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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future

Adopting a child in Nottinghamshire

Contact us

e-mail: adoption@nottscc.gov.uk
tel: 0845 301 2288
Complete our online form

Data protection

Please note that people who contact the County Council to enquire about adoption can have their details logged on to our computer system.

This information will then be treated as confidential and will not be shared with anyone else but will remain on our system for future reference.

Eligibility criteria for adopters

Check the eligibility criteria, which must be satisfied to enable us to consider your adoption application.

 Getting started

If you think you'd like to adopt a child, get in touch. Our contact details are at the top of this page.

Photo of a family.

Adoption might seem daunting but we can help to answer your questions and talk you through the possibilities. Our experienced adoption workers will give you as much time as you need to understand more about adoption and decide if it's what you want to do.

There's no obligation of course. We look forward to hearing from you.

Before you begin the adoption process you will be assessed and given guidance on understanding the needs of the children waiting to be adopted. Becoming approved to adopt can take around nine months.

Who can adopt?

There’s very little to prevent people adopting as long as they are in good health. You have to be over 21 and there is no upper age limit. People with disabilities will be given the same consideration as those without.

Your sexuality is not an issue. We have several gay adopters and we are always keen to hear from gay people looking to adopt.

Read Linda's adoption story.

Criminal record

Obviously we would not place a child for adoption with anyone who has a serious criminal record or anyone who has committed offences against children, but otherwise there aren't many barriers.


If you smoke this will not automatically prevent you from being considered as a prospective adopter but we would discuss this with you. However it is unlikely we would consider you for a child under five years old or with certain medical conditions.

If you think you would prefer to foster a child see our fostering information

Assessment process

Every prospective adopter will go through a thorough assessment process.

This helps to prepare people as best we can to become adopters. You will be asked to:

  • answer any questions we might have and co-operate with us during any checks we have to make, such as medicals and police checks

  • have regular meetings in your home with an adoption worker who will work very closely with you throughout the process

  • come to group sessions with other prospective adopters and learn from existing adopters’ experiences.

Once you have been approved to adopt a child, we'll discuss children we think might be right for you - you will be fully involved in this process.

Adopting a child is a major decision and has a big impact on your life, which is why we spend an enormous amount of effort preparing you so that you know exactly what is involved.

Throughout the process, you always have the element of choice - how many children, their ages, their gender, what level of special needs you can handle and so on. Of course, you can pull out at any stage, but the thoroughness of the preparation process we take you through should mean that you will know early on whether adoption is for you or not.

Adopting a child who knows you

We have leaflets available that can advise you on the possibilities for adopting children who are related to you or children who have been privately fostered by you, which can be requested from your local fostering team: 

Fostering Team (Ashfield) 01623 433433

Fostering Team (Bassetlaw) 01777 716161

Fostering Team (Mansfield) 01623 433433

Fostering Team (Newark) 01623 520520

Fostering Team (South Notts) 0115 8546000

If you would like information about your options when considering the possibility of adopting a step child and the alternatives, download out factsheet You and Your Stepfamily [PDF]. If you prefer to receive this as a hard copy, you need to contact your local fostering team to request this.

If the child you are interested in adopting is looked after by Nottinghamshire County Council, please contact the child's social worker.

Adopting children from overseas

Anyone in Nottinghamshire wanting to adopt from abroad should contact the Doncaster Adoption and Family Welfare Society on tel: 01302 349 909. You may also find it helpful to visit the Intercountry Adoption Centre's website: www.icacentre.org.uk/.

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