Woman and child with toy guitar

At Southampton City Council we welcome enquiries from people from all walks of life who are interested in caring for a child who is unable to live within their birth family. We are looking for couples and individuals who reflect the backgrounds, ethnicity and cultures of the children who need adoptive families in Southampton.

We are happy to consider applications from people living inside and outside of the city. We work with children of all ages but we would particularly welcome enquiries from people who are looking to adopt children over the age of two, children with additional and more complex needs, such as learning difficulties and emotional difficulties and who may have the space in their homes to adopt sibling pairs or groups.

Call us on 0800 5 191818 for an informal chat with the adoption team or come and meet us at one of our information evenings.

If you are looking to adopt a younger child you may wish to find out more about fostering for adoption

Like all families, adoptive families come in all shapes and sizes! If you wish to start the adoption process or have any questions, please complete our

Adoption enquiry form

We are committed to ensuring that applicants and children receive a service which reflects their cultural, religious and language needs.

Most of all we are looking for adoptive parents who will be able to meet the majority of a child's needs. Therefore we welcome applications from people with a wide range of experiences and skills.  

We expect our adopters to

  • be open and honest at all times
  • be tolerant and respectful of people from a wide range of backgrounds and lifestyles
  • to talk to their adopted children about adoption
  • to agree a level of contact with the birth family in line with the child’s needs
  • to agree to at least one meeting with the birth parents where this is possible

You need to be in the 'right place' to adopt

If you have a partner, you need to have been in this relationship for at least two years.

If you have been having fertility treatment, we will not consider any adoption application for at least six months from the date of your last treatment. It may be that we think you need longer to come to terms with this, so we will look at your individual circumstances at your initial screening visit.

We also consider the following to be significant life events:

  • divorce or separation
  • significant house move or job change
  • bereavement

The emotional impact of events such as these affect people in different ways. If you have recently experienced any of these significant events we will need to discuss them at your initial screening visit. This is so we can make sure you are now in the right place to adopt.

You can talk to us about any of these things when you contact us, if you wish to. You will be invited to an information evening where you can also discuss any issues in private, or wait until your initial visit.

Email: adoption@southampton.gov.uk