Am I eligible to adopt?

You can adopt:

  • Whether you’re single, married, divorced or widowed
  • If you live with your partner and want to adopt as a couple. However, you’ll need to have been in your relationship for at least 2 years. That way we can take a look at how you cope with life’s issues, how you support one another, what different strengths you have and how you’ll pull together to be successful adoptive parents.
  • Regardless of your class, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation or disability. In fact we welcome a wide diversity of people who can match the wide diversity of children looking for adoptive parents
  • At any age of 21 and above – so long as you are physically and mentally fit, healthy and mature enough to meet the demands of parenthood, provide emotional stability and care for a child or children into adulthood, your age isn’t a factor.
  • Whatever your financial situation. You don’t have to be well off to adopt but we will take care to ensure that you can meet the financial demands of bringing up a child. If you are suitable to adopt a child with complex needs or a sibling group, there may be some financial allowances payable.
  • Whether you own your own home or rent, providing you have a long-term, stable lease and have a spare room or rooms for one or more children.
  • Regardless of whether you work, are unemployed or retired. If you do have a full or part-time job we’ll ask that you arrange to take some time off at first just to help settle a child or children into your home.
  • If you have children of your own or not. Whilst experience as a birth parent can be an advantage, we’ll help you to understand the differences that being an adoptive parent can bring. This starts with asking you to think carefully about the ages of your birth children and the impact could have on them. There should also be at least a two year age gap between your birth child/ren and the child/ren you adopt.
  • Whether you live in Cheshire West and Chester or not. Sometimes our children need to be placed outside the local area so, as a result, we accept prospective adoptive parents who live within a 35 mile radius of the borough.

Please note:

Cheshire West and Chester Council will not refuse to accept registrations of interest on the grounds of, for example, a prospective adopter’s ethnicity, age, health, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or because they do not share the same ethnicity, culture or religious beliefs with the children waiting for an adoptive family.  Prospective adopters may only be excluded if they do not meet the eligibility criteria.

Other things to consider:

  • If you or any member of your household smokes, you will not be able to adopt a child under 5 years of age or a child of any age with disabilities or a respiratory illness such as asthma. Whilst we recognise that people who smoke can become excellent adoptive parents, we do need to ensure the healthiest environment possible for the child. Therefore, we would ask you to seek advice from your GP or a smoking cessation service and do all you can to stop or significantly cut down your smoking prior to adopting a child.
  • If you are in the process of undergoing fertility treatment we would strongly advise that you don’t think about adoption until you have concluded your treatment and decided that adoption is definitely the right option for you.  We want to ensure that you’re ready for what lies ahead after an already emotional time. So please do give us a call for an initial chat about your situation and the advice we can provide.
  • We will ask that you make a commitment towards ensuring that any child or children placed with you and your family is given relevant information about their birth history and grows up with the full knowledge that they have been adopted.
  • We will ask that you will commit to never physically chastise your adopted child or use any discipline strategies, which may be deemed abusive.
  • If you own pets, we will need to ensure that they will not harm a child placed in your home.
  • If you are adopting as a couple, at least one of you must have been fully resident within the British Isles for at least a year. Single adopters must also show that they have been resident in a part of the British Islands for a minimum 12 months.

You can’t adopt:

  • If you have committed certain criminal offences, including crimes against children or violent offences.