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Who can adopt?

  • Adopters must be over 21
  • You do not have to be married or in a civil partnership to adopt as a couple but you do need to be in a stable partnership. Single persons can adopt
  • You can be a home owner or living in rented accommodation.  
  • There is no upper age limit for adopting in Wiltshire however you need to be in good health and have the energy to provide a long term family for a child
  • We have to write to your Local Authority to ask whether they have any reason to believe you would not be suitable adopters.
  • We have to take up checks with the Criminal Records Bureau. There is not an automatic bar on anyone who has been in trouble with the law. It depends on the nature of the offence, when it occurred, what the circumstances were and what has happened since
  • Each applicant has to have a thorough medical, which is done by your own GP.  If you have reason to be worried about your health, it is wise to discuss this with your social worker so that early investigations can be made and any worries resolved.  The medicals have to be approved by our Medical Adviser, who may request further information if necessary.  It is not necessary to be in perfect health in order to adopt, but adoption is stressful and we need to have the confidence that it is realistic for you to undertake this
  • We have to take up at least three references, one of whom can be a member  of  your family - for this we find it useful to see people who know you personally, who visit your home and who can imagine you with a child.  We will also require a written response from them
  • To adopt, you need either to be ‘habitually resident' in Britain or to be domiciled here.  If you are adopting as a couple, only one of you needs to be domiciled, but you would both have to be ‘habitually resident', (this is usually taken to mean that you have lived in Britain for at least one year).

We do exclude from consideration:

  • People who have a history of criminal offences against children and some other offences of a sexual or violent nature  
  • People whose health or health history indicates that they may not be able to provide a secure home for a child throughout his/her childhood.   (We are guided by our  Medical Adviser in considering the implications of health problems)
  • People whose accommodation and lifestyle would make it difficult to ensure a secure future for a child

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Last updated: 4 July 2016 | Last reviewed: 4 July 2016