Can I adopt?
We welcome people who already have children and the parenting experience that you bring. We will help you with the differences around adoptive parenting.
For adopters who are already parents, there will need to be an age gap of at least two years between the youngest child already in your family and your adopted child, at the time of application, (with the adopted child needing to be the youngest in the family).
You don’t need to own your own home - as long as your home is suitable for caring for a child, it does not matter if you own or rent it. You’ll just need to show us that you have enough room to care for a child in a safe and secure environment.
Yes you can adopt a child if you're single. You'll need to be able to demonstrate that you have a close network of people around you who will support you practically and emotionally in your parenting.
What’s important is that your relationship is strong and supportive. Your sexual orientation is not a factor in your application or suitability to adopt. We welcome adopters of any sexuality whether single or looking to adopt jointly with their partner.
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.
All children who are moving from one family to another will take time to feel safe and to trust their new family.
Therefore, you will need to be able to take adoption leave to be at home for a minimum of nine months, but ideally more, to help your child learn to trust that you will be there for them no matter what before they have to manage childcare or school.
Yes, you can. Having a disability does not prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent.
As with any applicant, you'll just need to demonstrate you can meet the needs of the children waiting to be adopted.
There are clear guidelines in relation to adoption about smoking and agencies are reluctant to place a child under the age of 5 years old with a parent who smokes. We would strongly advise anyone who smokes to give up prior to enquiring so that by the time the assessment is complete there is evidence of a sustained period of abstinence.
We would be happy to put you in touch with various cessation programmes available across Suffolk. With regards to vaping it is acknowledged that this is a useful tool in giving up smoking and whilst we would consider adopters who vape we would again strongly advise that giving up is the best long-term plan. With both smoking and vaping it is important that carers are aware of the aspect of modelling this behaviour for children.
Are you still undergoing fertility treatment? If so, this will need to have come to an end before you apply to adopt.
You’ll need to be aged 21 or over to adopt. There’s no upper age limit, as long as you’re able to meet the physical and emotional demands of caring for your child’s needs, now and throughout their childhood.
We look for adopters who can show an understanding of children’s needs and development. If you do not already have experience of childcare, we will offer advice and help on what to do to increase this.
We welcome enquiries from people who are UK residents, or who are domiciled in the United Kingdom.
To adopt in England, you must be a legal resident in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, and have been so for at least 12 months.
UK citizens living abroad cannot adopt a child from the UK. EU nationals can consider adopting a child in the UK so long as you and your partner have a fixed and permanent home in the UK and that you (and your partner, if you have one) have lived in the UK for at least 1 year.
You’ll be free of any criminal convictions involving children or vulnerable adults or violence. Although offences against children immediately prohibit a person from adopting a child, other convictions are considered on an individual basis. We will look at the circumstances around any offence and think with you about whether this is relevant to parenting.
Got any other questions? Then get in touch with our team and discuss your own unique circumstances.
Adoption can be physically and emotionally demanding, and this is why age, health and lifestyle of applicants are all considered as part of the assessment process.
Talk to us today
Many people contact us because they want to know if they’re able to adopt and whether they meet the criteria – we’d always welcome a discussion with you to best understand your own unique set of circumstances – so get in touch to find out more.