Adoption FAQs

What is adoption?

Adoption is the legal process by which children who can no longer be cared for by birth parents or extended kinship carers formally and permanently join another family. When you adopt a child you become their legal parents, with the same rights and responsibilities as if they were born to you, so this is a life-long commitment. Additionally, adoption begins to restore to children the security and stability they need, ensuring they receive love and care as every child should.

Who can adopt?

Many people are able to adopt. Single people and couples can apply to adopt, as can people of any sexuality or gender identity, people from all faiths and none, those who own their own home and those who rent. Home for Good is not an adoption agency so we do not assess prospective adopters, but we support and journey with anyone exploring adoption and going through the assessment process.

Who can’t adopt?

There are very few things that exclude you from applying to adopt, but you do need to be over 21 and have a permanent home in the UK and have lived in the UK for at least a year before you apply. There is no upper age limit, although your age will be considered as part of the assessment, as will any criminal records you may hold.

Can I adopt if I am on benefits?

Yes, although social workers will need to ensure you can provide a stable environment for a child or children as they grow up. Being on a low income should not stop you from adopting if you can show you are able to meet a child’s needs both now and in the future.

Can I adopt with a disability or health issue?

This will be considered as part of your assessment but will not necessarily stop you from adopting. If you are adopting as a couple then you will be assessed together and your support network will also be considered. All potential adopters are required to have a full medical and explain how they manage any ongoing health issues, and if you have had a time of ill health then there may need to be period of recovery before your assessment.

Can I adopt after having birth children?

Yes! Generally you will need to wait a minimum of two years after having birth children before applying to adopt, and it is usually advised that you adopt children that are younger than your birth children so as to maintain the birth order. Your birth children will be considered as part of the assessment, and where appropriate, social workers may talk about it with them. Your parenting experience will likely be a strong asset to your application.

Can I adopt after having fertility treatments?

People come to adoption in many different ways and for some it is because they have been unable to conceive birth children naturally or through fertility treatment. This will likely have been an emotional, invasive and difficult process for you and may have been ongoing for a long time, so it is advised that you wait at least a year after completing any fertility treatment before applying to adopt, to allow you time to process this and prepare yourself for the adoption assessment. Throughout all these experiences we hope you are able to share your feelings and struggles with close friends, family and your church community, so you are supported with love and prayer.

Can we adopt if we’re newly married or just moved in together?

It’s so wonderful you’re considering adoption! There are no fixed rules about how long a couple has needed to live together before making an application to adopt, but some agencies and local authorities may advise that you need to have lived together for at least a year, and others may say two years. You can still register your interest and it is best to enquire and clarify this at the initial stage before you make an application.

Will my pet dog impact my application?

As long as your pet(s) does not pose any threat to a child’s health or safety this should not be a barrier to your application, although it is something your social worker will assess. In many cases, pets are actually a positive aspect of your family as they can be very therapeutic for children.

Can Christians adopt?

Home for Good has met hundreds of Christian adopters from all over the UK and for many their faith was seen as an asset because of their compassionate nature and the strong support network of the church community. It’s certainly not automatic that all Christians will be suitable adopters and therefore be approved, but neither should this be an immediate reason for refusal. If you have not been successful in a previous application we would suggest you ask for detailed feedback on the reasons for this.

Will I be able to share my faith with my adopted children and take them to church?

The children you adopt will be matched with you by social workers and they will take your faith into account during the matching process. You will need to support your children and consider how to engage them with faith and church in an age-appropriate way, and also keep in mind the child’s character and previous experiences – if they have never been to church you will need to introduce them carefully, especially if they are uncomfortable in large groups or with new people. As with any child it is important they are empowered to explore their own faith throughout their life and be able to make their own choices.

Will my views on certain issues prevent me from adopting?

Christians have varying views on a range of sensitive issues such as sexuality, gendered roles, discipline and other religions. It is important for you to think carefully about these subjects as social workers will need to discuss them with you. This is not because they are trying to challenge you, but because they need to know how your opinions and beliefs might impact a child in your care, and to ensure you will treat a child with unconditional love and respect. If you want to adopt as a couple you should talk about these things prior to meeting your social worker.

Should I tell my social worker that my faith is a motivating factor in wanting to adopt?

It is important that you are entirely honest with your social worker and they will be very keen to understand why you want to adopt. Therefore, if faith is a motivating factor it is important you explain this clearly, and in a way that it is easy for someone who might not have any experience of the Christian faith to understand. Home for Good has worked with many social workers, and the majority recognise that faith is a motivating factor and see that as a positive attribute to a Christian’s application.

Got more questions? Get in touch with our team.

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