Many people can be put off adoption because they think their personal circumstances will affect their chances of being accepted.
There are a number of common myths that could stop a suitable person applying:
I’m single, so I can’t adopt
Single people can adopt, whatever their gender. Many single people and unmarried couples have adopted in Rotherham.
I’m too old to adopt
Adopters need to be over 21 but there is no upper age limit. However your age may be taken into account when you are at the family finding stage.
I can’t adopt because I’m gay
Your sexuality is not a factor in your right to adopt, in fact we are working with an increasing number of single gay people and couples. We are well known within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and members of the New Family Social support group.
I work full time, or I’m unemployed and claim benefits so I'm too poor to adopt
Your financial circumstances and employment status will always be considered as part of an adoption assessment, but will not automatically rule you out.
I can’t adopt because I have a criminal record
You can adopt even if you have a criminal record, however, if the conviction is for offences against children or certain sexual offences against adults then you will not be able to adopt.
A full Disclosure and Barring Service check is done during the first stage of the assessment and it is important to be open and honest with us.
I have children living at home, so I won’t be able to adopt
Already having birth children or other children in your care will not stop you from adopting.
Any other children will be considered in the assessment, with consideration given to the age gap between your own children and the age of the child/children you wish to adopt and the position of each child within the family in relation to the adoptive child/children's needs.
I won’t be allowed to adopt because I can’t have my own children
It is really important that anyone wanting to become a parent through adoption understands their own motivations. We will discuss both the medical and emotional issues with you during the second stage of the assessment. We do not have any time limits in relation to waiting between fertility treatment and starting the adoption process however we would expect that all treatment has finished.
I can’t adopt because I smoke
Smoking will not necessarily rule you out from adopting, but we will take this into consideration when looking at a child for you in relation to their age and their health needs – we will not place a child with health issues or under the age of five years with a family where there is a smoker in the household.
I am disabled so will not be allowed to adopt
Being disabled should not automatically exclude anyone from becoming an adopter and it is widely recognised that disabled people can often provide a very loving home for a child.
Disability is only one of the many issues that will be considered by an adoption agency, so don’t rule yourself out before you have had a conversation with your agency of choice.
Even if you believe that you might need some additional assistance to adopt a young person, social services may be able to provide this support.
I can’t adopt a child from a different ethnic background
Not true. The aim for everyone in the adoption system is to find loving families for each child in need of a happy future, even if there is not a perfect ethnic match.
Ethnicity is relevant though, and you must have an understanding of the challenges that raising a child of a different ethnicity can provide. We will help prepare you for this if it applies to you.