Who can adopt a child? Adoptive parents come from a range of backgrounds. The only requirements are that you are 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 Already a parent, or not a parent yet Adopting for a second, third, fourth, etc. time A British citizen, or permanently resident in the UK for at least the past 12 months 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 in myth busting section.