Watch this short film to find out how adoption has changed over the decades.
Adopt London Information Pack
Thank you for your interest in finding out more about adopting a child in London. Your enquiry is important to us.
We are four local authority based Regional Adoption Agencies representing 24 London boroughs. You can apply to adopt with us if you live in one of our boroughs or in some cases, within a reasonable travel time to any of our offices in Islington, Havering, Southwark or Ealing.
We have a range of resources to prepare and support you to become a parent to the children who need adoption. This page lists the UK criteria for people thinking about adoption, details of the process with us and links to useful information and research material.
We look forward to working with resilient single people and couples who are fun, open minded and able to provide a safe nurturing home, and who can parent our children who need adoption.
Criteria for adoption in the UK
- You need to be over 21 years of age.
- You or your partner, if you have one, need to have lived in a permanent home in the UK for at least 12 months, before you are able to start an assessment.
- You cannot have a criminal conviction against a child or vulnerable young person or adult, nor can anyone in your household.
Your adoption research
There is a lot to know about adoption and we positively encourage you to research as much possible. Being aware of the reasons why children come into care, and the impact of adoption from an early age will help you prepare to become an adoptive parent. Understanding the outcomes of adopted children who are now adults, the birth families whose children are adopted, and the experiences of adoptive parents will help too.
All this research will help inform your decision as to whether adoption is right for you. You may prefer research using books, podcasts, blogs or websites – any way that is convenient for you to learn more. Check out our resources, news and blog and FAQ sections.
Finding out about adoption
As part of finding out what each of our London Regional Adoption Agencies offer to prospective adopters, and any specific local requirements, you will need to attend an information session with the Regional Adoption Agency you would like to adopt with. To help you prepare, please read our Adoption Information Booklet booklet
We also host online Meet The Adopters sessions to give you the opportunity to find out about being an adoptive parent – first hand.
Just click the link to book your place on either session.
After the information session, you will be invited to complete Adopt London’s Am I Ready To Adopt. This is an online tool to encourage you to think about your current situation and will provide you with a personalised plan based on your answers and a handbook with more detailed information. It will also help you understand what you need to do to prepare for an assessment with Adopt London.
You will also receive a form to complete if and when you are ready to take the next step. Please send in this form to express your interest. Along with your personalised plan we’ll discuss your preparation and motivation to adopt, and whether we can offer you an assessment with Adopt London. We can also let you know our predicted timescales.
An Adopt London assessment
If we all agree to proceed, the adoption process can take at least six months until you are approved to adopt. This is dependent on a range of factors, and your allocated social worker will discuss these with you. Once the assessment is complete and you are approved to adopt, there is usually a further period while a child is matched with you and comes to live with you.
Our children are wonderful. They have had a difficult start in life, and will have experienced separation and loss that will impact them throughout their life. They need parents who will love and support them and who can help them manage their early life experiences, and extra needs. Children will need a family who can promote their culture, their history and their identity. Watch our animated film to find out more.
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