Frequently asked questions

Many people are put off the idea of adoption because they think their personal circumstances will prevent them from being accepted. Here are some of the questions we are asked about adoption.

Can I adopt if I am single?

Yes, you can adopt if you are single, in a civil partnership, married or in a stable long-term relationship. Many single people can create a strong family alone. You will need to consider and assess whether you can cope with the extra demands of being a single parent. Having a one-to-one relationship can benefit some children and we are happy to discuss this with you.

Will my sexual orientation mean I can’t adopt?

Your sexual orientation is not a factor in your application, assessment or suitability to adopt. We welcome adopters of any sexuality.

Can I adopt if I already have a child?

Yes, already having birth children or children in your care will not prevent you from adopting. However, as part of the assessment we would take the needs of the other children into consideration and the age gap between your own child/children and the age of the child/children you wish to adopt. Usually we would ask for an age gap of around two years between an adopted child and other children and often an adopted child will be the youngest. However, please discuss this with us.

Can I adopt a child from a different ethnic background?

Yes, we aim to find loving families for all the children in our care, even if ethnicity is not a perfect match. Ethnicity is relevant though and you will need to have an understanding of the challenges that raising a child of a different ethnicity may present. We can help prepare you where this is relevant.

Am I too old to adopt?

You need to be at least 21 years of age to adopt but there is no upper age limit. However, you should bear in mind that you will need the energy and well-being to raise a child to adulthood and this may be taken into consideration during your assessment.

Can I adopt if I have a criminal conviction?

You can adopt if you have a criminal record. However, if you have criminal convictions for most violent offences or any offences against children we will not be able to take your application forward. A full Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check takes place during the first stage of the assessment so it is important to be open and honest with us.

If I smoke can I adopt?

Smoking does not automatically rule you out from adopting. However, if you wish to adopt a child under five or a child with particular medical conditions, you are likely to need to be smoke-free for six months before making an application (this includes e-cigarettes and vaping). If you are considering adopting a child over five and smoke, please discuss this with us.

How does having fertility treatment affect my application to adopt?

You can adopt if you have undergone fertility treatment. However, we recognise that the process of fertility treatment can be an emotionally challenging time. We would ask that you have completed any fertility treatment and given yourself enough time to come to terms with your feelings and are fully ready to consider adoption. Please speak to us about your circumstances.

Is adoption appropriate after the loss of a child?

If you’ve recently experienced the trauma of a lost pregnancy or the bereavement of a child we would recommend that you give yourself enough time to come to terms with your feelings and are fully ready to consider adoption. Please speak to us about your circumstances.

Does my employment situation affect whether I can adopt?

You can adopt if you work full time, part time, are unemployed or on a low income. We consider people who can offer a child a loving home regardless of their working or financial status. Your circumstances will be considered as part of the assessment process. If you work, it is worth bearing in mind that one person (you/your partner) will usually be expected to take extended time off work, when your child first arrives.

Can I adopt if I am disabled?

Yes, you can apply to adopt if you have a disability or health issue so don’t rule yourself out before having a conversation with our friendly team. Everyone who applies to adopt is asked to undergo a full medical and support is available for people wishing to adopt who may need some additional assistance.

Can I adopt if I live outside the Yorkshire and Humber area?

Yes, if you live within travelling distance of one of our local authority offices, we welcome your interest.

Can I adopt if I don’t own my own home?

It does not matter if you own or rent the home you live in, you can still adopt. You need to show us that you have enough room to care for a child, in a safe and secure environment.

Do I need a spare room for a child? 

You need to show us that you have enough room to care for a child, in a safe and secure environment.

Can I adopt if I have pets?

We would need to ensure that any pets you own do not pose a threat to children’s health or safety. Some children suffer from allergies which prevent placement with certain pets. We may need advice or a report from a vet.

Do I have to have previous experience with children?

No, we offer training and support for adopters to help build a trusting relationship with a child and meet their needs throughout life.

 Can I adopt my partner’s child?  

If you are interested in adopting your partner’s child you will need to contact your local authority and talk to children's services.

How can I adopt through an Early Permanence Placement (EPP)? 

If you are interested in adopting through the EPP route please contact One Adoption in your region.

Can I adopt a child I am fostering? 

If you would like to adopt the child you are fostering please speak with your social worker.

Can I adopt a child from another country?

If you are interested in adopting a child from overseas (intercountry adoption) please contact the Yorkshire Adoption Agency  

How does the adoption process work? 

To find out more about the steps to adoption please see routes to adoption or download our adoption step-by-step leaflet.

 

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