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

ADOPTING A CHILD: There are several options for child adoption in the United Kingdom. You can apply to adopt a child through the council or through a voluntary adoption agency.

ADOPTION RECORDS: Being an adopted person may mean you don't have access to your adoption records. Find out how to access birth records and find birth relatives via the Adoption Contact Register.

CHILD ADOPTION: Understanding the child adoption process is important for anyone trying to adopt. Find out the eligibility criteria, how the assessment works, and the rights of the birth parents.

OVERSEAS: Learn how to adopt a child from overseas and bring them to live in United Kingdom. Check DfE fees, several key restrictions, and how to register an overseas adoption.


Apply to Foster a Child in the United KingdomFostering

FOSTER A CHILD: Fostering a child can be a rewarding experience. You can apply to foster a child through your council in the United Kingdom.

FOSTER CARERS: The main role of foster carers is looking after children whose parents are unable to. Even so, money and support is available for anyone interested in becoming a foster carer.

KINSHIP CARE: Some parents can have difficulty taking care of their own children. Check out what benefits and financial support you can get if you are looking after someone else's child.


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

SURROGATES: Some couples consider surrogacy as a practical arrangement for creating a family. Check out the legal rights for surrogates and intended parents when using surrogates or donors.


Adoption, Fostering, and Surrogacy Laws in the United Kingdom