Information for Prospective Adopters
Becoming an Adoptive Parent
Our commitment to adopters
We understand that choosing to adopt is not a decision that you will make quickly or easily. We hope that the information provided will inform you sufficiently to take the next step. We will assist you through every step of the process, answering your questions and giving guidance to ensure that you make the right decision.
We like to recruit a diverse range of adopters because the children who need an adoptive family also are of differing ages and have different needs. We are particularly keen to recruit adopters who could consider adopting children of school age, brothers and sisters together and for children with learning and / or physical disabilities. We sometimes need adoptive families for young children and babies, some of whom may have a disability.
Who Can Adopt?
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. There is no upper age limit but children need a parent/parents who can be a support to them well beyond their teens.
Single people and couples can apply to adopt. Couples do not have to be married or in civil partnerships. It is the stability of relationships that matters not legal status.
Those who have no children and those who have birth children can adopt.
A criminal record does not automatically mean one cannot adopt but it does depend on the offences and when they were committed. There are some specified offences against children which mean the person is not suitable to adopt. Thorough checks are made.
You do not have to own your home to adopt but have appropriate security of tenure.
It is not how much income you have that matters but how well you manage your money.
Being disabled is not a barrier to adoption - it is your capacity to parent an adopted child that is important.
We welcome prospective adopters from all cultures, languages and religions within the UK and whose backgrounds are from more than one culture.
Applicants need to demonstrate a commitment to giving a child the care and security he or she needs, by undergoing a detailed assessment of themselves and their family, and attending a preparatory training course.
Applicants need to be aware of the importance of most adopted children maintaining some level of contact (direct or indirect) with their birth families.
Further information is available to download in the leaflet "Your guide to adopting a child".
If you are interested in finding out more about adoption and would like a visit, please contact us on (01429) 283499 or 405588.
8-9 Church Street
(opening hours: 8.30am - 5.00pm Mon-Thur, 8.30am - 4.30pm Fri)
Our priority is to ensure we can find the right families for the children from Hartlepool who need to be adopted.
Every adopter receives pre-approval preparation during their assessment period. This is designed to provide you as a prospective adopter with the knowledge and information that you require to gain a realistic picture of what's involved in adopting a child or children.
Every child will need your ongoing support to help them in knowing about their birth family and why they were adopted. During their childhood, their understanding of the adoption will change and develop and their need to understand their history may continue into adulthood.