Although there are many children in the UK who are looking for an adoptive family, there are also many children overseas who need homes. You can give them the opportunity to belong to a permanent family, but there are rules and regulations you need to be aware of.

Intercountry adoption is allowed in circumstances where:

  • the child cannot be cared for in a safe environment in their own country
  • the adoption would be in the best interests of the child and wouldn’t affect their internationally recognised human rights
  • the adopter has been assessed as eligible and suitable to adopt from overseas by an adoption agency in the UK

If you are interested in adopting a child from overseas, you should contact the Intercountry Adoption Centre (details listed below).

Once you have decided to adopt a child from overseas, your suitability will need to be assessed and you will need to be approved as an intercountry adopter. This assessment process is overall the same as if you were adopting in the UK. However the assessment is additionally expected to cover the issues that arise in a child being adopted from the country you wish to adopt from and from the child then moving to live with you in the UK.

If you wish to adopt from another country you will also need to be able to meet the several costs including those for:

  • Your assessment and approval as adopters
  • The Department for Education certification and services fee
  • Costs in the child’s country of origin

Assessment and approval

From October 2010 Merton has commissioned Intercountry Adoption Centre (IAC) to provide an adoption assessment service for prospective intercountry adopters who are residents of the London Borough of Merton.

Intercountry Adoption Centre provides a professional and timely service which combines assessment of suitability and safeguarding of children, with education on adoptive parenting, in order that those who move forward to adopt a child are fully informed and prepared for the task.  

They will be able to advise you on issues including:

  • the current costs to you of their services
  • legal requirements and conditions for adopting children into the UK
  • whether or not you need to re-adopt your child in the UK
  • which countries you are not allowed to adopt from
  • adoption from British citizens living abroad
  • registration of foreign adoptions

If you live in Merton and wish to pursue the adoption of a child from overseas, then please contact in the first instance the Intercountry Adoption Centre: -
22 Union Street

Members of the general public will be able to contact an advisor every week day morning during 10.00 -11.30 a.m. on 020 8447 4753.

An answer machine message can be left for an advisor when it is not possible to speak to one directly and/or the advice line is closed.

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Contact us

Adoption and Permanence Team
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden SM4 5DX

Telephone 020 8545 4688