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Who can Adopt?

West Lothian adoption criteria

Our children and young people need lots of different things from their adoptive families and we consider individual needs when family finding. We however ask all applicants to meet the following criteria:

  • All applicants must be over 21 years old
  • Applicants should be able to parent a child until they reach the age of independence
  • There should not be an age gap of 45 years or more between the age of the child and the age of the youngest applicant
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have a secure tenancy with a bedroom available for a child

Applications will be accepted from:

  • Single applicants
  • Married couples
  • Civil partnership couples
  • Couples who have been living together in an enduring relationship for at least two years


Applications will not be accepted from those who are currently undergoing or those who are on the waiting list for fertility treatment. We would ask that any fertility treatment is completed at least 6 months prior to an adoption enquiry.


Unfortunately, we do not accept applications from households where there is a smoker if you are looking to care for a child under the age of 5 years old or for any age where a child has a respiratory health need. This includes e-cigarettes. Smokers must be able to demonstrate that they have stopped smoking for a year prior to an application being accepted.

Ethnic origin, cultural background, language and religion

Applications are welcome from all sections of the community.

Birth family contact and identity

As an adopter you are the child's second family. Applicants must be able to demonstrate an understanding and commitment to supporting the child to be aware of and embrace their birth identity. This may include supporting the child to have ongoing time spent with members of their family of origin or having letter box contact with members of their family of origin including siblings, extended family or birth parents. We would ask that all adopters are willing to meet with birth parents where this is deemed suitable and will provide suitable support where required.


As part of the assessment process all applicants will require to be willing to undertake a range of checks which will include:

  • Police checks (PVG/Disclosure) for all those aged over 16 living within the household
  • Health Checks 
  • Employment references
  • Contact with previous partners where children were involved
  • Financial checks
  • Local Authority checks

We are seeking families who can offer security, care, love, acceptance and commitment to a child throughout their lives. We are seeking families from all sorts of backgrounds and would encourage potential applicants to speak to us about their circumstances. There are many myths about adoption which often leads families to believe they would not be considered. We would ask that if you are unsure that you talk to us to find out. We are primarily interested in what families can offer children and we know and recognise that families come in many different forms and with all kinds of different experiences.  The key to a successful adoption process is openness and honesty where applicants are able to share full information about themselves.  This allows us to make the best possible assessment and secure the correct family match between you and the child.

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