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Can I Adopt?

Who Can Adopt? Here Are Our Requirements...

Adoption is a wonderful choice and a rewarding journey to take. At Blackpool Council Adoption Services, we welcome adoption applications from all walks of life with the hope to find our children their forever families.

At the forefront of our work is the wish to ensure the health, happiness and well-being of adopted children throughout the North West region.

So we do ask that all prospective adoptive families who want to adopt, meet the following requirements in order to ensure that our children are welcomed into stable, forever families that are capable of giving them the love and support that they need.


The requirements for adopting a child are for you to be over 21, happy to make space in your life and home for a child, be patient, flexible, energetic and most importantly, determined to make a real difference to a child’s future - for a lifetime.

Read on for more details on our requirements. You can also request a free information pack online containing everything you need to know about adopting a child with us. 

  • Your Age

Whilst you must be over 21 to adopt, there is no upper age limit. Your age or health doesn’t exclude you from adopting, although you do need to be fit enough to cope with the lifelong demands of parenting.

  • Legal/Immigration Status

To adopt in England you must legally be a resident in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, and have been so for at least 12 months. UK Citizens living abroad cannot adopt from the UK.

  • You’ve Had Fertility Treatment

We ask that you have stopped fertility treatment and completed any medical investigations at least 6 months before you start to consider the adoption process. This gives you time to think and decide if you are ready and committed to become parents and adopt a child.

  • Your Health and Wellbeing

Although you should be generally in good health, having a long term health condition, impairment or disability may not prevent you from adopting. Everyone has to have a medical examination and health issues will need to be explored.

We’ll take into account additional factors and explore your parenting capacity and experience, your understanding of children’s needs and ability to support a child. We place more value on what you can offer a child.

  • You’re a Smoker

Smoking is bad for your health and the health of those around you, so it goes without saying that we will assess the impact your smoking will have on the health of a child who will be placed in your care.  

We will not place a child under 5 or a child who has breathing difficulties or chest problems with you if you smoke. If you want help and support to stop smoking, then we can help point you in the right direction to agencies that can assist you with this process. Please see the updated recommendation from BAAF regarding E-Cigarettes by clicking here.

  • Your Relationship Status and Sexual Orientation

We do not preclude potential adopters based on their relationship status or sexual orientation. Our adopters include individuals, couples who are married, in a civil partnership, or living together. We welcome same gender applicants.

You can adopt either as an individual or jointly with your partner. All we ask is that if you are in a relationship, you have been together for at least two years and have been living together for at least twelve months - this it to ensure you can provide a stable and secure family environment for the child you adopt.

  • You Already Have a Family

We welcome applications from families who already have children. Consideration will, however, be given to the age gap between your own children and the age of the child you wish to adopt and the position of each child within the family in accordance with their needs. We’ll happily work with you and your family to make sure all of you are prepared and ready for your new arrival.

  • Your Home

You do not need to own your own property but your home accommodation should be of a suitable size and standard for a child. An adoptive child is usually expected to have their own bedroom, unless they are joining an already adopted birth sibling of their own gender.  A Health and Safety Assessment of your accommodation will also be carried out as part of the assessment process.

  • Your Financial Situation

Your income or financial situation is not a determining factor of the adoption process. However, you will need to demonstrate that caring for and raising a child will not cause you financial hardship. In certain circumstances financial support may be provided.

  • Your Criminal Record

Having previous convictions will not necessarily prevent you from adopting. If you have a criminal caution or conviction for any offences against children or sexual offences against adults then you will not be able to adopt. You must disclose any police cautions and criminal convictions when you begin the process.

  • Your References

We will ask you to provide us with a number of personal referees, including a family member. We will contact some or all of these referees and include written reports from these interviews when preparing the Prospective Adopters Report.

  • You’re Ready to Continue

When you have contacted us we will call you back within 5 days and arrange to visit you in your own home. After receiving information about adoption you will need to formally register your interest with us in order to enter ‘Stage One’ of the approval process. This is known as the ‘Registration of Interest Form’.

We will then decide within 5 working days from receipt of your registration of Interest (unless there are exceptional circumstances) whether or not to accept your registration.

If we do not accept your registration of interest we will write to you and tell you why.

Did You Know…?

  • If you are over 21 you could be considered for adoption no matter your age, sexuality, relationship or financial status
  • Having a disability, health condition or criminal record would not necessarily prevent you from being able to adopt
  • You can read about what the adoption process entails, and what to expect at each stage. 

If you want to know more about adoption, then simply call us 01253 477888 or fill in the contact us form to request a free call-back or information pack

We look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions about adoption.

Do you need more information?

Start the conversation by giving us a call on 01253 477888 or alternatively, request a free callback and we'll be in touch with you as soon as possible, within 5 working days.

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