Who can adopt

We are looking for people who:

  • have a spare room
  • are aged 21 or over (there is no upper age limit but you must be fit and healthy)
  • have childcare experience (either professionally, personally or through voluntary work)

We would like to talk to anyone who feels they could meet the needs of Hampshire’s children in care. We wholeheartedly support cultural and gender diversity, as well individuals and families within the military who are looking to adopt children in our region.

Take a look at the questions we are frequently asked about adoption

Do I need a spare room?

Yes, this is an essential requirement. In Hampshire we believe that looked after children who are adopted must have their own bedroom as we think it is important that they have their own space.

Do I need previous childcare experience?

Yes, we are looking for adopters who have childcare experience either as a parent or in a voluntary or professional capacity. However, our team can suggest organisations across Hampshire to gain some experience.

Am I too old/too young to adopt?

We consider anyone over the age of 21 and there is no upper age limit, but we do ask that you are generally fit and healthy. Each application is considered individually.

Can I adopt if I work full time?

Yes. We appreciate that many parents have to work, but we do ask that you think carefully about how you are going to care for a child and meet your work commitments.

By law, when you adopt a child, one person whether single or in a couple can take adoption leave for 52 weeks; 26 weeks of Ordinary Statutory Adoption Leave and 26 weeks Additional Statutory Adoption Pay.

To help settle a child into their new family life, we do ask that the main carer give up work for at least six months after a child moves in.

Sometimes the child might need you to be home for longer than this.

Visit: https://www.gov.uk/adoption-pay-leave for more information

Can I adopt if I am renting or in council housing?

Yes, providing you have a spare room and the written permission of your landlord.

Can I adopt if I am single?

We welcome applications from single people and have many single male and female adopters in Hampshire.

Can I adopt if I am in the Armed Forces?

Yes you can.

Our assessment and training process requires both partners to attend. However, we do understand that at times, deployment may affect joint attendance to meetings and preparation. We will take this into consideration, and try our best to come up with a plan that accommodates this.

Does it matter if I have an on-going health condition?

Not necessarily. We do ask that you are generally fit and healthy and you will be asked to have a medical examination with your GP as part of the adoption assessment. We do not discriminate against anyone who has general health issues or disabilities but we do need to know how this might impact on your parenting of a child and what extra support you might need.

Can I adopt if I smoke cigarettes and/or vape?

If you smoke tobacco or you vape, you will not be able to adopt children aged under five, or a child of any age with any health conditions or disabilities. If you are an ex-smoker, you will need to be able to evidence that you have given up for 12 months before we can approve you as prospective adopter for these children.

For children five years plus, you will also be expected to smoke outside and away from children.

What if someone in the household has a criminal record?

If you or a member of your household has had a criminal record it will not necessarily stop you from adopting. It depends on what the conviction was for and when the offence was committed, so please discuss this with us. We undertake a check with the Police (known as a Disclosure and Barring Service check) with all our applicants and all criminal records and cautions will be disclosed.

What if I have debt?

We will look at your financial situation during the assessment process as we have to be certain that your home is financially stable and secure, and that you can meet any rent or mortgage payments as well as standard living costs.

We also need to be sure that you are able to cover the general costs of having a child and being a parent.

Can I adopt if I have my own children?

Yes. Experienced parents often have a lot to offer, but as part of the assessment we would need to take into account the wishes and feelings of your child and ensure that adoption is right for them too.  We will also consider the age of your child and the ages of children needing homes.  Please speak to us to see what our current criteria is.

What about people having fertility treatment?

We recognise that the process of fertility treatment can be an emotional rollercoaster and it takes time to adjust to the news about your fertility and the plans you had to start a family.

If you have recently received fertility treatment or have experienced a miscarriage, then we will discuss this with you and look at your individual circumstances to see if you are ready to start the adoption process.

For the above reasons, we prefer you to have a reasonable period of time for reflection after the cessation of IFV and time to adjust to a very different expectation of having a child through adoption.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and therefore we judge each situation on an individual basis.

What if I am having counselling?

The nature of your counselling will depend on whether or not you can foster or adopt a child. Mental health support and treatment covers such a wide spectrum of issues and circumstances, and therefore we look at everyone’s situation on a one to one basis.

Can I adopt if I have pets?

Yes, of course! We consider any pets you have as part of the assessment process.