Can I Adopt?
All enquiries about adopting will be considered regardless of your gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion or relationship status. ACE recognises that there are lots of different relationships and families, who may or may not already have children, who can provide a stable, loving and secure home for a child who needs to be adopted.
You can apply to adopt a child if:
- You are over 21 years of age. There is no upper age limit but we need to ensure that you have a reasonable expectancy of being able to care for the child until they reach independence.
- You have some experience of caring for children.
- You live within or just outside the four local authority areas, within the Midlands area, or can travel in order to attend preparation and training events.
- You are married, in a civil partnership, single, divorced or living with a partner. If you are in a relationship you will need to have been living together for over two years and have referees who know you both individually and as a couple.
- You have concluded fertility investigations. If you are currently undergoing fertility treatment it may not be the ideal time to pursue an adoption enquiry. However it can be an ideal time to gather information about the adoption process to consider all of your options. Where the reasons for childlessness are unknown you will need to have considered your contraception options.
- You have satisfactory references. If you have any criminal convictions or cautions at any time you will need to inform us of these at the beginning of the application process.
- You are physically and mentally fit for the task. If you have any concerns about your health, it is better to raise this with us early in the process.
- You (or one of you if a couple) are in a position both financially and through your employment to take a minimum of 6 months adoption leave. We would also expect your work commitments to be flexible enough to meet the needs of the child at any time.
- You can be of any ethnicity or religion.
- You should either be ‘domiciled’ in the UK or ‘habitually resident’ for one year prior to applying for an Adoption Order.
- You have good support networks. You will need to demonstrate that you have accessible, established support networks of family or friends who will be in a position to support you in your parenting, both emotionally and practically.
- You are prepared to complete our preparation and training groups and undergo a home study assessment which will involve openly reflecting on your life experiences to date and your relationships.
What qualities do I need to be an adoptive parent?
All sorts of people can make a success of adoption. It doesn’t matter whether you are married or single, in or out of work, or whatever your race, religion or sexuality. But you do need plenty of patience, humour and energy – children are demanding. Most importantly, you need to be determined to give a child or children the sort of support that will really make a difference to their lives. You may find the Adopter’s Checklist a good guide to what you need.
The Adopters Checklist:
- Your marriage/partnership and/or support network of family and friends is strong and secure;
- You genuinely like children and enjoy their company;
- You can tolerate, understand and deal with difficult behaviour without blaming or taking this personally;
- You can be satisfied with small achievements and accept that children may take a long time to show love and trust;
- You have an awareness of issues of discrimination;
- You are prepared to accept a child’s past history as a part of their identity which needs to be kept alive. This may include some form of ongoing contact with the child’s birth family;
- You understand that adoption is a different form of parenting than caring for your own birth children;
- You can recognise your own limitations and are able to ask for help;
- You, or one of you, if you are a couple, are in a position to take several months adoption leave in order to consolidate a child’s placement with you, (both financially and from your employment).