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Who can adopt a child?

We are always keen to hear from potential adopters for our children. There are many myths about who cannot be considered. However we do need you to be:

  • 21 or over
  • a UK resident
  • free from certain criminal convictions, particularly those involving children or violence.

There's no upper age limit as long as you are fit enough to cope as the children grow up, and if you have minor criminal convictions we look at each case on its merit and check if you are now living a different life.

If you already have children we are happy to talk with you about adoption.

We also have some specific requirements, namely that:

  • You live in Surrey, or are willing to consider a child from one of our priority groups (children aged over four, those who have significant health and/or development needs, are in large sibling groups or are black or minority ethnic children).
  • You have completed any fertility treatment at least six months before starting stage 1.
  • You can be a parent at home for at least six months, ideally longer after you adopt, to help your child settle and feel stable.
  • You are in good health and can meet your child's physical and emotional needs, now and in the future. We will ask for a medical to double-check this.
  • You are a non smoking household if you hope to adopt a child aged 0 to five, and any smoking in a household adopting an older child is reduced to a minimum or stopped altogether. (If you have recently stopped smoking hoping to adopt a child aged 0 to five, in accordance with guidance from the British agencies for adoption and fostering, we would ask you to have maintained this for a minimum of 12 months before applying.)
  • If in a relationship this is settled and enduring. Your relationship does not have to be a legally recognised one and can be a same or different sex partnership. What's important is that if you are in a relationship it's strong and supportive.
  • You are settled in your home and community with no moves or major building works planned and have accommodation suitable for a child.
  • You can demonstrate understanding of children's needs and development.

Files available to download