who can


Applicants must live within the Falkirk Council area of within 25 miles of Falkirk Council Headquarters (Municipal Buildings, Falkirk)


All enquirers must be aged 21 years or over and possess a level of maturity and life experience. There is no fixed upper age limit but, as a general guide, there should be no more than a 45 year age difference between the youngest adoptive parent and the child, unless there is an existing relationship or in special circumstances.


Single people, couples who are married, in a civil partnership or co-habitating can apply. Couples must have lived together in a stable relationship for a minimum of three years. Single people must be able to demonstrate they have a support network of family and/or friends who live close by and will offer assistance if a child is placed.


Applicants and members of their household over 16 years old will be subject to the following checks:

  • Disclosure Scotland/PVG check; Medical check;
  • Local Authority checks for any area applicants have lived in since they were 16 years old;
  • Health Visitor enquiry – if an applicant has a school age child the school may be contacted for an opinion.

Enquirers with a previous criminal conviction must disclose these. Any offences involving children or serious violence will rule out assessment as adoptive parents. Other offences will be discussed with the enquirer and will not necessarily stop the enquirer from the assessment process and approval as adoptive parents.


This may include:

  • Checking any information that is in the public domain which would include networking sites;
  • Checks may also be carried out on ex-partners;
  • References.


Undergoing fertility treatment can be emotionally and physically draining and our experience has shown us that applicants  need time to recover from fertility treatment. Therefore Falkirk Council will not accept applications from people while fertility treatment is ongoing. It is expected that there is a gap of a year between finishing fertility treatment and applying to adopt.


A miscarriage, the death of a child or any other significant loss or bereavement can be a harrowing experience and people need time to grieve and deal with their loss. We would ask applicants allow themselves at least a year to grieve before applying to adopt.


Due to the health risks to young children from passive smoking, Falkirk Council will only place children under five years, or who have a respiratory illness or other risk factors, in non-smoking households. Applications to adopt a child under five years will therefore not be accepted from smokers. Applicants need to have stopped smoking for 12 months before they are considered non-smokers.


Falkirk Council will only accept an application from prospective carers prepared to consider adopting a child of at least up to 5 years of age unless there is a pre existing relationship or in exceptional circumstances.

Falkirk Council will only accept an application, recommend and approve adoptive parents for either domestic or inter-country adoption at any one time. Falkirk Council will not accept an application from people who have a current application with, or are already approved by, another Adoption Agency, other than with the explicit agreement of that Agency and in exceptional circumstances.


As part of the assessment process a PVG check would be undertaken that would provide information on any criminal record you have. This would not automatically prevent you from becoming a prospective adoptive parent, however, this would be dependent on the charge/conviction. You would have to be prepared to discuss the details of the charge/conviction and be prepared to declare any relevant information at the point of the enquiry.

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