The first consideration in adoption is the welfare of the child. Our main aim in recruiting adopters is to find safe and suitable families for children who cannot live with their own families.
Stockton Council aims to recruit adopters within a 50 miles radius of Stockton-on-Tees although we are flexible in this and will consider applicants outside of this range.
Adoption in the past usually involved babies being placed by unmarried mothers and adopted at a young age. The age of children requiring adoption has traditionally been under two years old.
Today adoption usually involves children in the care of local authorities and these children are likely to be over two years old and some of these children have had some damaging experiences.
In the past the Adoption Order was usually seen as the end of the process and adoption was a closed and secretive topic. Today adoption is a lifelong process, which provides a child with a family to call their own, and also cherishes the child's birth family link.
Read the Adoption Service Statement of Purpose for further information.
Tees Valley Regional Adoption Agency
The five Local Authorities and Voluntary Adoption Agencies across the Tees Valley are developing a plan for a Tees Valley Regional Adoption Agency. The vision of the Agency is to achieve the best possible adoption outcomes for children and adopters through high quality and timely services, delivered in the Tees Valley by an effective and financially sustainable organisation.
See the latest Agency Newsletter September 2016.
Who can adopt?
Adopters come from all walks of life and all kinds of people may have the commitment, skills and experience to offer a child a positive experience of family life:
- You may be married, single, divorced or in a partnership with someone.
- You may have your own children or be childless. If you have children of your own, living with you, with a previous partner, or independently, we will need to talk to them about their feelings about adoption.
- If you have completed fertility treatment and have reached a decision not to undergo any further treatment, you can apply to adopt. However, if you are currently undergoing fertility treatment, we would not be able to accept an application.
- You may own your own home or rent, as long as you have adequate accommodation for a child.
- You may be employed or unemployed.
- There are no specific upper age limits for adoption, although there is a legal requirement for applicants to be aged 21 years or over.
- Applicants will need to have a reasonable level of physical, mental and emotional health. All applicants who wish to adopt will be asked to have a full medical with their own GP.
- Our policy will be not to place a child under the age of five years old within a smoking household unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- Disability does not prevent you from adopting.
- Your sexuality will not prevent you being approved for adoption.
- We need adopters from all races and cultures to reflect the race and culture of the children we look after.
- You may be from any religious background.
- People who have convictions or cautions for offences against children are prohibited from adopting.
Read the story of an adoptive family.