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Can I adopt?
There are several misconceptions about adoption that can result in people thinking they can't adopt. For example, if you are single you can adopt, which people sometimes assume isn't the case.
What is more important is whether you have the right skills and qualities to help a child feel happy and safe. Please see the information below to see if you are eligible to apply to adopt.
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By law, as long as you are over 21 you can adopt. We don't have a fixed upper age limited. You just need to be fit, healthy and able to demonstrate a settled home life.
If you've recently experienced the trauma of a lost pregnancy or the bereavement of a child, we recommend that you give yourself time (at least a year) to adjust to the loss before contemplating adoption.
You can adopt if you already have children. We normally recommend that there is at least a two year gap, ideally three, between the age of your youngest child and the child you adopt.
You can also adopt if you do not have any children. Adoption is more a matter of your commitment, stamina and understanding.
Having a criminal conviction doesn't necessarily stop you from applying to adopt as much depends on the seriousness of the offence and how long ago the crime was committed.
However, an adult who has an offence of a violent or sexual nature against a child or young person is legally barred from being approved to adopt a child.
You can adopt if you work full time, are unemployed or on a low income. We consider people from every walk of life regardless of working or financial status.
If you work full time, you can still apply to adopt. However, you (or one of you if you're a couple) will usually be expected to take extended time off work, when your child first arrives.
We would not normally accept your application if you are currently trying to conceive or are undergoing investigations for fertility treatment. It can also be distressing to experience infertility difficulties. If this is the case, we recommend that you give yourself time (at least a year) to come to terms with this before contemplating adoption.
You can still apply to adopt if you have a disability or health problem. Everyone who applies to adopt is asked to undergo a full medical. The Council's adoption medical adviser will take this into account when making their recommendation.
You can adopt if you are married, single or living with a partner. The only thing we ask is that if you are in a relationship, it is an established one and you should have been together for at least three years when you enquire about adoption.
Many single adopters have created strong families alone; everyone needs support but not everyone needs a partner. Being a single parent will bring extra demands which you need to consider and assess for yourself. There can also be benefits for some children and we will happily look at all these areas with you.
It does not matter if you own or rent the home you live in, you can still adopt. You do need to show us that you have enough room to care for a child, in a safe and secure environment.
You can adopt if you are gay or lesbian. We are only interested in the skills and experience you have to offer, not your sexuality.
If you smoke, you can still apply to adopt. However, we are likely show preference to non-smokers, particularly when placing very young children or those with identified health problems.
We would only consider an application from outside North Yorkshire if you were able to offer a home to an older child over five years of age; a child with a disability; a child from an ethnic minority group; or if you were thinking of taking three or more children as a sibling group.
If you live outside of the UK, we would not normally accept an application from you in these circumstances.