills you would need to parent a birth child, as well as some extra knowledge and skills to enable you to meet the additional needs of your adopted child. We offer you advice, training and continued support to help you build up the knowledge and skills you need. You can find more about this on the Things to think about page
We go through an assessment process to make sure you are ready to adopt. The assessment process can be demanding and feel intrusive, but there are good reasons why we explore everything in depth with you in this way. Adoption is for life and we must be sure you are right for the role. Just as importantly, you must be certain that adoption is right for you and that you can make a success of it.
As well as talking to you about your life, how adoption will impact on you and your family and whether adoption is right for you, we carry out some essential checks. These include Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, address checks and health checks.
If a conviction is disclosed, we will need to discuss this with you. Certain convictions, such as offences against children and offences of violence, will prevent us proceeding with an application. If you have any questions about this, please contact us.
We need to be as sure as we can be that you'll be able to care for a child through to adulthood, so we ask that you have a medical examination and discuss your health and wellbeing with us. This doesn't mean you can't adopt if you have health issues, it just means we will need to assess your long-term wellbeing.
If you've had IVF treatment we will ask you to wait 12 months or more after it finishes before you start the adoption process.