Frequently Asked Questions
Most children will need to maintain some level of contact with their birth family in order to promote their self-esteem and full identity. In many cases this is achieved through indirect letterbox contact. There are also an increasing number of children who will have direct contact with a member or members of their birth family, if this is seen to be of benefit to the child.
We need to consider the effect of passive smoking on children and so we would not place a child under the age of 5 or those who have a heart, chest / respiratory problem with people who smoke. Obviously we would prefer it if you didn’t smoke and we can provide you with support to help you give up. In the cases where smokers are considered, child friendly strategies to minimise secondary inhalation will be assessed.
Not necessarily, it would depend on the nature of the offence. Any convictions involving crimes against children would prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent. Minor offences should not count against you; the important thing is to be open and honest and discuss this with us at the earliest opportunity.
Discretionary financial support may be available depending on your family circumstances and the needs of the child or children you’re adopting. If you do adopt you will be able to claim Child Benefit and you may also be able to apply for tax credits and other benefits to supplement your income.
Yes. You'll receive detailed information on any children you're linked with. You'll also have the opportunity to meet with the child’s social worker and current foster carers. You will also have the chance to meet with health and educational specialists and any other significant people who are involved in the child’s care.
We aim to approve you within 6 months from application to approval. Saying how long the linking and matching process will take can be hard. Some people are matched quickly while others may wait longer. If you are able to consider older children, siblings or children with additional needs your chances of being matched quickly are greater. We also work collaboratively with regional and national colleagues to find a suitable match.
If you do not live within Sefton we will discuss with you the type of child you are interested in adopting. We will prioritise applications from people who are best able to meet the needs of children we have waiting for adoption.
Mental health issues do not necessarily prevent you from adopting but you would need to discuss any issues of ill health with your social worker as early as possible.
The legal minimum age from which you can adopt is 21. However, there is no upper age limit and applications will be considered based on individual circumstances.