Adoption makes a real difference to a child’s life. You provide a secure, loving home to a child or children for life, secured through a court order. Like all parenting, it means sticking with it through good times and bad. It’s one of the most challenging, but also one of the most rewarding, things you can do.
Who can adopt?
You need no specific qualifications, and we would love to hear from you whether you are single or married, have children or not. Our adopters are from all backgrounds, genders, nationalities, religions and ages.
If you decide to adopt a child, we will also consider:
- Your health – your medical health will be checked as part of the process. Not all disabilities will stop you from adopting.
- If you have children – we will discuss with you how you will meet the needs of an adoptive child as well as your existing children. Your children’s thoughts about adoption are also important.
- If you have a partner – you must have lived together for at least two years. We will assess your relationship to make sure the child has a loving and stable home.
- If you smoke – there are significant health risks of smoking and passive smoking. It is unlikely that we will place a young child in a home where there are smokers.
- Your criminal record - we will do a police check as part of the process. Not all criminal convictions will stop you from adopting, but we will not consider people with a history of sexual offences and/or cruelty to children.
What happens next?
A social worker will arrange an initial visit where you will find out a lot more about what will happen if you wish to go ahead.
If your enquiry goes ahead, you will attend a preparation course. A social worker will also visit you and your family over a period of time to assess your suitability. They will complete a home study report in partnership with you.
The home study report will go to the Adoption and Permanence Panel. The panel is made up of people with knowledge of adoption from different professional backgrounds, including social work, education, paediatric medicine and the law. The panel is chaired independently by a child placement consultant from Scottish Adoption.
You will be invited to attend part of the meeting to discuss your application.
The panel makes a recommendation about your application, which goes to the Council's 'Decision Maker'. They will decide within 14 days.
Your decision to adopt could change a child's life and yours.