We welcome applications from people who are:
It is important that adopters can offer a safe, stable and loving home throughout childhood and beyond. To enable us to assess this we would need to discuss with applicants the following issues at an early stage:
Adopters need to have energy and to have the expectation of being able to care for their adopted child throughout childhood and to continue providing support into young adulthood. There is a statutory requirement for adoptive applicants to have a medical examination by their GP, which is considered by our Medical Advisor.
If there is a significant risk that an applicant may not be able to care for a child throughout their dependent years, the Medical Advisor will seek further information about the medical issues and the implications for a child's future care and security.
We do not exclude applicants on the basis of smoking, but given the known medical risks of passive smoking for young children, we would discuss this with applicants. Children under five years of age and those with respiratory conditions will not be placed in smoking households.
We advise applicants to complete investigations and treatment and feel emotionally ready to move on before applying to adopt a child. This is because of the emotional stress involved in fertility treatment and the need for applicants to be ready to devote their energies to adoption.
If applicants are disabled we may need to discuss with them what support they may need to care for an adopted child.
Applicants do not need to be well off and may be on benefits, but we do need to discuss finances with them to be sure they could manage the responsibility of a child. Financial assistance may be paid under certain circumstances where it is considered that an adoption would not otherwise be possible or practical for a child. Financial assistance might be paid to help adopters cope with the costs involved for caring for a group of siblings or a child with special needs.
We are required by law to discuss with applicants if they have a criminal record and whether this raises concerns about their suitability to be a parent through adoption. All applicants have to have Criminal Records Bureau and other statutory checks underaken..
No convictions are regarded as "spent" for the purpose of adoption. Criminal Records Bureau checks will record all past convictions,cautions and bindovers.
Applicants will not be automatically excluded if they have had problems with the law but we need to understand the circumstance at the time and any likely implications for the future. Violent offences will generally disqualify applicants unless there are very special circumstances.
All these criteria are designed to protect the welfare of children. We want to be open with potential adopters about these criteria and we are always willing to discuss them with applicants and consider how they apply to individual circumstances.