Frequently asked questions about adoption

Something you want to ask about adopting a child through St Andrew’s Children’s Society?

If you can’t see an answer to your question in our selection of Frequently Asked Questions about adoption and fostering or you want to speak to someone, please email or call 0131 454 3370. We’re always happy to hear from you.

Who can adopt

Yes, we welcome enquiries from single people.

Yes, but part of the adoption assessment process would involve the family member being checked and references taken up – they would need to be open to this being done.

Yes, as long as you can financially support the adopted child. We will discuss this during the assessment process.

People often rule themselves out unnecessarily if they have any health issues, physical or mental. Everyone is required to undergo a medical and our independent medical advisor determines who is fit to proceed in the adoption process. People are often surprised to learn that their health issues past or present do not prevent them from progressing in the adoption process.

Yes, but we would need to take up a reference from your ex partner. The adopted chid and your birth child would each need their own room.

Adoption requirements

There is no legal upper age limit but a judgement needs to be made to assess an applicant’s fitness to care for a vulnerable child. Each case is treated individually.

No, though you do need to be securely domiciled in the UK.

No, but you do need to be able to prove that your accommodation situation is stable and long lasting.

The adoption process

It varies but typically between 9 and 12 months from the initial enquiry stage to your request to become an adopter to go before the panel where the decision is given if you can adopt or not.

We complete a number of background checks on you, a medical and we also contact your local authority. The reason we do this is to make sure we know everything about you so that we can place the right child with you. The assessment process also prepares you for becoming an adoptive parent and what it entails.

We would advise you to take off a minimum of 6 months, preferably 12 months. Everyone is entitled to adoption leave and it can be shared if there is more than one parent.

About adoption

We recommend your youngest birth child should be 4 years of age before an adopted child joins your family, with the exception of a baby being a sibling to the child already adopted in placement.

The majority of the children we place are aged 2-3 years old but we do place children of all ages.

We do place a small number of babies, normally through concurrency but the majority of children are from age of 2 upwards.

The procedures are broadly the same but one of the main advantages of adopting through a voluntary agency is that you are not restricted to one local area. Our family finding is UK wide, offering the best opportunity to get the right match. This means that if you adopt through St Andrew’s Children’s Society you can choose the right child for you, even if they live outside of your local authority’s area. We think another huge advantage of adopting through St Andrew’s Children’s Society is our commitment to lifelong adoption support. Some local authorities only offer support for a few years after the child is placed – we will always be here to support you, whenever you need us. Our relationship can be for life, if you want it.

No, we only do domestic (UK) adoption. You need to approach your local authority. 

It is against the law in the UK to profit from adoption, however, there are some minor costs that we try to recoup such as an admin fee (for example, this is approximately £25 per person), the cost of the disclosure form and the court lodging fee. We can discuss these fees in more detail at the time.

Adoption support available

We offer a wide range of support to our families. We hold regular support events where you can mix with other adoptive parents, for example Parent Pamper Sessions, Coffee and Cake Events and Pizza Nights. We also run a number of training sessions aimed at helping you support your adopted child, for example, SafeBase and Theraplay. We organise fun events for all the family including our Summer Picnic and our Christmas Party. In addition to our group support events we also offer 1-2-1 support. We are here to support you whenever you need us.