Adoption is a way of providing the security, permanency and the love of a new family when it is not possible for a child to be raised by his/her birth parents or within the birth family.

After adoption, all rights and responsibilities are transferred from the original parents to the adoptive parents.

The child assumes the surname of the new parents, receives an adoption certificate to replace their birth certificate and becomes a permanent and full member of the new family.

We believe that the stability of a forever family gives children the best possible chance of realising their full potential.

Adopting a child means committing to that child for life. It's a way of making a real difference to them, by giving them the love, stability and safe nurturing environment every child deserves.

Find out more on the Adopt South West website

Training and support will be provided to help you prepare for adoption and this support is continued for as long as you feel it is needed.

Can I adopt?

There is no such thing as the 'ideal' or 'perfect' adoptive family

We are interested in what you have to offer a child who needs adopting rather than your marital status, finances, whether you own a house or already have children.

You don't have to follow any religion and people from all ethnic origins are needed.

Disabled people are not excluded and often experience of disability will be positively welcomed.

So, take a look below, and discover if your answer is "Yes, I can adopt!"

Age

Adopters need to be over 21 but there is no upper age limit.

We will expect you to have the health and vitality to see your children through to an age of independence.

Marital status

Married or unmarried couples (including same-sex), couples in civil partnerships and single people can apply to adopt.

The stability and permanency of any relationship you are in is our only concern.

Finances

Your financial circumstances and employment status will always be considered as part of an adoption assessment, but low income, being unemployed or employed do not automatically rule you out. You can be an adoptive parent while on benefits.

Accommodation

You can adopt whether you rent or own your own home.

Your home must be secure and in a suitable condition for children to live in and have the space to accommodate a child.

Do you already have children?

It is a great asset to have had experience of looking after children when applying to adopt so having children of your own will certainly not exclude you from adopting, whether they are living at home with you or have grown up.

Consideration will, however, be given to the age gap between your own children and the age of the child(ren) you wish to adopt.

Any birth children in the family will need to be at least two years old. This is because an adopted child needs to be the youngest in the family, often by a couple of years.

Religion and ethnicity

You can be of any religion or ethnicity.

We will 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.

Disability

Being disabled will not automatically exclude anyone from becoming an adopter and it is recognised that people with disabilities are able to provide a very loving home for a child.

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.

If you have a medical condition, please let us know as early as possible.

Criminal background

If you have been convicted of serious offences such as offences against children, murder, serious sexual offences or serious fraud then you will not be able to adopt.

With the exception of these specified offences, a criminal record will not necessarily rule you out. The key is to be totally honest in your application.

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks will be undertaken during the application process.

Find out more on the Adopt South West website

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