Questions about adopting

"Can I adopt?" is often the first question that many people ask.

Why not see for yourself if you are eligible to adopt at

Am I too old/young to adopt?

The legal minimum age from which you can adopt is 21. However, there is no upper age limit and applications will be considered based on individual circumstances.

Do I have to be married?

No, we have adopters who are single and divorced as well as married and unmarried couples.

Can I adopt if I have any children of my own?

Yes, many adopters have young children or fully grown children who have left home.

Can I adopt if I'm gay or lesbian?

Yes, we consider your skills and qualities - not your sexuality

Do I have to be employed?

No but you would need to consider the financial commitments associated with raising a child

Can I adopt if I am from an ethnic minority?

Yes, we are keen to encourage applications from all communities.

Can I adopt if I have an illness or disability?

This will not automatically prevent you from adopting and each case would be considered on an individual basis.

Will a criminal record affect my application?

Certain minor offences or cautions may not prevent you from adopting. However, you must let us know of any convictions or cautions that you have at the initial application stage. 

Do I have to live in Gateshead?

No. We actively look to recruit adopters living within a 50 mile radius of Gateshead. Often, it can be an advantage for the child or children to be placed outside of Gateshead so applicants from neighbouring Local Authority areas are encouraged.

How do I apply?

Please see our steps to adoption section for details.

How long does it take?

The process usually takes several months from the time you make an application.

How is adoption different from fostering?

Adoption provides children with a permanent new family. An adoption order transfers the child's legal relationship from their birth family to the new adoptive family.

Some of the children in care do not need a new family, but rather to be given temporary care until they can return to their own family or move on elsewhere. This is known as fostering.


Contact us

Adoption Team
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street

0191 433 6388

Fax: 0191 433 6396

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