Can I adopt?

Many people think that their personal circumstances may prevent them from applying to adopt.

At Adopt East, we don’t look for a specific type of person. Our adopters come from diverse backgrounds, with different skills, qualities and life experiences. We are open to enquiries from all types of people from across our region. 


People who can adopt can be:

  • single, married or in a stable, long-term relationship
  • aged 21 or above – there is no upper age limit but you will need the energy and well-being to raise a child to adulthood
  • any sexuality
  • from any ethnic or religious background
  • a home-owner or living in secure rented accommodation
  • those who have children already
  • people thinking about adopting for a second time

Boy and man smiling in blue shirts on a sofa

There are some basic criteria you need to meet to be able to apply to adopt a child.

You will need to:

  • have completed any fertility treatment 
  • have enough space in your home to provide a safe environment for a child
  • be a non-smoker for at least six months before applying if you are looking to adopt children under the age of 5 years. 
  • be medically fit and able to raise a child to adulthood
  • be in a stable financial position, as you will be financially responsible for your adopted child through to adulthood

All applicants will be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If you had a  criminal conviction in the past it is important to discuss this with the adoption agency at the very start of your adoption enquiry. 

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Make an enquiry

For an informal discussion about adopting, please contact Adopt East using our contact form. 


Make an enquiry (opens in a new tab)


Adopt East partners

Adoptionplus logo

Adoption UK logo

Barnardos UK logo

Bedford Borough Council logo

Essex County Council logo

Hertfordshire County Council logo

Luton Borough Council logo

Norfolk County Council logo

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council logo

Suffolk County Council logo and Suffolk Fostering and Adoption logo

Thurrock Council logo