Adopting a child... and who is eligible.
Q. What is adoption? A. When you adopt a child, a court order (called an adoption order) is granted making you the child's legal parent. All legal rights of the birth family end. e adoption order is permanent and cannot be reversed. e child will usually take your surname.
Q. Who arranges adoptions? A. Adoptions must normally be arranged by approved agencies. ese are usually local authorities but can also be a voluntary organisation. Adoption agencies select people to adopt children. ey must make sure that people who want to adopt meet certain legal requirements. Q. Who can adopt? A. If you want to adopt a child, you must normally be at least 21. ere is no upper age limit. However, adoption agencies must be condent that you will have the energy needed to bring up children and that your health is good to be able to oer a stable home. Any couple who live together may apply to adopt a child. is includes heterosexual and same-partners who live together, as well as people who are married or in a civil partnership. Most agencies expect people to have been living together for several years before applying for adoption.
Q. What about single people? A. You are allowed to adopt if you area single person. However, adoption agencies rarely accept a single applicant for babies or very young children. Q. Is household income a factor? A. You do not have to be employed, or have a certain level of income to adopt a child. However an adoption agency will want to nd out if you can manage on your income. You must have what the adoption agency considers is a sucient income to provide for the child's requirements, although adoption allowances may be available. Q. What about a person's health? A. When you apply to adopt a child, you are required by law to undergo a medical examination. You may have to pay for this. It is unlikely that you will be accepted for adoption of a baby if you have serious ill health, but you may be considered for adoption of an older child.
Q. Where can ind further information? A. Key organisations for further information are: Adoption UK: 01295 |752240, www.adoption.org.uk ; First4Adoption: 0300 222 |0022, www.rst4adoption.org.uk, and Be My Parent: 020 7421 |2666; www.bemyparent.org.uk.
You can also contact your local authority.
Your local CAB can also provide more information about adoption. ere are CABs in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton.
Sunrise over fields in Skelton, captured on camera by Michael |Glasper of Skelton Green