Adoption - Overview

Adoption offers children an opportunity to live happy, healthy, fulfilling lives with their new families. It is a permanent, life-long commitment.

It’s also the chance for you, as an adoptive parent, to begin or complete a family of your own.

Please call us on 01234 718718, email or use the online form to find out more about adoption:

Enquire about adoption

When you contact us, you’ll have an informal chat with a social worker from our Adoption Team. 

We will ask you to come to an information evening, where you can find out more if adoption is right for you.

You can be:

  • single or in a relationship, married or unmarried
  • heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
  • from any religion and ethnic background

We need people of all ages, who are in good health with the energy and compassion to give a child a home. 

By law you must be over 21, a UK permanent resident and hold no criminal convictions against children

And you don’t have to live in Bedford to adopt a Bedford Borough child.

Read our real-life adoption stories to find out more or see facts about who can adopt.

What is adoption?

Adoption is a legal process which transfers all legal responsibility of the child to their new parent(s). 

Sometimes, when a child comes into the care of the local authority, it isn’t possible for them to return home. We will look at the best options for the child when this happens and, in some cases, the best outcome is adoption.

Every year in England, there are around 4,000 children waiting for adoptive families.

They range in age and are from a variety of backgrounds, but what they have in common is their difficult start in life and that they are unable to go home.

They need to grow up in a safe and secure environment, where they are helped to make sense of who they are.

Adoption journey - first steps

Adoption is a big decision. We will work in partnership with you to make the process as smooth as possible for everyone taking part.

We want to help our children become your children and will support you through every step of the adoption process - from finding out more about you, to identifying and matching you with your child, and beyond.

Talk to us about adoption

Please call us on 01234 718718 or email to find out more about adoption.

We welcome enquiries from people of all religions, races, genders and sexuality.

Adoption Agency Statement of Purpose

Download Bedford Borough Council's Adoption Agency Statement of Purpose (PDF).

Adopt East and New Family Social

We are part of the Adopt East alliance. Adopt East is a regional adoption alliance which brings together the professionalism, skills and expertise of eight local authorities and two voluntary adoption agencies, from across the East of England and in partnership with Adoption UK

We also work closely with New Family Social who offer support and advice for professionals and LGBTQ+ people.


Adopt East and New Family Social logos