Why are we called St Andrew’s Children’s Society?

We are not a religious adoption and fostering agency

Our logo features the Scottish Saltire or St Andrew’s cross. St Andrew has historic links with Scotland and is our patron saint. Our oldest university town, is also named after this saint. Our history is rooted in the Catholic faith, having been formed to help place babies who were mostly ‘born out of wedlock’ and at a time when there was no welfare state to help women and their babies in this situation. This was in 1922 and we are pleased to be celebrating our Centenary Year! We were originally called The Archdiocesan Social Services Committee, later changing to the Catholic Enquiry Service before assuming our current name in 1982 when we became an incorporated company and a registered charity distinct from the Catholic church.

Is St Andrew’s Children’s Society a religious adoption and fostering agency? St Andrew's Children's Society Edinburgh

No, we have no affiliation to any religion. When we became a registered charity we were still supported financially and practically (they provided us with funds and rent-free office accommodation) by the Catholic Church and a majority of our adopters (although not all) came to us from the Catholic community. We ended all formal links with the Catholic Church in 2009 when it became clear that operating as an adoption agency that followed social work principles and adhered to the laws governing adoption practice was incompatible with the teaching of the Church. This was when The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 came into force, for the first time allowing same-sex couples to apply to adopt children. We pride ourselves on having an inclusive approach to assessing potential adopters and foster carers, where our primary motivation is to understand what qualities people have to offer to some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children. What a prospective adopter or foster carer’s religion, relationship status, gender or ethnicity is, is only important in the sense that it may help to explain their motivation or drive to parent a child.

So who can adopt or foster through St Andrew’s Children’s Society now?

First and foremost, anyone who can offer a vulnerable child a safe and loving home. That’s what’s most important.

Single people Single adopter having her long red hair pulled up either side by her son

We welcome enquiries from single adopters and foster carers. We run a run single adopters group from our Edinburgh office which is going from strength to strength. Julie Arbuckle, who runs the Single Adopters Group with Emma Quinn, has even written a useful blog post to help our single adopters.

LGBT+ people

We are happy to say that many of our adopters are from the LGBT+ community. We have helped lots of LGBT+ couples and a single gay man to adopt.

We are always keen to hear from more members of the LGBT+ community and that’s why we work hard to promote LGBT+ adoption and fostering.

People who follow a faith

We welcome adoption and fostering enquiries from people who follow a faith. It is often their religious beliefs that bring them to see adoption and foster care as a way of living their faith by being there for the vulnerable and marginalised in society. We have adopters who follow many different faiths including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

We have advertised several times in Life and Work, the Church of Scotland magazine and regularly advertise for adopters and foster carers in Parish Newsletters across Scotland.
We have worked with many places of worship to help spread the word about the need for adopters and foster carers and the important role they play in society.

We don’t exclude anyone from exploring whether adoption or foster care is right for them

  • We hold adoption and fostering information events in many public places such as shopping centres, libraries and cafes.
  • We hold adoption and fostering information events in our offices in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and virtually.
  • Each year we participate in The Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight™ and hold fostering information events during it to encourage people to think about fostering.
  • Each year we take part in Adoption Week Scotland and hold adoption information events during it to encourage people to think about adopting.
  • We have frequently appeared in the press and media to encourage as many people as possible to think about adopting and fostering.

We welcome adoption and fostering enquiries from single people, unmarried couples, LGBT+ people, people who follow a faith and those who do not follow a faith.

What matters most is that you can offer a child a safe and loving home. If you can do that, please get in touch today.


If you would like to find out more about adopting or fostering a child through St Andrew’s Children’s Society please call 0131 454 3370 or email info@standrews-children.org.uk.


St Andrew’s Children’s Society