To be adopted, a child must:
be under the age of 18 when the adoption application is made
not be (or have never been) married or in a civil partnership
The child’s birth parents
Both birth parents normally have to agree (consent) to the adoption, unless:
they cannot be found
they are incapable of giving consent, for example due to a mental disability
the child would be put at risk if they were not adopted
Who can adopt a child
You may be able to adopt a child if you are aged 21 or over (there is no upper age limit) and either:
in a civil partnership
an unmarried couple (same sex and opposite sex)
the partner of the child’s parent
There are different rules for private adoptions and adoptions of looked-after children.
Living in the UK
You do not have to be a British citizen to adopt a child, but:
you (or your partner, if you are a couple) must have a fixed and permanent home in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
you (and your partner, if you are a couple) must have lived in the UK for at least one year before you begin the application process
Adoption Support Fund
You may be able to get funding from the Adoption Support Fund. It provides money for therapy for children and families to help improve relationships, confidence and behaviour. Your social worker can apply for you. If you are not happy with how the social worker has handled the application, complain to the council. If you are not happy with the council’s response, contact the Adoption Support Fund team. Adoption Support Fund team email@example.com, tel: 01223 463517.
Further information on Child Adoption can be found on GOV.UK's website.