Adoption FAQs

  1. Can I adopt a child if I already have a child/children of my own?
  2. Can I adopt if I don’t work?
  3. Can I adopt a child if I have health problems?
  4. Can I adopt a child if I or my partner smokes?
  5. Do I need a spare room if I want to adopt?
  6. I am single; can I adopt a child?
  7. I have a criminal record; will I be able to adopt a child?
  8. Can I apply to adopt from overseas?
  9. How long will the assessment take?
  10. If I am approved as an adopter how long will it be before I am matched with a child?
  11. Will a child still see their birth parents or other relatives?
  12. What rights do birth parents have after an Adoption Order has been granted?

Can I adopt a child if I already have a child/children of my own?

Yes. We would consider your child/children’s views about adoption. Their needs would also be taken into account, particularly in relation to matching a child with your family.


Can I adopt if I don’t work?

Yes, but you should be financially stable.


Can I adopt a child if I have health problems?

Yes, but it is important your health issue(s) would not prevent you from meeting a child's needs. All applicants have to undergo a medical assessment as part of the process.

If you have a health problem you should let us know as soon as possible so we are able to get as much information about the impact of your health issue(s) at an early stage. There are no set lists of health conditions which may prevent you adopting and each person’s situation is assessed on its own merits.


Can I adopt a child if I or my partner smokes?

Yes, but we would not place any children under 5 years old or children who have a respiratory illness or other risk factors in a smoking household.


Do I need a spare room if I want to adopt?

Yes. We would have an expectation that a child would be able to have their own room and space.


I am single; can I adopt a child?

Yes, as long as you are able to demonstrate you have a support network who can offer assistance if a child is placed with you.


I have a criminal record; will I be able to adopt a child?

As part of the assessment process a PVG check would be undertaken that would provide information on any criminal record you have.

This would not automatically prevent you from becoming a prospective adoptive parent; however, this would be dependent on the charge/conviction.

You would have to be prepared to discuss the details of the charge/conviction and be prepared to declare any relevant information at the point of the enquiry.


Can I apply to adopt from overseas?

Yes. This is known as Intercountry Adoption. We would only consider an application from you as either for Intercountry or Domestic Adoption, not both at the same time.

The same criteria would apply for Intercountry Adoption applicants as for Domestic Adoption and there may be additional requirements depending on which country you are looking to adopt from.

There will be a charge for us undertaking an assessment of you suitability to become Intercountry Adopters.


How long will the assessment take?

We aim to complete your assessment within 6 months of you submitting your formal application. This would, however, be dependent on a number of factors, such as how quickly checks can be completed and availability to participate in the assessment.

The whole process can be fairly lengthy and it may take over a year to get from your initial enquiry to the point where you are registered as a prospective adoptive parent.


If I am approved as an adopter how long will it be before I am matched with a child?

There are no set time limits in relation to how long it can take for you to be matched with a child, it could even be a few years.

There are also no guarantees that you will be matched with a child. We are part of a consortium of other local authorities which allows children from other councils to be matched with our prospective adoptive parents. In addition to this we would refer prospective adoptive parents to the Scottish Adoption Register after three months of being approved.

Above all else successful adoptions require careful matching of the needs of children to the capacity of their adoptive parents to meet those needs, a process that requires and deserves careful consideration.


Will a child still see their birth parents or other relatives?

It may be beneficial for a child to have on-going contact with people who have been important in their lives such as a brother, sister, parent or grandparent. They may have face to face contact or an exchange of written information at an interval seen to be in the child’s best interests eg annually. Contact will be discussed with you before a child is matched with you.


What rights do birth parents have after an Adoption Order has been granted?

When an Adoption Order has been granted a birth parent’s legal rights for the child are removed and these are transferred to the child’s adoptive parent(s).