Our FAQs are designed to clear up confusion, and help dispel the myths around adoption…
Can I adopt a baby?
Yes, you can. While it’s true the majority of the children waiting to be adopted are over four years old, children are being placed with permanent families at a younger age as part of new early permanence arrangements. Early permanence placements allow babies and young children who may need adopting to be placed with families who can go on to adopt them, if that is decided to be the best option for them. Read more about our early permanence for babies and young children.
Can I adopt if I'm single?
Yes! Single people can adopt, both men and women. There is nothing unusual about single parenting – around a quarter of households in the UK with dependent children are headed by a single parent. At Coram, we support adopters from a whole range of different family types through the process, and we have helped lots of single people to succesfully adopt. If you are single and considering adopting, First4Adoption's handy factsheet 'Thinking of adopting if you are single' gives helpful information. Visit our section Who can adopt?, or watch single adopters Susan and Pamela tell their adoption stories.
Can I adopt if I'm gay or trans?
Yes! Coram has been supporting LGBT+ couples and individuals to adopt for many years. Adoption is open to people who can meet the needs of children waiting for adoptive families, and we welcome enquiries from all different types of adopters, from across the spectrum of sexuality or gender identity. Why not read our five facts on LGBT Adoption or watch our film of two dads Paul and Graham talking about adopting their sons.
Can I adopt if I'm over 40?
Yes, there is no upper age limit to adopt a child. If you have the health and energy to support a child as they grow up, into adulthood and beyond, we want to hear from you! Get in touch or come to one of our information events
Can I adopt if I am not, or my partner is not, a UK national?
Yes. We welcome enquiries from people who are UK residents, or who are domiciled in Britain. Please contact us if you are interested in adopting but are unsure about your status.
Can I adopt if I'm unemployed or on a low income?
Yes, you can. Your financial status and employment circumstances will be taken into consideration, but having a lower income or being unemployed won’t automatically rule you out, as long as you can provide a loving and secure home for a child. You don’t need to own your home, but you do need to be settled in secure accommodation which is suitable for a child. This will usually mean having a spare bedroom, as well as living somewhere you plan to remain for some time in order to ensure stability for a child. We look at every case based on your personal circumstances, so why not get in touch to discuss your circumstances.
I have health problems – will this affect my ability to adopt?
It depends. Our prime concern is that you have the necessary health and energy to meet the child's needs through to adulthood. Because of this, all prospective adopters and foster carers are required by statutory regulations to have a full medical examination. This would be carried out by your GP and reviewed by the adoption agency’s medical adviser, who will give an opinion on whether you are suitable to adopt. We are interested in any history of mental or emotional difficulties as well as in physical health, as all aspects of your health may impact on your ability to care for a child. Being an adoptive parent can be stressful as well as rewarding and we will explore during the assessment phase how you manage, or have managed, any health condition and how it could affect your ability to look after a child.
Can I adopt if I have a disability?
Yes, you can! Having a disability does not prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent, as long as you can meet the needs of the children waiting to be adopted.
Can I adopt if I have a mental health problem such as depression or anxiety?
Conditions such as depression or anxiety are not necessarily a barrier to adoption depending on your own personal history. However, it will be taken into consideration when you make your application, to ensure that you are able to meet the needs of a child.
How much does it cost to adopt a child?
Adoption agencies like Coram do not charge to assess or approve adopters. But prospective adopters will need to have medicals, which usually cost between £80 and £120. This fee is set by the GP and not by Coram.
There are no other direct costs involved in adoption but you may find you need to make lifestyle changes such as reducing your working hours, which will have an impact on your income.
When an adoption application is made to court, there is a one-off court fee. This fee applies to each child in a sibling group, however large. The local authority looking after the child usually covers the court fees on behalf of the adopters, and should also make a commitment to pay any additional legal fees or court costs, so this should not be a cost to you.