Menu Open search

Adopt a child

We'll support you every step of the way

Every child deserves a family

Adopting a child is a big step.

It's also one that can enrich your life forever – and give a stable, loving family to a child who needs one.

When you adopt with Barnardo’s, you won’t be alone – we will guide you through the whole process, step by step.

We are the UK's largest voluntary adoption agency

We’ve been placing children with families for over 100 years, which means we have a lot of experience in matching children and adopters. And as the UK’s largest voluntary adoption agency, we have the resources and expertise to give you all the support you need.

Who can adopt?

Hear some of our adopters share their stories

People from all backgrounds and nationalities can adopt – whether you’re single or married, male or female, a homeowner or renting, straight, lesbian, gay, trans or bisexual, it doesn’t matter. 

You do need to be over 21, a non-smoker, and have a spare bedroom. You also need to have stopped fertility treatment if you’ve been trying to get pregnant.

Other things we’ll consider include:

  • your health 
  • your relationship, if you are part of one – we need to make sure each child is placed in a loving and stable home
  • other children in your family – so we can take their thoughts about adoption into account as well
  • criminal record – though not all convictions will stop you from adopting

The first step – get in touch

If you’re interested in adopting with us, the first thing to do is fill in our online enquiry form. A member of our team will call you back to talk you through the adoption process, and set up a meeting.

Our training and support

We offer a wide range of training and support throughout the adoption process, and in the years that follow. This will vary according to your and your child’s needs – it might include, for example:

  • training to develop parenting skills
  • therapy or counselling to help you and your child bond successfully 
  • support groups where you can connect with other adoptive parents

Children who need families

Two young boys smiling and hugging

All kinds of children need loving families to adopt them, including:

  • older children
  • children from a BAME background
  • brothers and sisters
  • disabled children

We work hard to match the right children with the right adopters, to help build stable and flourishing families.

Areas we cover

We’re looking for people to adopt children in the following places:

Adoptionplus

We’ve joined together with Adoptionplus, an adoption agency that provides specialist adopters and offers therapeutic support for the most vulnerable children and young people. Find out more about Adoptionplus.

Support for birth families and adopted adults

We also have dedicated adoption support services where we help others who are affected by adoption including birth families and adopted adults.

If you were adopted through Barnardo’s as a child, our Making Connections team can give you information about your adoption, and support you through the process.