Could I adopt?
Far more people than you might think can adopt. We do not discriminate on the grounds of class, race, culture, sexual orientation or disability. Because there are so many people who can make excellent parents you should assume you will be considered.
The skills we look for in prospective adopters
We are not looking for perfect parents who haven't experienced any difficulties in life. In fact, we realise that people who have faced problems and worked through them are often stronger for the experience.
We need adopters who can:
- commit to providing a child with a safe, stable, secure and loving home into adulthood;
- take responsibility for the child – but also ask for support if needed;
- talk with children about adoption and continue to share information with them about their histories throughout their childhood;
- be sensitive to the child’s identity needs and any specific needs about culture and ethnicity;
- understand how it feels for a child to grow up in an adoptive family and how this may affect behaviour;
- accept and respect a child’s history;
- deal with change and think in a flexible way;
- manage and resolve conflict;
- maintain a sense of humour!
Criteria for adoptive parents
Calderdale Adoption Agency recognises adoptive parents as a valuable resource. We make every effort to find safe, secure adoptive homes for children which reflect their birth heritage and will meet their needs into adulthood. But children will not be left waiting indefinitely for a 'perfect' family that will meet all their needs.
We seek adopters from a range of backgrounds who can best meet a child's individual needs.
- Most children who need adoption are aged 2 years or older. We are particularly seeking adopters who can consider a child over the age of 2 years, a sibling group or a child with developmental uncertainty or a disability.
- Applicants must be over 21 years of age and mature enough to meet the demands of being a parent. There is no set upper age limit but applicants must be reasonably healthy and expect to stay fit enough to parent and be responsible for a child into adult life. We will consider the benefits of experience and maturity, alongside possible adverse effects of a large age gap when matching a child with prospective adopters.
- Applicants can be single, in a same gender partnership, married, civil partnered, living together or widowed. To be considered as potential adopters, applicants who are couples must be able to demonstrate stability and commitment. Couples need to have lived together for at least 2 years before considering adoption.
- Applicants may be childless, have birth, adopters or step children, or may have adult children who have left home. If there are already children in the household, we will take into account the effect on the whole family. If applicants have a child living with them, we recommend a gap of at least two years with the children already in the family being the eldest.
- Applicants must have finished fertility treatment / investigations into fertility at least 6 months prior to us taking up your application. Experience suggests that people usually will need this time to come to terms and adapt to their new situation before they are ready to progress their interest in adoption.
- Applicants who have experienced a bereavement of a close family member, for example a parent, partner or child, or if you have lost a baby during pregnancy, regardless of how long ago, we will need to consider if the time is right for you to proceed.
- Applicants can rent or own their own home. It is important that you have the physical space to parent a child. You will need to consider bedroom space, room for play and for privacy.
- If anyone in the household smokes, we will not normally place a child under the age of 5 years old or a child of any age with a medical condition that affects their heart and lung functions. This is in line with health guidance issued by the CoramBAAf| (BAAF).
- All applicants must be subject to a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. There are some offences and cautions which automatically bar you from adoption, for instance, domestic or sexual violence or any cautions or convictions against children. Checks required for adoption reveal ‘soft’ information and any history of surveillance as well as ‘spent’ convictions and cautions. Where any checks are unsatisfactory it will not be possible to proceed with the application. In these cases we are only permitted to disclose the specific reason to the person who has the conviction or caution.
- People who do not have a permanent residence in the UK cannot have an Adoption Order made in their favour in an English Court.
- The physical and mental health of prospective applicants is an important consideration, both in terms of life expectancy and having the energy to parent an adopted child who may be challenging. We will take guidance from the applicant's own GP and our Agency Medical Adviser.