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  • Brighter futures for children in care

    Information for adopters

  • Introduction

    Thank you for your interest in adoption with TACT Adoption. We are a registered charity with many years of experience of finding homes for vulnerable children. Adoption can be very rewarding for families who are keen to become parents. Our aim is to offer you a service that helps you consider adoption as a positive way of parenting.

    This guide is designed to give you information about adoption to help you think about whether adoption is right for you.

    What is adoption?

    Adoption is a legal way of providing a new permanent family for children who cannot live with their birth family. An adoption order gives adoptive parent(s) parental rights and responsibilities and removes parental responsibility from the birth parent(s).

    Who are the children?

    Many of the children we are looking to place are older. Our service also sets out to place children from various cultural backgrounds such as African, African Caribbean, Asian and dual heritage. These children may have spent most of their young lives in the care of social services, their birth parents may be affected by drug and alcohol abuse or mental health. These experiences may affect their physical and emotional development as they grow up.

    Information for adopters


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    Who can adopt?

    At TACT, we want to hear from families from all sorts of different backgrounds. You can be married or single, divorced or living with a partner. You can be gay or straight, unemployed or disabled. What’s important to us is that what you have to offer matches the needs of the children we want to place for adoption.

    In our experience, children need adoptive families who recognise the importance of being patient, understanding and can offer reassurance, commitment and love to the children in their care.

    If you are unsure that you meet our criteria, please come and talk to us about your individual circumstances.

    Is there an age limit?

    Whilst there is no upper age limit to adopt in law, you must be at least 21 years old. You will need to be realistic about your age in relation to the age of the child and how this might affect your ability to raise a child to adulthood. We would want you to be reasonably fit and healthy, and able to take an active role in the child’s physical and emotional well being.

    If you would like to talk to someone about your personal situation, please let us know.

    Can single people adopt?

    Yes, we have many single people, both men and women who have successfully adopted through TACT Adoption.

    We are interested in your experience and skills and would want you to think about the support you’ll need to help you become a successful parent.

    TACT Adoption

  • Can I work and adopt?

    Yes, but you will need to take time away from work to help the child settle into your home. For younger children, we think that it is important for you to be at home for as long as possible. Even when they are at school, it may take longer for them to settle into a school routine and you may need to be available when they need you.

    What’s important is that you remain flexible and fit your work commitments around the needs of the child and not the other way round.

    I’m unemployed. Can I adopt?

    Yes, we’re interested in the experience and skills you can offer to a child in need of a loving and permanent home. We will talk to you about finances to help you plan realistically for the child. Some agencies that we work with may offer financial assistance if a child has special needs.

    I don’t own my own home. Can I still adopt?

    You need to be in settled, secure accommodation and have the space for a child. Often, this means a separate bedroom or the means to provide one in the future.

    I am in a same sex relationship. Can I adopt?

    Yes, we are interested in the skills and experience you bring and what you can offer a child.

    Recent changes in the law mean that couples who are not married can now adopt.

    I live outside of London. Can I adopt through TACT?

    We usually consider applications from people living in London and within the M25 radius.

    Information for adopters


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    Are there any restrictions about health?

    Anyone who applies to adopt must have a full medical by their GP. We want you to be reasonably fit and healthy, so chronic health problems or life threatening illnesses that might restrict your ability to care for a child in the long term will be of concern to us. We will take advice from our medical advisor in these circumstances.

    If you smoke or your weight affects your mobility or blood pressure, we would expect you to take active steps to lead a healthier lifestyle.

    I’m having fertility treatment. Can I adopt?

    No. We would generally only take up your application one year after your last treatment. Often, this is an emotional time and it’s important to make use of the time between your last treatment and adoption. Some people do this by talking to family and friends, others find counselling helpful. Assessment for adoption has to be a thorough process, so it can at times seem intense, time consuming and intrusive. For this reason, we would encourage you to take things one step at a time. Once the assessment has started, we will ask you to avoid the possibility of conceiving.

    TACT Adoption

  • I have a criminal record. Will this prevent me from adopting?

    Having a criminal record does not automatically prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent. Our decision to proceed or not will depend on the nature of the off ence, the length of time since conviction and your current lifestyle.

    You cannot adopt if you have a criminal record for off ences against children. We will talk to you about other off ences, including those committed when you were a juvenile.

    We will undertake enhanced police checks through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

    What kind of help can I expect from you?

    TACT will support you throughout the adoption process. Our adoption team has social workers who are experienced in the recruitment, assessment and preparation of adopters. We will continue to support you and your family after a child is placed and beyond.

    You will have access to ongoing training in areas that will help you increase your parenting skills. We are working towards off ering support groups for adopters at various stages of the process. We produce an adoption newsletter that features information about our services, real life accounts from adopters and information about our training programme.

    Our support doesn’t just stop when the adoption order is granted; you can approach us at any time in the future. We understand that adoption is for life and we will try to off er you a service that meets your needs or we’ll help you fi nd support through other sources.

    What help can I expect after I adopt?

    TACT has a Post Adoption Support Service that off ers support to families and individuals after the adoption order has been granted. Please ask your social worker for the Adoption support for adoptive families guide which gives more information about our services.

    Information for adopters


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    TACT Adoption

  • How can I become an adopter with TACT?


    To make an initial enquiry, you can ring us to speak to the duty social worker, write to us, email us or visit our website (go to the end of this guide for contact details). We will contact you to arrange a meeting with you and your partner (if you have one) and/or you will be invited to an information meeting to learn more about the adoption process and to get answers to some of your questions.

    Initial visit

    If we agree to take your enquiry further, we will visit you in your home to find out more about you, your personal circumstances and why you want to adopt. Sometimes this may include discussing personal and sensitive information to help us decide whether we can take your enquiry further. We will always try to approach this with sensitivity.

    This meeting does not commit you or us to continuing with your application, but is an opportunity for us to explore if we want to work together. After the meeting, we will give you and ourselves time to think about whether adoption is right for you. Often, we may ask you to meet with us again as there is so much to think about. We do this to make sure we have all the information we need before we make a decision. Similarly, we would want you to let us know if you decide not to go ahead. If we cannot take your application forward, we will talk to you to let you know the reasons and follow this up in writing. You can contact us if you want to talk about our decision in more detail.

    Information for adopters


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    What happens next?

    We will ask you to fill in an application form and we will write to you to confirm that we accept your application. We will take up checks and references with the police, the local authority in which you live, your employers and your landlord/ mortgage company. You will be required to have a full medical and we will ask you to supply us with the details of three people who can act as personal