Key facts

All sorts of people can adopt - children need new families for a variety of reasons and no one child is the same, so we try and make a best match between the child and the adoptive parents. This can be:

  • childless couples
  • couples with children
  • people who have undergone fertility treatment
  • single people with or without children
  • people over 40
  • people who are gay or lesbian
  • people who are employed or on benefits
  • people who own or rent their home

In the UK the main piece of legislation that applies to adoption is the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

The act sets the rules for children who are living in the UK and provides the legal framework for domestic and intercountry adoption.

UK residency

A single person (or one of a couple) must reside in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man or each applicant must have been habitually resident in any part of the British Islands for at least a year before an adoption order is made. 

Page last updated: 25 February 2019