Can I adopt if…

Q. I smoke cigarettes?
A. Smokers are not automatically discounted from adopting but due to the effects of passive smoking on babies and children, careful consideration to this would need to be given with prospective adopters on a case by case basis.

Q. I am over 40 or older?
A. Yes. There is no upper age limit. The key question is – can you provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and beyond? People of all ages can and do successfully adopt. You do have to be over 21.

Q. I’m not married?
A. Yes. Single people and unmarried couples can adopt.

Q. I am unemployed?
A. Yes. We approve people from every walk of life as long as you can meet the general living costs of a child. In some circumstances, financial support may be available.

Q. I work full-time?
A. Yes. As long as you can provide attention and time to meet the children’s needs. This is especially important when the children are young, most children need a lengthy ‘settling in’ period.

Q. I don’t own my home?
A. Yes. You need to show that you have enough room to care for a child or children, in a safe environment, whether you rent or own your home.

Q. I’m gay or a lesbian?
A. Yes. Peterborough City Council is committed to equality of opportunity and therefore we are primarily interested in the skills and ability that you have to offer and not your sexuality.

Q. I have a disability and/or health problem?
A. Yes. Everyone who applies to adopt will need a medical as part of the assessment process to make sure that you have the energy to care for a child throughout their childhood. If you are disabled or have a medical condition, our medical advisor will take these factors into consideration and make recommendations on your suitability.

Q. I may be overweight?
A. Yes. Being overweight can shorten your life expectancy, particularly if this is in association with other factors, such as high blood pressure or heart disease. You are strongly encouraged to discuss your weight with your family doctor at an early stage. Applicants, especially those wanting to adopt very young children, may find that they are advised to lose weight before their application can be taken up.

Q. I have a criminal conviction?
A. Yes. People who have a criminal record or have been cautioned can adopt a child. Much depends on the seriousness of the offence, how long since the crime was committed and how you have lived your life since. People with convictions for violent or sexual offences against children cannot adopt.

Q. I already have children of my own?
A. Yes. Your own children would be included in the assessment process too, as they are so important in the family. Normally we would only place an adoptive child who is younger than your birth child.

Q. I don’t live in Peterborough?
A. Yes. We welcome applications from those living outside Peterborough but within reasonable travelling distance. Applicants will need to travel to Peterborough for training, meetings and introductions to the child.

Q. I am still undergoing infertility treatment?
A. No, all infertility treatment would need to be completed before applying to adopt but you are welcome to attend an information session to find out more.