SSAFA answer your questions on adoption

SSAFA answers questions on adoption

1 September 2017

SSAFA answers your questions on adoption

For National Adoption Week, SSAFA answered questions we often have from military families looking to adopt. Read the most frequently asked questions below.



  1. How long does it take to adopt? The adoption process is broken into two stages and we aim to complete them in six months.

  2.  Am I too old to adopt? There are lots of myths about age and many people wrongly think that they are too old to adopt. The only legal stipulation is that you are over 21 years of age.  That said you should be healthy and fit enough to be able to parent a child through to young adulthood.

  3. Do you have to be married to adopt? No you don’t have to be married but if you are in a  relationship and applying as a couple you need to have been living together for at least two years at the point you apply to SSAFA.  We also welcome applications from single people.

  4. What happens if I am deployed or have to move during the process? SSAFA Adoption Agency are used to working with prospective adopters who are in the military and we really understand the military lifestyle. We are committed to working  with you  through moves and deployments.

  5. What sort of support do SSAFA offer after children are placed? We have a dedicated Post Adoption Support Social Worker who specialises in working with families and advocating for their needs. We expect families to come back to us for support and advice.

  6. What is early permanence? Early permanence or fostering for adoption is a form of adoption which minimises the impact of moves for a child. We asses people for both early permanence and traditional adoption.

  7. What if I am not or my partner is not a UK national? Every case is unique and we are happy to discuss each case individually but generally if you have been resident for over 12 months then this can be considered.

  8. Can I adopt as a single parent?  Yes absolutely and we welcome applications from single adopters. There are many children who actually do much better in a single parent household.   As you would expect your support network would be vital in these circumstances particularly if you are a serving member of the armed forces.

  9. Does SSAFA support LGBT adopters? SSAFA actively welcome applications from people who identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. We have successfully supported many same sex couples through the adoption process who have gone on to parent through adoption.

  10. Can I adopt if I have a disability? Yes you can. Obviously every situation is different and every applicant has a medical to consider their fitness to care for a child until young adulthood.

  11. I have a criminal record can I adopt? There are some offences that bar you from adoption and this can be discussed individually. However there are many people who have historic offences who have gone on to successfully adopt. 


Find out more about our adoptions service here.