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What is adoption?

Adoption is the legal process in which all the rights and responsibilities relating to a child are transferred to the adoptive parents.

Health

I smoke - can I still adopt?
As we are looking out for the best interest of the child, we do not place any child under the age of 5 in a smoking house. We would ask that you are trying to stop smoking and we can offer help and support to stop smoking.

I am overweight - can I still adopt?
Personal wellbeing is vitally important and each case will be assessed individually.

I have a health problem - am I still eligible to adopt?
Health checks will be carried out as part of the application process - however, if you have been ill in the past, this will not automatically affect your eligibility if you are now healthy.

Criminal records

I have a criminal record - can I still adopt?
This depends on your criminal offence. An enhanced disclosure is carried out on all potential adopters and each case is individually taken into consideration.

My partner has a criminal record - can we still adopt?
If you live with your partner, or your partner will be coming into contract with the child, then they will have to undergo an enhanced disclosure and be assessed.

Do my biological children need a police check?
Anyone living in your home over the age of 16 will require an enhanced disclosure and be assessed. If you have children under the age of 16 living at home, they will be part of the assessment process.

Process

How long does the application process take as a whole?
Each case is dependent on the individual and issues may arise which need to be assessed and discussed between you and your assessing social worker. On average, the whole process may take up to 6 - 12 months from the preparation group stages.

What support will I receive throughout the application process?
Once you have completed the six module preparation groups and have been approved to continue onto the home study process, you will be allocated a supervising social worker who will guide you through the rest of your assessment process.

Becoming an adoptive parent

Are there any age limits?
You can adopt with West Dunbartonshire Council from the age of 21.

I am single - can I adopt?
Yes.

I don't have my own children - can I adopt?
You do not need to have children of your own to adopt, although it is beneficial if you do have experience with children.

What accommodation do I need to adopt?
You can live in a house or flat of any size as long as the child you adopt has their own bedroom.

Can I still work if I am an adoptive parent?
During the matching process, you are entitled to time off work during and after the adoption process.

Will I get paid adoption leave from work?
You are entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay from your current employer.

What help will I get from West Dunbartonshire ?
As an adopter for West Dunbartonshire, you will receive post-adoption support assessed on the individual needs of the child.

Children

Do I get to choose what age I adopt?
The Adoption Panel will agree on what age of child you can adopt and how many children you can adopt.

Do children who are adopted still see their biological families?
This depends on how much contact is agreed between child and their parent(s) an /or the child’s siblings. Each case is very different and assessed carefully. Some children may not have any direct contact at all with their birth family but may have indirect contact through information exchange (letters) with their birth parents and /or siblings.