Can I adopt or foster if I already have birth children?

You can still adopt or foster if you already have children

But agencies will often only consider an age gap of at least two years between the youngest child in your family and an adopted or permanently fostered child, to enable you to meet the individual needs of the children, and minimise their need to compete for your attention.

Image of white brothers and sister outside
Research suggests a placement is more likely to work out if the child or children joining the family are not too close in age to the child or children already there.

It is also often easier if the child joining the family is the youngest, although this is not inflexible, and it may be appropriate for them to be the middle or eldest child. You would need to discuss this with your adoption or fostering agency.

Have you read our inspiring features on the impact on birth children when an adoptive or permanent foster child joins a family? Take a look at 'Real brothers and sisters', 'Different but the same', 'Their brother, plain and simple' and 'Love is thicker than water'.

Last updated: 02 March 10

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