Who can adopt?

Four in 10 UK adults aged 21-60 do not know if they are eligible to adopt*. 

We welcome people with a whole range of backgrounds and life experiences, who are able to reflect and support the needs of the children waiting for adoption.  There are broad criteria to determine whether or not you can adopt, and you can read more about these below.  


What we’re really looking for is people who have the health and energy to support a child through to adulthood and beyond, and who have the motivation to persevere through difficult times. 


  • You can adopt if you are 21 or over (there is no upper age limit)
  • You can adopt if you are single
  • You can adopt if you are a couple who are married, in a civil partnership, or in committed, long-term relationship
  • You can adopt if you are heterosexual or LGBTQ+ - whether you’re an individual or couple
  • You can adopt if you are from any ethnic or religious background
  • You can adopt if you have children, or if you have none, some people adopt multiple times.
  • You can adopt whether or not your own or rent your home, you just need a spare bedroom for an adopted child
  • You can adopt if you are a non-smoker
  • You can adopt if you ended fertility treatment at least six months ago
  • You can adopt if you are a UK resident or have been domiciled in the UK for 12 months
  • You can adopt if you hold no criminal convictions against children
Mother and daughter smiling
Discover how you can adopt through us if you're single

For more information about who can adopt, read our Adoption FAQs page

If you are interested in adopting and live in the areas where we work, we'd love to hear from you. 

Do we cover your area?

Coram works across the whole of London as well as in surrounding areas. Find out if we cover your area:

Find out where we work

Next steps

Want to know more about adopting with Coram? Come along to one of our information events and meet our friendly adoption team.

Book onto an information event

We also recommend that you do as much preparation as possible, to find out if adoption is right for you. Find out more about the adoption process.


*Opinium survey of 2,006 adults (aged 21-60) between 10th – 15th January 2020