Can I adopt?

rear view of two dads walking with girl child in autumn countryside
Since our daughter came to join our family, life has changed in so many ways and our dream has finally come true."
- Adam

Adoption is a way of becoming the legal parent of a child who cannot live with their birth family.

Many people can adopt.  You can adopt if you:

  • are over 21 - there is no upper age limit
  • are married, single or living with a partner of any gender
  • have somewhere to live – whether rented or owned
  • are in reasonable health - being overweight or having previously had an illness won’t necessarily prevent you adopting
  • have enough energy to care for a child during their dependent years
  • have finished any fertility treatment that may have been started
  • have been a non-smoker for six months – if you want to adopt a child 5 years or under, or a child with a specific health issue
  • have lived in the UK for at least a year
  • have children, your youngest child must be at least 3 years old or over

A low income, criminal record or difficult early life won’t necessarily prevent you adopting.

We're an inclusive agency and welcome all parts of the community, we value difference and diversity and strive to create a safe environment to promote full participation.”
- Essex Adoption Service

You can also visit Adoption England, a national initiative that provides information, advice and support for people considering adoption and adoptive parents.