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Could you adopt a child?

All children should be given the opportunity to be a part of a loving home and need stability and security throughout their childhoods. They also need a family who they can turn to in their adult lives. Adoption, unlike fostering is a life-long commitment through which all the rights and responsibilities for the child are transferred to the adoptive parents.

Adoption is a way of providing new families for children who cannot be looked after by their birth parents. We are looking for people to adopt children up to ten years of age, some on their own and some with their brothers and sisters.


Who can adopt a child?

We welcome adopters from a variety of backgrounds to meet the needs of a wide range of children who are waiting to be adopted.

In order to legally adopt you must be at least 21 years of age. You can be married, single or in a loving, committed relationship; you can be working or unemployed and either living in your own home or rented accommodation; you may be a member of a specific religion or none at all. We have adopters from different ethnic backgrounds and we would like to hear from people with disabilities as they can adopt too.

What is important is your desire to offer a loving and nurturing home to a child or children and to be able to support them to understand their life's journey and have the ability to offer them a positive experience of family life.

View our FAQ section to find out more or contact us.


Assessment and preparation

When you express an interest in adoption and have had an initial visit from the social worker, you will be invited to attend mandatory preparation groups and provided there are no issues, you would progress to a full adoption assessment which we would hope to have completed in 6 months. A social worker will visit you at home to carry out the assessment. Confidential enquiries will be made of the local authority you reside in and you will be asked to provide three referees. All applicants need to be in reasonable health and your physical and emotional wellbeing is a big part of the assessment. A full health assessment will be carried out and any health issues will be explored.  We do not place any child under five in a smoking household, hence any applicants who smoke will not be considered for children under the age of 5 years.  If you have been a smoker or use e-cigarettes, you will need to have stopped for at least six months before your assessment begins.

Anyone interested in applying to adopt will be subject to a Disclosure (Scotland) check to find out if they have a criminal record and to check if they are on the list of people disqualified from working with children. A record of offences will need to be carefully looked into but, apart from some offences against children, will not necessarily rule you out from adopting.

At the end of your assessment, the social worker will present a full report to the agency's Adoption Panel who will consider your application and make a recommendation of your suitability to the agency decision maker. It is the role of the agency decision maker to consider whether or not to approve prospective adopters and you would be notified in writing of his decision.

Once you are approved, the matching process with a child or children can begin.


Inter-country adoption

If you are resident in South Ayrshire Council and would like to adopt from abroad, the adoption process is the same as domestic adoption. However, you would be expected to pay for your assessment to be done.



If you would like to find out more about adoption, please contact:

Family Placement and Adoption Team
South Ayrshire Council
181 Whitletts Road

Tel: 01292 267675