Becoming the legal guardians for children who can no longer live with their birth parents


About Adoption

We have children in our care, many of whom have already spent time with temporary foster carers, who now need the security and stability of an adoptive family home. Children of all ages can be placed for adoption and where possible we will keep brothers and sisters together. Where this is not possible we make plans for them to keep in touch with each other.

A child’s journey to adoption may have been difficult and this can affect their behaviour, health and emotional well-being. Many people may find this a challenge but our team of experienced professionals will support you throughout, helping to guide you through the challenges to discover the many rewards of adoption.

Our Ask

We will accept an application from you if you are:

  • over 21 (for children 0-2 the upper age limit of the youngest partner is 39 ½. For all other children there is no upper limit but your age should be appropriate to age and needs of the child you hope to adopt)
  • single, married, part of a civil partnership, living together, or in a same sex relationship
  • in the case of couples, in an enduring family relationship where you have lived together for at least two years before enquirin
  • fit and healthy (Caring for children can be challenging physically, mentally and emotionally. The health and lifestyle of applicants is given careful consideration.)
  • a non-smoker if you are caring for children under the age of 5 (Our requirement is that you must have stopped smoking for a year before you can adopt. This includes the use of e-cigarettes.)

Unfortunately, we can’t accept applications if you’re waiting for, or undergoing, fertility treatment. Adoption is an emotive process and we ask that you wait six months after completing fertility treatment before enquiring about adoption.

As an adopter, you are the child’s second family and this might mean maintaining links with the child’s birth family. Through this you will help the child grow up knowing they are adopted and have a birth family they may wish to meet in the future. You should note that there could be legal uncertainties up to the adoption being granted in Court.

If you make an enquiry about adopting, a member of our Children’s Carers Team will visit you to find out more about you and provide details about preparatory groups and the assessment process. The assessment is carried out using a competency based approach which allows you to demonstrate your existing skills and knowledge.

The Assessment

  • Visits to your home
  • Individual interview
  • Statutory checks including health and police
  • References from people who know you including a family member
  • References from any significant partner and a reference from an employer where appropriate

Supporting You

An experienced member of our team will guide and support you throughout your adoption journey. This will include providing training, support and advice at each stage of the process.

Adoptive parents will usually meet the cost themselves of legal expenses to adopt a child. When we are considering placing a child with you for adoption you should contact a solicitor at the earliest opportunity to make enquiries about adoption and the costs involved. An adoption that is not contested is likely to cost around £1,500. In some circumstances we may be able to assist with legal costs and will always consider this when the adoption is contested.

Every child placed for adoption will have an Adoption Support Plan tailored to their individual needs. In some circumstances we will consider the payment of an adoption allowance following the placement of a child. This is a payment that we make to cover the costs of caring for a child who is part of a large sibling group or a child whose needs require extra expenditure.

Overseas Adoption

If you wish to be considered for adopting a child from overseas we will make a charge for the work that we do in connection with this. We will discuss this charge with you during the process.