Post-adoption LGBT fathers kissing toddler

12 Adoption Myths Busted

There are many myths which surround adoption, and some people who may be interested in becoming an adoptive parent rule themselves out before they’ve even begun their journey. Here, we bust some of those myths and hopefully offer some reassurance about your eligibility for adoption…

If you have any questions about becoming an adoptive parent through our Adoption Connections service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we’d be delighted to talk to you.

Post-adoption BME mother walking with son in park

Myth #1:
I'm too old to adopt

There is no upper age limit for adopting a child – the only age-related stipulation for adoption is that you must be over 21 years of age. We will need to see that you are in good health and likely to be able to support an adopted child into adulthood, but many people in their 40s and 50s have successfully adopted children.

Myth #2:
I don't own my own home, so I'm not eligible to adopt

You don’t need to be a homeowner in order to adopt a child. As long as you have a stable rental agreement and a spare room in the property you’re renting, you can be considered for adoption.

Little sister kissing big sister on cheek
Diversity BME boy sat at computer

Myth #3:
Once we've adopted, we'll be on our own... we won't get any help

SFCS offers lifelong support to its adoptive children and their families. Our adopters can access regular training workshops, an adopter ‘Buddy’ scheme and a range of social events. There is also more specialised one-to-one support whenever it’s needed – from surgery appointments, through Theraplay sessions, to counselling. We’re here for you every step of the way.

Myth #4:
I can't adopt because I'm gay

The law allows adoption orders to be granted to same sex couples and single people of any sexual orientation. SFCS warmly welcomes adoption enquiries from couples and individuals, whether they are heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay or transgender.

Post-adoption LGBT family with kite
Little BME girl blowing dandelion seeds

Myth #5:
I'm unemployed / on benefits, so I'm not allowed to adopt

Your financial stability and money-management abilities will be discussed during the adoption assessment, but being unemployed, on a low income or on benefits will NOT automatically exclude you from becoming an adoptive parent.

Myth #6:
I already have birth children, so I won't be allowed to adopt

Having birth children will not necessarily prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent too. However, the age gap between your birth children and any prospective adoptive children will be considered, as will each child’s position within the family. We work closely with you to ensure that the needs of ALL the children involved are recognised.

Group of girls lying on floor smiling up at camera
Disabled father with post-adoption family in park

Myth #7:
I can't adopt because I'm disabled

Being disabled will NOT automatically exclude you from becoming an adoptive parent. In fact, you may have specific experience and understanding which would make you an especially good adoptive parent. Talk to us before ruling yourself out.

Myth #8:
I work full time, so I can't be considered for adoption

It’s not necessarily true that being a full-time worker will exclude you from becoming an adoptive parent. Certainly, you would be encouraged to take an extended period of adoption leave from work, to help your new child settle into their new home. But your work and financial situation will always be considered – talk to us first.

Post-adoption girl with mother
Post-adoption BME family with baby girl

Myth #9:
We aren't married, so we won't be allowed to adopt

If you want to adopt as a couple, it isn’t necessary for you to be married or in a civil partnership. As long as you can demonstrate that you are in a stable, enduring relationship, you will be able to apply together to become adoptive parents.

Myth #10:
I can't adopt because I have a criminal record

It isn’t necessarily true that a criminal record will prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent. As long as you have no convictions for offences against children or certain sexual offences against an adult, your application may still be considered. Talk to us first, be completely honest, and we will advise you further.

Post-adoption siblings with puppy
Post-adoption children being entertained

Myth #11:
If we're approved, a child will be 'allocated' to us... we won't have any say

Your participation in the process of finding the right child for you and your family is essential. It is in everyone’s best interests for adoption placements to be a success, so SFCS will work with you to ensure the best possible match for you, your family, and – most importantly – the adopted child.

Myth #12:
I can't adopt because I'm single

Single men and women are able to adopt, and SFCS warmly welcomes enquiries from single people of either gender.

Post-adoption boys gardening with father

St. Francis' Children's Society is first and foremost committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all prospective adopters to share this commitment. All applicants must be willing to undergo safeguarding checks including DBS checks and Local Authority checks. This is to ensure that no adopter is approved who may pose a risk to children or is otherwise unsuitable.