Adoptive parents are ordinary people and come from all backgrounds, cultures and walks of life.  For a number of reasons some children cannot remain with their birth parents.  For these children, a permanent family is sought to care for and support them throughout their childhood into adulthood.  The adoption process gives adopters full parental rights and responsibilities for these children.

East Dunbartonshire Adoption Services are registered with the Care Commission and subject to annual inspection. Inspection reports can be viewed on the Care Inspectorate web site.

Contact us if you would like to discuss adoption further.

Who can become an adoptive parent?

Couples are able to become adoptive parents, as long as each member of the couple is aged 21 or over.  A couple is defined as:

  • Persons who are married to each other
  • Persons who are civil partners of each other
  • Persons who are living together as husband and wife in an enduring family relationship for a period of two years prior to application.  However if one partner is employed in a job where this has meant that they spend significant time apart and away from the home address this will be taken into account
  • Persons who are living together as if civil partners in an enduring family relationship.  However if one partner is employed in a job where this has meant that they spend significant time apart and away from the home address this will be taken into account

The criteria for adopting include:

  • A member of the couple is domiciled in a part of the British Isle
  • Each member of the couple has been resident in Britain for a period of at least one year ending with the date of the application
  • There be no more than 45 years between the youngest adopter and the age of the child to be adopted
  • Applicants will normally live in East Dunbartonshire or within reasonable travelling distance.  In exceptional circumstances to meet the needs of particular children we will accept applications outwith the Council
  • If applicants have opted for medical interventions in seeking to become parents these must be concluded for six months prior to application.  We acknowledge that the emotional journey may never be resolved but this will be fully discussed as part of the assessment
  • If wishing to apply to adopt for a second or subsequent time, one year must have elapsed following the placement of the previous child
  • Applicants who wish to adopt children under 12 must be non-smokers.  If either applicant has ceased smoking then this should be for a period of more than one year prior to application
  • Applications will not be accepted if there is a dog in the household from a breed registered under the dangerous dog act
  • Applicants must undergo enhanced Disclosure Scotland checks and some offences will preclude any applications from being accepted
  • Applicants must also undergo a medical assessment and some health conditions may suggest that at that point applicants would not be suitable for proceeding.  If this is the case this will be discussed fully with yourselves and it may be that if your health concerns are addressed you may be able to reapply at a later date

We are looking to recruit adopters from all walks of life.  Adopters need to be open and flexible in their willingness to help children to build trust and emotional security in their new family.  You will also need to be able to help a child make sense of their background.

Children who may need adopted

Children who may need to be adopted come from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds and may have experienced loss, trauma, neglect or abuse.

  • Some children are in sibling groups who need to be placed together
  • Children who have been abandoned by their birth parents
  • Children who have experienced the death of their parent/s
  • Some children have disabilities and their future development is unclear
  • Babies who may have developmental uncertainty due to their parents’ use of drugs and /or alcohol, mental health and domestic violence issues

The process

The process starts with the attendance at an information evening and preparatory sessions. Once you have submitted an application form, you will then be allocated an assessing Social Worker who will undertake an in-depth assessment of your circumstances and lifestyle. This will normally take about six months and will include health check, Disclosure Scotland check, references and Local Authority check.

Once your assessment report has been completed you will be presented to the Adoption and Permanency Panel.

Matching a child

Once applicants are approved as adopters, the adoption agency will attempt to match them with a child, taking into consideration race, cultural background, religion, etc. Once a likely match is found, the adopter/s should be given comprehensive information on the child and their needs. The proposed match will be presented to an Adoption Panel, where a decision will be taken on whether to proceed with the placement.

When the child is placed

The child will move to live with the prospective adopters (their new parents), after a planned period of introductions, which can last for several weeks, depending on the child’s needs. Social Workers will remain involved to support the family and child until at least an Adoption Order is granted.