Could you adopt a child?
All sorts of people make a success of adoption. You can be in a relationship or single, straight or gay, working or unemployed, a homeowner or renting, a parent or childless, and from any ethnic background.
There are just a few conditions you have to meet:
You should be at least 21 years old
There's no upper age limit, but you'll need to be healthy enough to see a child safely into adulthood, many years into the future.
You need a spare room. But if you haven't got one now, there's no harm reading through these web pages and doing more research so you're ready to go if you get a spare room in the future.
Adopted children are nearly always the youngest in the family, and should usually be at least two years younger than other children.
What we're looking for
The most important qualification is the ability to give the love, stability and safe nurturing environment a little boy or girl needs. And you'll need the commitment, patience, energy and sense of humour to make a success of this life-changing commitment
We're looking for people from different backgrounds and experiences to suit individual children. But we particularly need adopters for brothers and sisters (more than one child), children from black and minority ethnic groups, and children with special needs.
What else to consider
Disability and ill-health
You could be a successful adopter if you have a disability or health problems. But if your condition will affect your life expectancy, or would make it very difficult to look after a child, we would take this into consideration.
Being a bit overweight won't stop you adopting. It would only be a problem if it affects your ability to care for a child.
If you smoke you won't be able to adopt a child under two. And we would expect a potential adopter to give up smoking and keep their home smoke-free.
If you want to adopt because infertility treatment has failed, please leave it at least a year. This gives you time to come to terms with your situation and be in the right frame of mind for a life-changing decision.
Having children already
If you already have children, consider how it would affect them. If they are old enough to understand adoption we will speak to them to get their views.
See more about this in our adoption information pack.