Frequently Asked Questions

Here you'll find the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.
If you've got a question that's not answered below, get in touch and we'll answer your question.

What skills will I need to adopt?

We look for adopters who are likely to be able to offer children the support they need and have the resilience to stick with a child for the long term.

Is there a national helpline that provides information about adoption?

First4Adoption is the dedicated information service for people interested in adopting a child in England. First4Adoption give clear and impartial information about adopting.

What is meant by fostering for adoption?

Fostering for adoption is used for babies and children who are in local authority care where the plan is likely to be adoption, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family. The majority of children go on to be adopted. Visit Devon, Plymouth,  Somerset or Torbay’s local authority adoption website for more information on fostering for adoption.

Would I be considered if I have had fertility treatment (IVF)?

Yes, you can be considered for adoption after having fertility treatment. However, we do recommend a time gap of at least 12 months after treatment is finished before you apply to adopt. You are likely to have been through an emotional experience and you need time to adjust and to consider the implications of adoption carefully.

Do I have to live in Devon, Torbay or Plymouth to be considered by Adopt South West agencies?

No we welcome applications from people from outside our area.

Does my criminal history need to be checked?

Yes. Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (previously CRB checks) will be undertaken during the application process. Minor offences would not prevent you being approved, but offences that have affected the safety and stability of a child will be taken very seriously and may prevent you from adopting.

We are not married does that matter?

No We are more interested in what you have to offer a child who needs adoption than your marital status.

I am working is that a problem?

No, you just need time left over to give time to an adopted child.

How many adoption agencies can you approach?

You can go to any adoption agency  information meeting you like, it doesn’t tie you into registering with that agency, you can then submit a registration of interest to any agency once you have been to a meeting.  But you can only submit a registration of interest to one adoption agency at a time.

Is there a agency in the UK that represents the views of adopters?

Adoption UK is the leading charity providing support, awareness and understanding for those parenting or supporting children who cannot live with their birth parents.

I’m in a same-sex relationship, would that prevent me from adoption?

Not at all. We welcome applications from a wide range of people whatever their sexual orientation.

I’m single, can I adopt?

Yes. You can be assessed regardless of marital status. Married or unmarried couples, single people and couples in civil partnerships can apply to adopt. The stability and permanency of any relationship you are in is our only concern and will be assessed.

Would I be prevented from adopting because of my religion?

Not at all. Religion is not a determining factor in considering a person for adoption. We will of course take any religious beliefs into consideration when placing a child to ensure any placement meets with the beliefs of both child and parents, where required.

We already have our own birth children, does that mean we can’t adopt?

'No. You are eligible to adopt if you have your own birth children. You can also be considered for adoption if you foster children. Whether or not you have had birth children, it is a great asset to have had experience of looking after children when applying to adopt.

Am I too old to adopt?

No. The only legal age limit in place is that you have to be 21 years old to be considered as an adopter. There is no upper age limit, but age is one factor which will be taken into consideration when looking at providing a stable and loving home environment. We have many adopters in their late 40's and 50’s and some into their 60’s.

I am not working is that a problem?

There is no such thing as the ‘ideal’ or ‘perfect’ adoptive family. We are more interested in what you have to offer a child who needs adoption than your income level or whether you are on benefits.

I’ve got a long term health condition, would that stop me from adopting?

No. Your general health or any disability you may have must still enable you to meet the challenges our children may bring. Your health will be assessed on this basis. Adopters with disabilities are welcome to be assessed since their experiences often mean they have gained essential skills ideal for parenting, such as strength and determination.

I live in rented accommodation does that matter?

No Your house just needs to be in a suitable condition for children to live in.