The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Child Adoption

Adopting a Child in the UK

What are the Rules for Child Adoption in the UK? As a rule you must be at least 21 years old to adopt a child in the United Kingdom. The adoption process can take up to 2 years before you become adoptive parents.

ADOPTION AND FOSTERING: These guidelines explain how to adopt a child in the UK. Find out who can adopt children and how the legal process works.

There are a number of things to consider before you apply to become an adoptive parent. This includes your own health and wellbeing.

Adopting a child requires patience and flexibility. Good health and bags of energy will certainly help towards providing a new family for a child. But, how does child adoption affect your time off work?

There is vital information for those looking to adopt a child from abroad.

Fostering a child is another topic covered in this section. There is expert advice provided about surrogacy. Find out what are the legal rights for a surrogate mother.

Child Adoption and Fostering Guide

Apply to Adopt a Child in the United KingdomAdoption

APPLY TO ADOPT A CHILD: There are several options for child adoption in the UK. You can apply to adopt a child through your local council or through a voluntary adoption agency. If you use your council for child adoption, you should be at least 21 years old.


Apply to Foster a Child in the United KingdomFostering

APPLY TO FOSTER A CHILD: Fostering a child in the UK can be a rewarding experience. You can apply to foster a child through your local council. The social services department of your local council will help you become a foster carer.


Becoming the Legal Parent of a Child in the United KingdomParental Orders

APPLY FOR A PARENTAL ORDER: Check how to become the legal parent of a child in the United Kingdom. Find out how to get a parental order using the C52 acknowledgement form.


Rights for Surrogate Mothers in the United KingdomSurrogacy

SURROGATE MOTHERS: What are the legal rights for surrogates? A surrogate mother has the same rights as any mother who carry a child. The exception could be if they sign a parental order. Find out more on the father's rights and how surrogacy affects maternity leave.


Adoption, Fostering, and Surrogacy Laws in the United Kingdom