Adoption is a life-changing decision.

Nowadays, we rarely have straightforward young babies available for adoption. Many of the children may also have emotional, behavioural, physical or medical needs.  Most children also spend time with foster carers before we can consider them for adoptive families.

If you are thinking about adoption we ask that you come with an open mind. We won’t accept your application if you only want to adopt healthy babies or very young children.   You must be willing to consider a child or siblings in the age range 18 months to 6 years old.

Criteria, skills and experience

 If you want to become an adoptive parent with Fife Council you must:

  • be over 21 and either single, married, civil partners, or living together as a couple for at least two years.
  • be medically fit.
  • have no record of offences against children and declare any other offences.
  • be able to provide four non related appropriate references.
  • be able to meet basic health and safety standards.
  • have a separate bedroom available to child(ren).
  • not own dogs described in the Dangerous Dogs Act or other prohibited animals.
  • declare information on any firearms held.
  • be willing to realistically consider a child(ren) between the ages of 18 months and 6 years of age.
  • have some child care experience.
  • be able to attend preparation groups and undergo home study of whole family.

Here are just some of the skills and experience we ask for in an adoptive family:

Physical care

  • Appropriate accommodation that is adequately furnished, safe, warm and inviting.
  • Ability to set age appropriate boundaries and manage behaviour while protecting a child from harm.
  • Ensure the child receives appropriate health care.

Emotional care

  • An ability to value and support a child while understanding the significance of the child’s past.
  • Opportunities to develop play, friendships, relationships and interests.
  • Understanding the effects adopting can have on your own family and the child.

Inclusion of child's history

  • Be aware of the need to support a child in understanding their identity throughout their childhood and into adulthood.  This may involve ongoing contact with members of the birth family, either directly or indirectly.

Working with social work/or other professionals

  • Ability to work with social workers and other professionals whilst the child's legal situation is secured.
  • The ability to seek appropriate support following an adoption order being granted.


Applying and Steps to Approval

Step 1 – phone or email

If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent please give us a call (contact details at the bottom of this page).  We’d love to hear from you.

We will then be able to answer any initial questions that you may have and, send out an information pack about the process to being approved as an adoptive parent.

Step 2 – home visit and preparation training

We will arrange a visit to your home to discuss the process in detail, and if you are still interested you will be invited to attend an Adoption Preparation Training course with other interested families.

A further home visit will then take place to ensure you meet our criteria.

Step 3 – assessment

Your social work contact will then start the formal process of applying which starts with an assessment.  The assessment is a two way process, in which we aim to give you information to prepare you for the complex task of adopting, and to help you decide if adoption is for you and your family.  This process can take six months.

The personal assessment involves all members of your family.  You will be expected to demonstrate, or have the potential to develop, the following skills:

  • Ability to communicate with children, their families and professionals
  • An awareness of child development, and the particular needs of looked after children
  • A willingness to work towards the social work plan for the child, including facilitation of contact and working with families
  • Flexibility
  • The ability to keep accurate records
  • A willingness to attend meetings, support groups and training sessions
  • An understanding of anti-discriminatory practice

A report about you and the information you have given us will be presented to our Adoption Panel.  They will make a recommendation to a Senior Manager in the service who will make a final decision about your approval.

We take up the following checks and references:

  • Four personal references
  • A full medical
  • Disclosure/PVG checks
  • School/nursery/health visitor check for any child already in the family
  • An additional reference from any previous significant partner
  • A reference from any adult children living elsewhere

Step 4 – approval

A report about you and the information you have given us will be presented to our Adoption Panel.  They will make a recommendation to a Senior Manager in the service who will make a final decision regarding your approval.

*However, the Social Work Service reserves the right not to proceed with the assessment if information, or concerns that cannot be resolved arise.


Adopting a Child from Overseas

It is possible to adopt a child from another country.  You would need to find out as much as possible about the rules for the particular country you want to adopt from.  Advice can be sought from Scottish Government Intercountry Adoption Team

Fife Council can help you with an overseas application by undertaking the Home Study part of the assessment (for Fife residents).

However, there is a significant charge for this service which you need to pay at the start of the assessment process, regardless of whether your application is successful or not.



Family Placement Service Permanent Fostering Team
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 ext 471074 Contact Family Placement Service Permanent Fostering Team online

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