Adoption is one of the most rewarding and successful ways of caring for a child.

The Adoption Service is responsible for recruiting, training, assessing and supporting adopters.

We aim to make a child's life safe and secure when they can no longer live with their birth family.

The Adoption Service work in the best interests of children at all times to ensure we make a positive difference to their lives.

With many years of experience of finding homes for vulnerable children we take pride in our matching process making sure we get it right for you and the child.

Adoption is a permanent, life-long commitment which offers children who are unable to live with their birth family the opportunity to grow up in a family that can give them love, care, stability and security.

It is a legal process which transfers all legal responsibility for a child to their new parent/s.

Adoption is life changing and can be challenging but it is also very rewarding. So consider making a difference to a child's life and get in touch with the Adoption Team.

We are looking for different kinds of families/individuals to help meet the different and sometimes complex needs of the children waiting for adoption in Aberdeen.

Our adopters come from all sorts of different backgrounds and each brings something special to the role. We welcome enquires from single applicants, same sex couples, ethnic minority groups and those who already have children as well as those who do not.

You need to be able to:

  • Provide a safe, stable and loving family environment and put their child' needs first.
  • Have plenty of time, be patient, sensitive, flexible, energetic and have a sense of humour!
  • Be comfortable about keeping in touch with birth parents, siblings or other important people from the past.
  • Value and understand a child's past experiences and empathize with their trauma and loss.
  • Cope with the unexpected.
  • Have had some experience with children.
  • Be able to communicate with children and see the world through their eyes.
  • Ask for help when you need it.

The reasons you might choose to adopt a child can vary widely depending on individual circumstances. Some applicants may have considered or experienced infertility treatment as an initial option before looking to adoption. Alternatively some chose to adopt rather than having a birth family. Some adopters already have birth children but decide that they want a child to join their family through adoption.

Where it is not possible for a child to live with their own family, we need to find an alternative family for them. There are many children in Aberdeen waiting to find a new family.

Most children being placed for adoption will have spent some time living with our foster carers. Some birth parents have complex family backgrounds which have impacted on their capacity to safely care for their children and prioritise their needs.

These children need lots of attention and love. In many cases the stability of a new family is all that is needed to help these children thrive and meet their potential.

Most of the children waiting for adoption in Aberdeen are aged between 0-8 years and some will have health needs and/or need additional educational support. We have single children but also groups of brothers and sisters who do not want to be separated.

Current need and priorities

We are currently looking for families who can adopt:

  • sibling groups
  • older children
  • children with disabilities

Adoption is one of the most rewarding and successful ways of caring for a child so we want to make sure you're ready for what's involved.

The first step is easy, just get in touch.

Adoption and Fostering Service
Business Hub 2
Lower Ground North
Marischal College
AB10 1AB

01224 264242 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)

Here are some questions and answers about adoption through Aberdeen City Council. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please get in touch.

We welcome applications from married couples, couples who have entered into a Civil Partnership, single people and from unmarried couples who are in a stable, long-term and enduring family relationship. Unmarried couples, including same sex couples, are able to make a joint application to adopt.

Yes. However, first of all we will always encourage you to discuss matters relating to childlessness with your GP and to pursue medical investigations before considering adoption. We always ask you to have completed any investigations or treatment before actively pursuing an adoption application. Both avenues to parenthood are emotionally demanding and our experience has shown that it is unwise to follow both options simultaneously. You will not be prevented from adopting if there is no clear explanation for your infertility. Some people positively choose adoption over having birth children.

We welcome applications from families with children. Generally the child to be adopted is placed as the youngest family member and usually an age gap of at least 18 months. Therefore, we would suggest you wait until your youngest child is aged 4 years before applying, Children placed for adoption are emotionally vulnerable and demanding and it will take time for them to begin to settle into your family. You will have to consider how this may affect the children living in the family. It will be important for your social worker to meet your children and to consider their views and understanding of adoption.

All adoption applicants are required by law to have a medical examination as part of their adoption assessment. This is done by appointment with your GP and the necessary forms are supplied by us. The completed report is returned by the GP to our Medical Adviser for his/her comment and recommendation to the Adoption Panel. Adoption medical reports are held confidentially by the Agency.

Prospective adopters are expected to be in good general physical and mental health. We need to be reasonably sure that you will be in good enough health to be around for a child's growing-up years.


However, if you are a smoker, you need to be aware that there are some restrictions. In common with many adoption agencies we follow national medical advice and do not place children under 5 in smoking households. If applicants are interested in caring for under 5s they must be smoke-free for at least six months before we can take up an application.

Adopters must be aged 23 years and above.

Prospective adopters do not have to be employed, but those who are, are encouraged to be as flexible as possible and to discuss adoption/parental leave at an early stage with their employers. The need for a parent to stay at home with a child full time and for how long will depend largely on the age and individual needs of the child. Pre-school children may need a parent to be available to care for them, help them settle and feel secure in their new family, rather than going to nursery or a child minder. Depending on the specific needs of a child or children, financial support may be considered by the placing local authority, although this is means tested.

The Children's Social Work team

Contact us

Would you like to give feedback about the new website?