Who can adopt?

Adoption support

We don’t look for specific types of people, we look for the skills and experience which make people suitable to adopt a child. We also provide training and support to build on the abilities you already have so it’s more about your potential than where you are now. We recognise that it’s not just children who grow: parents do too!

That being said there are some basic criteria you need to meet to be able to apply to adopt children:

  • You need to be at least 21 years of age
  • You need to have enough space in your home to provide for a child
  • If you have criminal convictions for most violent offences or any offences against children we will not be able to take your application forward

Smoking does not automatically rule you out from adopting. However, if you wish to adopt children under five and those with particular medical conditions you are likely to need to be smoke free for six months before making an application. Each circumstance will be risk assessed on an individual basis during the assessment process. If you are interested in adopting a child over five and smoke please discuss this with us.

We also ask that you have completed any fertility treatment, have given yourself time and now feel ready to consider adoption (please speak to us about your circumstances).

We are proactively seeking families from a wide range of backgrounds who can build trusting relationships with our children and meet their needs throughout life. If you'd like to discuss your circumstances and what you can offer a child, please get in touch or come along to an information event.

More answers around who can adopt are below - if you can't find the answer to your question, give our friendly team a call on 0345 0020012 .

Can I adopt if I am not married?

Yes, single people can adopt. An unmarried couple can also adopt.

Can I adopt if I work full-time?

Yes, as long as you have enough time to devote to meeting a child’s needs.

Can I adopt if I smoke?

Yes, although you will not be able to adopt children under the age of 5 years.

Can I adopt if I am unemployed?

Yes, we approve adopters regardless of their working or financial status, as long as you are able to provide a secure home.

Can I adopt if I don’t live in Doncaster?

Yes, we welcome applications from people who live outside of the town as some of our children are unable to remain in the Doncaster area.

Can I adopt if I already have children of my own?

Yes, your whole family will be included in your assessment, and your children will be consulted about what they think about adopting.

Can I adopt if I have a criminal conviction?

It depends on the conviction, when it was committed and how you have lived since. A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made on all applicants.

Can I adopt if I am gay or lesbian?

Yes, we are committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all our adopters. We are interested in assessing your ability to care for children not your sexuality. We have a number of gay and lesbian adopters in Doncaster.

Can I be too old to adopt?

No, there is no upper age limit. Older adopters often have the experience of bringing up their own children that can be useful when adopting. Some experience of children, whether professionally or within your family is essential.

Can I adopt if I am having fertility treatment or I am pregnant?

No, undergoing fertility treatment can be a difficult and emotional time and we feel that this is not the best time to introduce a child through adoption into a home. If your treatment is unsuccessful then we will consider you 6 months after your last treatment cycle. If you are pregnant or have recently had a child, we don’t think that it is suitable for you to adopt at the present time.

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