These are the questions most often asked by people who are thinking about adopting a child.


Please feel free to contact us and ask any questions which they don’t answer.

Is there an age limit?

We welcome enquiries from families of all backgrounds and circumstances. The only age limit is that you have to be over 21 years of age. You can be single, married, in civil partnership or living together.

Do I need to live in Merseyside?

No. We sometimes have to place children beyond Merseyside's boundaries.

Do I need to own a home?

No, but it is important that you have secure, long-term accommodation and a spare bedroom.

Can I adopt if I am having fertility treatment?

You will have probably been through an emotional rollercoaster and we will discuss your plans to start a family through adoption carefully. Sometimes we ask families to wait a short period if they have only recently received fertility treatment. Please talk to us about this.

Can I adopt if I have been in trouble with the police?

We look at all circumstances individually. You are only automatically debarred from adoption if you have a record of offences against children, or significant offences of violence or a sexual nature. Please talk to us if you have any concerns.

Does it matter that I have a health problem or disability?

We ask that you are generally fit and healthy and ask you to have a medical examination with your GP. We do need to know if any health matter or disability might impact on your ability to parent a child and whether you need extra support.

Can I adopt if I already have a child?

Yes. As experienced parents you will have a lot to offer. We would take account the wishes and feelings of your child, as adoption has to be right for them too. We will discuss the appropriate age gap between the children with you.

Can I adopt if I am a smoker?

We would encourage you to give up smoking. We would not place young children or children with a health condition with smokers. If you are unable to cease smoking we would only be able to consider you for children over the age of five years and you would then be expected to smoke outside and away from children.

Do I need to have experience of looking after children?

Having experience of children within your family or friendship group will be invaluable and can give you an insight into their differing needs.

Can I adopt if I work full time?

Yes, you can and we ask you to plan carefully how you will meet the commitments of both work and caring for a child. It is also important that you take time out to help settle a child into your family. Adoption leave is available from employers.

Am I expected to be financially well off?

No, you will need to be financially secure as adoptive families are expected to meet the financial needs of any child placed, however for some children we do pay adoption allowances, so money is not necessarily an obstacle.

Is there a perfect adoptive parent?

No. Adoptive families come from many different backgrounds and circumstances and all we expect of you is to have a child-friendly lifestyle and be ready for the challenge of adoption. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, cohabitating, part of a same sex couple, a homeowner or if you rent, or are employed or unemployed.


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