Adoption Myth Buster

There are many adoption myths about who can and cannot adopt. 

To talk to us further about whether you are eligible to adopt a child please contact us or telephone PACT’s Enquiry Officers on 0300 456 4800.  Lines are open 10am-5pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am-8pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and 10am-1pm on Saturday. You can also fill in our enquiry form or download our Adoption Guide.

There are babies available for adoption and we are particularly looking for people to adopt with our Foster for Adoption scheme. This is where the adoption plan is not yet finalised in court. Please see our dedicated page on this. PACT specialises in finding families for  older children, sibling groups, and children with additional needs.

No, but to adopt a child in the UK you do need to have official permission for indefinite leave to remain in UK or Dual Citizenship.

No. It does not matter whether you are single, married or in a partnership. However we do ask that couples have been living together for at least two years.  The assessment process will also explore as far as possible that your relationship is stable as having children will be a major adjustment.

We encourage our adopters to obtain personal or professional ‘hands on’ experience with children, particularly if you are thinking of adopting older children or sibling groups. We give advice and ideas for voluntary work including working in a nursery, school or club for applicants to gain experience with children they do not know, as this can be helpful. We can signpost you to agencies willing to offer such volunteering experience.

If you have been undergoing treatment to conceive, we will usually ask that at least six months have elapsed since the last cycle of treatment has finished. This request will depend on how long you were in treatment and may vary case by case.  We know from experience and research that this period after treatment allows for the one chapter to end and another begin.  It is best that adoption is a positive choice rather than a reactive one to infertility. 

It does not matter if you live in rented accommodation or if you own your house. As long as your accommodation is stable and you have no plans to move (or renovate) in the near future.

No, but the main carer will be expected to take full adoption leave of at least six months once a child is placed.  Wherever possible we recommend a full year. This may need to be longer depending on the needs of the child and what you can afford.

No. PACT is aware of the medical evidence regarding the impact of passive smoking on children and is looking to place children in smoke-free homes. Local authorities placing children will not prioritise a family where anyone smokes, whether in the home or not. If you currently smoke and would like to adopt via PACT you will have to give up smoking (cigarettes and cigars). You will need confirmation from your GP that you have started a Smoking Cessation plan before we can offer to work with you.

Yes, you do need to be in good health.  As part of the process you will need to have an adoption Health Assessment with your GP and this will need to be seen by PACT’s Medical Adviser.  We need you to be medically fit to care for a child throughout childhood and have a good chance of being there for them into their adulthood.

No. Some families will have older children, at least two years older than the age of the child they wish to adopt. Others have no children.  Many of our adopters have birth children, adopted children and step-children already.  Some are already permanently caring for a child not related to them.