There is nothing to stop you adopting as a single person in the UK and if you wish to adopt, you have the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of being single.
Giving a loving, stable family home to a child who needs one can be hugely rewarding. It is a big undertaking and for individuals considering going ahead with single parent adoption, there are often some concerns about taking on the responsibility alone. However, many single people successfully adopt, with an estimated 11% of adoptions in recent years being by single adopters.
At Crisp & Co we understand that it can be a stressful time and we will always do all we can to ensure that the legal side of adoption goes as smoothly as possible. There is a set legal process that must be followed and we can stay by your side to guide you through this step by step.
We always work proactively to avoid unnecessary delays and we will keep you updated as to the progress of your case. We make sure we are available to discuss issues with you and to answer your questions throughout.
We specialise in family law, meaning we have an in-depth understanding of the process involved in a successful adoption and we know how to resolve difficulties that may arise.
Book your free initial consultation with our single parent adoption solicitors
Contact our adoption lawyers today to book your free 1-hour consultation and discuss your case with an expert member of our team.
Or complete our simple online enquiry form and someone will be in touch shortly.
Our single parent adoption solicitors’ expertise
We provide advice, guidance and representation in respect of all aspects of adoption, to include the following:
- Adopting as a single man, adopting as a single woman, or adopting as a non-binary or gender-fluid individual through an adoption agency or local authority
- Adopting children who are in care
- Fostering to adopt and concurrent care
- Adoption of relatives and kinship care
- Adoption of stepchildren
- International adoption
- Adopting grandchildren
- Adopting new born babies
- LGBTQIA adoption
We have been helping single parents adopt for many years and we understand how important it will be for you that the process is dealt with efficiently. We will give you the support you need and ensure that you know what will happen at each stage. Our services include:
- Advice on UK adoption laws and the options open to you
- Supporting you as you go through the adoption process
- Liaising with relevant parties such as the birth parents’ legal representatives, the adoption agency and local authorities
- Applying to court for an Adoption Order to legally formalise your adoption
- Support and advice following the adoption to include resolving any difficulties
- Representing you in an adoption appeal if the birth parents object to the making of an Adoption Order
For more information, see our page on adoption.
How adopting as a single parent works
Who can adopt a child?
You can adopt a child if you are single and whether or not you are married. You can be from any ethnic background or follow any religion. You do not have to own your own home and you can be employed or receive benefits.
You can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual or transgender. You can adopt if you do not have children or if you already have children and if you have already adopted. You can adopt if you are disabled.
If you have health issues but you believe that you are well enough to adopt, then this should not prevent from you from adopting.
What might stop me from being allowed to adopt a child?
There are three automatic exclusions from adoption, as follows:
- You have a criminal conviction or caution for offences against children or serious sexual offences.
- You must have lived in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least a year.
- You cannot be aged under 21.
Other issues may count against you, such as:
- Criminal convictions, particularly those for serious offences
- Whether you have a bedroom available for the child
- What sort of pets you have
Issues such as lifestyle, health and age are likely to be taken into account. If you have a serious medical condition, this will be considered when the authorities assess whether you will be able to care for a child.
References will also be gathered and if these are not particularly good or contain something negative, this will count against you. It is also important to be honest when providing information to the authorities. If information turns out to be incorrect, your application could be turned down.
Can I adopt a child from abroad as a single person?
Whether you can adopt from abroad as a single person depends on the country in question. Where it is culturally less acceptable for parents in that country to be single, then adoption might not be possible.
However, there are many countries that do permit single parent adoption. If you wish to adopt a child from overseas, the UK requirements are that:
- The child cannot be cared for in a safe environment in their home country
- Adoption would be in the child’s best interests
- You have been assessed as eligible and suitable to adopt from overseas by a UK adoption agency
Your local council will be able to put you in touch with an adoption agency that will be able to start the adoption process on your behalf if you wish to adopt a child from abroad.
What is the process for adopting a child?
You should initially apply to adopt through an adoption agency. This could be an independent agency or part of your local authority’s children services.
The agency will carry out an evaluation, to include background checks, health assessment and obtaining references. You will also learn more about what is involved in being an adoptive parent.
You will need to go through some training to prepare you and may be asked to fill in a log as you go.
Once the preliminary checks have been made, you will be assessed during visits from a social worker and a report written about you and your suitability.
If you are approved to adopt, then the agency or social worker will start looking for a child or children who they believe would be a good match with you. You will have the opportunity to spend time with the child over a couple of months before they move in with you.
After the child has been living with you for around ten weeks, we can make an application to the court on your behalf to become their legal adoptive parent.
What financial support is there for adoptive parents?
If you work and you will be taking adoption leave, you will be entitled to statutory adoption pay.
You may be entitled to support for therapeutic services for your child if they were previously in care and the local authority will assess whether you qualify for this. Examples of help include counselling to help your child with learning or relationships.
Where a child has additional needs, an adoption allowance may be available. This is generally means-tested, which means it’s assessed based on your financial circumstances.
Money may be available to help with items you may need to settle your child in with you, such as a car seat or bed. If your child is of school age, their school may qualify for a pupil premium. In some cases, discretionary housing payments may be available.
Where payments are discretionary, they may be difficult to obtain and only rarely made, so you should not rely on them being available. As well as adoption payments, you will be entitled to the same child benefits that a birth parent would be entitled to.
How long does adoption take?
The initial process of application and approval can take six months or more. Once you have been approved, finding the right child could take anything from a few weeks to another six months or more.
What happens if I enter a relationship after adopting?
If you enter into a relationship after adopting, your new partner may also want to adopt your child. If this was to go ahead, they would be given parental responsibility for your child and this would continue, even if you were to split up in the future, so you should consider carefully whether this is right for you and your child.
Why choose Crisp & Co’s single parent adoption solicitors?
Crisp & Co is a specialist family law firm, meaning we have an in-depth understanding of child law and the adoption process.
We understand that the adoption process can cause anxiety and we will always do all we can to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible for you and your child. Our level of expertise means that, should difficulties arise, we will know how to address them.
We always take great care to support clients throughout issues involving children as we know that it can be a difficult and uncertain time. You will always be able to speak to us to raise any queries you have and we will offer you all the help we can.
We hold Law Society accreditation in respect of Family Law Advanced for our experience and skills handling complex family cases, including adoptions.
We also have a Lexcel accreditation for our commitment to excellent client care and legal practice management.
Get in touch with our single parent adoption solicitors
Contact our adoption solicitors today to book your free 1-hour consultation and discuss your case with an expert member of our team.
Or complete our simple online enquiry form and someone will be in touch shortly.