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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about adoption.

Who can adopt?

You need to be over 21 and able to provide a permanent, stable and caring home. There is no upper age limit. You can be married, in a civil partnership or same sex relationship, single or divorced, in or out of work and of any race or religion. You need to be healthy enough to provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and beyond.

What sort of person do you have to be?

Determined, with lots of patience, humour and energy and able to build on a good support network. The type of person to make a real and positive difference to a child’s life.

Which children need adopting?

From babies and toddlers to school-age children, although there are very few babies under 12 months. It may be a child on their own, or brothers and sisters together. Many have complex backgrounds and may need a lot of extra time and attention. They may have experienced abuse or neglect in the past, have physical or learning disabilities and for some their future development may be uncertain or unknown.

What help will I get?

Our agency offers ongoing help especially during the first few years – there will be an Adoption Support Plan in place in respect of a child/children placed with you for adoption. We also offer a post adoption support service once the child has been adopted. You can request an assessment for adoption support at any time once a child has been placed with you.

How long will the adoption process take?

The time the process takes can vary, but on average those seeking to adopt can expect to wait a maximum of two years between the time they first apply to become adopters to when an adoption order in relation to the child placed with them is granted.

Will having a criminal record prevent me from being able to adopt?

If you have offences against children, you will not be able to adopt. All applicants will have agreed to a police check (DBS) being carried out prior to an assessment being undertaken. If you have a criminal record then the circumstances of the offence, the type of offence and how recently it was committed will all be taken in to consideration. The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2011 refers to specified offences that will preclude applicants from becoming adopters.

Will I have to stop work after adopting?

Children who are placed for adoption may have had a number of moves before they come to you. They need consistency and stability until they are well settled and therefore need an adoptive parent who can be with them on a regular basis. It would be wise to check out with your employer how flexible they can be and what your entitlement to leave would be. If you will be continuing to work, this needs to be discussed with your adoption worker at an early stage in the assessment.

Is there any financial help after the adoption?

Once an adoption order is granted, adoptive parents are entitled to any of the benefits that birth parents can claim.

Will an adopted child have difficult behaviour?

Many children placed for adoption have had difficult early lives and therefore may have some emotional difficulties that they express in their behaviour. It is important that you establish what help will be available to you as your child grows up although it is not always easy to predict what help you will need and when.