Who can apply?

Whilst we consider applications from all interested parties, as a Catholic adoption agency, St Margaret's is not only regulated by statutory law but also by the teachings of the Catholic Church (Canon Law). St Margaret's is bound by civil law to operate in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Faith. As a result of this St Margaret's describes the services it offers as "adopting within the framework of the Catholic faith."

To articulate the subsequent requirements of our faith based service St Margaret’s operates a "preferred criteria" in assessing whether or not enquirers can go forward for full assessment.

 We will give preference to:

  1. Catholic Married Couples who wish to adopt within the framework of their faith.
  2. Married couples, where one of the Parties is Catholic and they wish to adopt within the framework of the Catholic faith.
  3. Other Married couples ( i.e. non Catholics) who wish to adopt within the framework of the Catholic faith.
  4. An individual who may wish to adopt within the framework of the Catholic faith.

 Quite often people assume they will not be able to adopt for many reasons. You may be worried that you are too old, that you have a health condition, do not earn enough money or do not own your own home

This is not the case. We are keen to hear from families from all walks of life.

What you have to offer materially is not overly important. We are more interested in looking for families who can offer a child the unconditional love, care and support that they will require through to adulthood. The special qualities we would look for are that you are open and honest, adaptable and willing to learn. You should also have an understanding of the needs of children together with abundance patience, tolerance and, most importantly, the time, energy and love that all children need.

In general the following would apply:

  • Legally you need to be at least 21 years old to adopt.
  • There is no upper age limit. However, we would expect you to be fit, healthy, active and physically able to care for a child. Your own age would be taken into account in relation to the age of the child placed. Current guidelines state that the age difference between the parent and child should be no more than 45 years.
  • We consider applicants from all areas of Scotland.
  • Applicants should reside permanently in the UK and have leave to remain here.
  • Couples applying to adopt should have been in a relationship for at least 2 years.
  • If applicants have undergone fertility treatment then there should be at least 6 months between the end of treatment and beginning of the adoption process. This is important to give you time to come to terms with your unsuccessful treatment before making the shift to thinking about becoming adoptive parents. You can however, make your initial enquiry before this time.
  • Some convictions or cautions do not automatically exclude you from adoption. However, it is important that these are disclosed at the initial stage of your enquiry so that they can be fully taken into account when considering your application.
  • Many people who adopt have current health issues. Again, having a particular health condition does not automatically exclude you from adopting but we do need to consider the impact that any health issues may have upon your ability to parent. Should you have any healthy issues, please ensure that these are disclosed at the initial stage of your enquiry so that they can be fully taken into account when considering your application.
  • BMI can become an issue in adoption. It is essential that you can offer your child a fit and healthy lifestyle and some Local Authorities will not consider placing children with adoptive parents where there BMI is particularly high. We do not have a set limit on BMI, however, if your BMI is over 40 we would expect you to show a commitment to addressing this over the course of your assessment.
  • Children have the right to live in a smoke free environment. We would therefore expect you to stop smoking prior to adopting.
  • We welcome applications from families who already have children. We would expect there to be at least 2 year age gap between your child and adopted child. We would therefore look for your child to be at least 4 years old before you adopt.
  • We would expect you to have a spare bedroom for your adopted child.
  • There are very few babies now being placed for adoption. We understand that most people would prefer to adopt a child who is as young as possible. However, there are many children of different ages in need of permanent homes. We would therefore ask that you can consider adopting a child at least up to age 5.
  • Your child will require time and support to settle in your family. We would therefore ask at least one parent to be able to take at least 9 months adoption leave.

Should you have any questions or concerns with regards to any of the points above, please feel free to contact our office and speak with the Duty Worker who will be happy to answer any of your questions.