On this page we provide an overview of:
On average there are around 4,000 children in the UK waiting at any one time to be adopted. It is a common way for couples and single parents of all make-ups to add to their family.
In Scotland, all potential adopters have to meet strict criteria for being allowed to adopt.
The overarching consideration for any adoption is what is in the best interests of the child.
The process itself is extensive and thorough. Please review the information below on the different types of adoption.
To adopt a child from within Scotland, you can do so if you meet the following criteria:
- you are aged 21 or older (no upper age limit)
- single or in a couple
- a gay man or woman, either on your own or with your partner or spouse
- a parent already or not
- have lived in Scotland for more than a year
If you have decided that you want to adopt, you need to contact a registered adoption agency unless the child is a close relative or your step-child (for more information about step-parent adoption, click here.
The adoption agency will then check that you are a suitable candidate for adoption, called a ‘home study’. This will include checking your medical history, criminal record, finances and home. It involves a series of visits and meetings with a social worker who is allocated to your case, who will visit you and may meet with friends and family.
The agency will put your application to the Adoption Panel, who are a group of experts.
If you pass this part of the process, the agency will then take steps to try to match you with a child from Scotland’s Adoption Register.
Once a child has been placed with you and the adoption agency are happy that the match works for you and the child, they will get the court to issue an adoption order. An adoption order gives you legal guardianship of the child. This means you are now their legal parents. You will require a solicitor to do this and sometimes the local authority will agree to meet the fees for this. We can act on your behalf to do so.
Adopting a child from abroad is not an easy task and is especially complicated. To do so you will require to consult with a solicitor about your specific set of circumstances and the International Centre for Adoption.
If you are considering international adoption and would like legal advice based on your specific set of circumstances, please contact us.
If the child is a close relative or your stepchild, you will require to notify the local authority that you want to adopt the child.
They will check your situation and when you apply to the court for an adoption order, the local authority will prepare a report for the court to assist them in making the decision of whether to grant the adoption.
We can act on your behalf to apply to the court for an adoption order. Get in Touch.
Schedule a call back Schedule a Call
BTO’s Lesley Gordon discusses the legal landscape surrounding parenting where the parents are female same-sex partners. Having a child can be one of the most exciting and momentous things any couple ...
We discuss a recent judgement from the Court of Appeal which rejected the argument that a person adopted in France to French nationals now living in the UK was a ...
In recognising that there was no reported decision in Scotland where a foreign adoption order had been recognised and registered at Common Law, Lord Brailsford granted decree at Common Law ...
A recent Sheriff Court decision has emphasised that if someone seeks to adopt a child but one of the natural parents of the child does not consent to the adoption ...