You may be able to offer child in our care a safe and loving home by adopting them. This means that you become their legal and permanent family.

Not everyone who wants to adopt a child is successful. We assess all aspects of your life before we decide if you are suitable to adopt. So it's important that you know what will happen.

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Who can adopt a child?

We welcome applications from:

  • people from any race or religion
  • single people, or couples of any sexual orientation
  • people who are in work or unemployed
  • people with children of their own and people who don’t have children of their own

Legally, you must be over 21 if you want to adopt a child. You can be single or married. If you’re living with another person – called cohabiting – you can apply to adopt a child.

Conditions you must meet if you want to adopt a child in Falkirk

You must meet the following conditions if you want to adopt a child and become their permanent carer.

  1. You must live in Falkirk or within a thirty-mile radius of Falkirk.

  2. You must be aged over 21, be mature and have life experience. There's no fixed upper age limit on who can adopt a child. As a general guide, the age difference between the youngest adoptive parent and the child should be no more than 45 years, unless you have an existing relationship with the child.

  3. You can apply if you're single, married or living together. If you’re single, you must be able to show us that you have a support network of relatives, friends, or both, living close to you. We need to know that they support your application and will help you if you adopt a child.

    If you’ve just moved to this area, you’ll need to show us that you want to make links with people who can support you. If you’re married or living together, you must have been in a stable relationship for at least three years. If you’re gay or lesbian, we’ll treat your application in a non-discriminatory way. You may be in a relationship, or single.

  4. If you smoke, we’ll only consider placing a child over five years old with you because of the health risks to young children from passive smoking. We’ll also only place children who have a respiratory illness or other risk factors in non-smoking households.

    This means that if you smoke and you’d like to adopt a child under the age of five, we’ll not consider your application.

  5. If you have any previous criminal convictions, you must disclose these. We'll not consider an application to adopt a child if your offences involved children or serious violence. If you have other offences, we’ll discuss these with you. They will not necessarily stop you from being assessed and approved as an adoptive parent.

  6. Undergoing infertility treatment is a stressful experience. Going through an adoption assessment is also stressful. Experience has shown that it is not advisable to attempt these two processes at the same time.

    We won’t accept an application for assessment as adoptive parents if you are having infertility treatment. We’d advise you to wait at least a year after finishing infertility treatment before you apply to adopt a child.

  7. A miscarriage, the death of a child, or any other significant loss or bereavement is a harrowing experience and people require time to grieve their loss. If you have suffered such a loss, we’ll need evidence that you have come to terms with your loss.

  8. Generally, we won’t accept an application if you’re also applying to, or have been approved by, another adoption agency. Sometimes we may do this if the other adoption agency agrees, or in exceptional circumstances.

  9. Most children who need adopted are older and will have suffered difficult life experiences. These are likely to have lifelong effects for the child.

    For this reason, we’ll only accept applications from prospective carers if they will consider older children or children aged 0-5 in one of the following categories;

    • Emotional disturbance and difficult behaviour
    • Physical disability
    • Learning difficulties
    • Medical problems
    • Complex legal problems
    • Groups of brothers and sisters who need to stay together
    • A child who requires to maintain some degree of contact with their birth families

  10. We’ll only accept an application and register prospective adoptive parents for either domestic or inter-country adoption, at any one time.

Children who may need to be adopted

Children who may need to be adopted come from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds and may have experienced loss, trauma, neglect or abuse.

  • Some children are in sibling groups who need to be placed together
  • Children who have been abandoned by their birth parents
  • Children who have experienced the death of their parent(s)
  • Some children have disabilities and their future development is unclear
  • Babies who may have developmental uncertainty due to their parents' use of drugs and alcohol, mental health and domestic violence issues