Who can adopt a child? Adoptive parents come from a range of backgrounds. You just need is to be aged over 21 years of age. You can adopt if you are: Single, married or unmarried From any ethnic or religious background Heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender A homeowner or living in rented accommodation Employed or on benefits Those who have children or who have none People thinking of adopting for a second time Your adoption agency will carry out further checks, including police checks. Having convictions or cautions will not automatically rule you out unless you have been convicted of or cautioned for specified criminal offences against children, or sexual offences against adults. Further information can be found on the myth busting page.