Advice for Adoption/Surrogacy for someone who doesn't fit the standard profile


Well-known Member
I'm a single early 40's male who for a long time now would like to have a kid. I have no interest in going down the traditional route or in finding someone to even share the responsibility with, but would very much like to have a child of my own to pass things onto, love, care-for etc. Whether the child is off my own DNA or someone else's is off no importance to me.

I did look a few years back into adoption via Leeds county council, but as i smoke, am single, have 3 dogs and have suffered from depression in the past, i'm not exactly what they are looking for. As a result of finding that out, i put the whole thing on a back burner for a time.

However i am now ready to have another try and i wondered if anyone has any advice on the matter? I have thought about adopting from aboard but fear that my lifestyle/history will equally knock me out again? Perhaps Surrogacy is a better option, but this is something i know very little about.

Has anyone gone down either of these two paths?


Well-known Member
We have had our adopted daughter living with us for the last 6 weeks so will try to help from what I know of the process, let's take each point at a time

Single: You will need to prove that as a single adopter you have a good support network and that you can manage financially when a) taking adoption leave & b) childcare costs when returning to work

If you can prove the above, whilst you may be approved by the panel, family finding would be a little more difficult as the child's social worker will be working on behalf of the child you would be ' up against ' couples who potentially would have a better financial position and more support (as in each other ) It does depend as to what you are open to both in terms of child's needs & ages. For example a 6 month old baby without current ongoing needs will be far more popular than a 5 year old with behavioural issues

Male: I cannot see how your sex would make a difference, unless a child has previously been abused by a male and therefore the agency would place with a same sex female couple etc

Smoking: This would be an issue, especially with younger children and I would encourage you to quit smoking, not least because of the health implications

Pets: No problem, we have 2 cats and I know many people who have adopted with dogs, some children in fact ask their social worker to find them a forever home with pets! Your dogs would have to be assessed to ensure they didn't pose a risk to a child but this would not be a blanket no

Depression: No problem provided you are not currently experiencing depression that is not managed. The agencies are not looking for perfect parents, they are looking for people who have experienced issues and can overcome them, shows resilience. I thought I had totally effed up our application when I disclosed a period of recreational drug use, self harm & work related stress, in fact during our assessment these 3 things were noted as strengths.

Hope this helps :) Please feel free to drop me a PM if I can help any further. We weren't able to naturally have children and after 3 rounds of failed IVF we moved onto adoption. Our clinic had remarked we could try IVF with donor embryos and of course surrogacy was an option but we both felt that it would almost seem wrong to create a new life when there were lots of little lives already out there needing a home.

We actually found the entire process very enjoyable and nearly a year to the day of us commencing our first course, our little 8 month old girl came home.... who is currently sound asleep in her cot upstairs :)


Well-known Member
Hi @Sinead
My thanks for your truly helpful and insightful reply, and congratulations on your new family member :) Lastly thank you of your kind offer for me to pm you which whilst at this stage i shall pass on, i most certainly will once my application gets started and i move from the general subject to details.

Giving up the smoking is not a biggy if that is the price of adoption as i gave up last time for it, and only started again after going to the Leeds adaption meeting where their t&c upset me so much when after speaking to them it became clear i was unlikely to be approved (though to be fair they did say that they couldn't say for sure to i applied).

My depression is managed so its good to hear that this isn't a door stopper as is that fact that being single isn't necessarily an issue either, though i will need to spend some time now working out in detail how i can deal with all the issues you have mentioned especially around childcare during school holidays etc as whilst i am self employed (so term time is no problem) school holidays need careful thought and i need to be ready with an answer for that question, which to be honest i hadn't thought much about as i would have just figured something out (which obviously isn't good enough)

I have to be realistic about the age of the child as i am single and also take into accounts the likely questions of when the child is older of "why have i only got extended family on one side etc" a baby would not be a good fit for either of us i feel. I would be looking for a child to adopted that would be in the 4 to 7 years old mark ideally (though I'm open to older), which whilst in some senses will be harder in the short term (your not my dad etc), is better in the long term for all concerned.

Like you say for the reasons you gave (and my reasons above), surrogacy was not my preferred option, but i was until now coming to the conclusion that it was my only option, so thank you once again.

I'm glad that you found the whole process enjoyable, as that gives me some peace of mind. I doubt i will as i'm a very private person, but i have hope now that whilst i wont find it enjoyable that i will at least find it liveable. Naturally i understand that it is only right and proper that the checks and examinations etc are made, but i freely admit it isn't something i am looking forward to, so your comment helps a lot in that regards.

Thank you, you have given me much to think on to find the answers they/I need to future issues and hope that maybe just maybe adoption is an option open to me after all. :)

Cornish Piskie

Standard Member
I am a lesbian mum. My daughter was conceived by IVF from donor sperm.

The biological father is a gay man who was willing to make his donation for completely altruistic reasons. Perhaps you might consider donor sperm to a lesbian couple.

The problem you may face however, is in how much contact you might want to have with the child after birth. Our donor has no contact whatsoever with our daughter and that is an arrangement that, without going here into what we have agreed about issues which may arise in the future, is satisfactory to all parties.

If you are genuine about wanting to have future contact with the child after birth, you will need to make sure you sort out mutually agreed arrangements beforehand as you may find yourself constrained by law after the event.

The "Need For A Father" clause was removed from the Human Embryo and Fertilisation Act in October 2009 so you will not necessarily have any rights in the matter. My wife and I have complete care and control of our daughter and if I (the birth mother) were to die, custody of our daughter would automatically pass to my widow.

But that doesn't mean that providing donor sperm to a lesbian couple would necessarily be a bad thing. The couple may be happy to have your involvement and want you in their child's life as a male influence that they, as a couple, could not provide. The options are open to prior negotiation. It's certainly worth considering as an option.

Good luck.


Distinguished Member
Also do not underestimate the needs of a 4-7 yo (or older) who is in the care system. My wife is a teacher and not in the best of areas either (although by no means the worst either). They have had some training on behavioural issues based around children in care etc. Apparently if they are neglected from a very young age then this can affect their brain development around relationships/ behaviours. This means their behavioural issues become hard wired which can be very tough if not impossible to overcome.
I also have friends who foster (maybe something you would consider as a first step) and some of their most challenging kids they have had have been in the age group you mention. Talking to them the last pair they had nearly broke them (and this is a strong couple who have their own child as well and the mum is full time stay at home for the fostering side). So just make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for.


Well-known Member
My wife and I went thought the adoption process a couple of years back, my wife suffers from depression (linked to a horrible childhood) We were advised my our SW that she should undergo counseling as the depression could be seen as a 'weakness' by the adoption panel.

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