Lewisham Council - Who can adopt

Who can adopt?

If you are over 21 and you can provide a permanent, stable and caring home we would like to hear from you.

People from all walks of life can make a success of adoption. It doesn’t matter whether you are single or living as a couple, in or out of work. We also celebrate diversity and welcome all enquiries.

You do need to be medically fit and have plenty of patience, humour and energy – children are demanding! Above all, you need to be determined to give children the sort of support that will really make a difference to their lives.

We are flexible about age limits. The key question we ask is – can you provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and maybe beyond?

If you are a resident

You do not have to be approved to adopt by the borough you live in, and although we offer a service to all our residents, it is not always possible to place our children with adoptive parents in the borough. Therefore we also welcome applications from those living outside the area, especially from people wishing to adopt older children, sibling groups or children with special needs.


All applicants undergo statutory checks carried out through the police, social services, health, education and probation services. Anyone with an offence against children is barred by law from becoming an adopter. Personal references from friends or employers are also taken up. All prospective adopters undergo a medical examination carried out by their own GP. 

Is there anyone who cannot adopt?

There are some people who can’t adopt. Anyone who has committed certain serious offences, including violent offences or crimes against children, will not be able to adopt. People who adhere to racist or discriminatory views will not be able to adopt.



​Adoption by foster carers

If you are a foster carer who would like to adopt a child you have been fostering you will go through the same process as any other prospective adopter. It is still very important to be sure that it would be best for the child to be adopted by the foster family before adoption can be recommended.

Another option is Special Guardianship. This gives overriding parental responsibility to the child's carer without severing links to their birth family.


Adoption Service
First Floor
Laurence House
1 Catford Road
Se6 4ru
020 8314 8949



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