Most children in the UK are raised by their birth parents. But more than 3,000 children in England alone are waiting for a family to adopt them.
Have you ever thought about adopting a child? If so, perhaps worries about the law and your right to adopt have stopped you from taking the next steps.
Here are five legal facts about adoption that many people don't know.
1. I'm single. Can I adopt? You can adopt if you are single or an unmarried couple. It doesn't matter what your gender or sexual orientation is.
2. I'm disabled. Can I adopt? You can adopt if you are disabled. A large number of children who need adopting are disabled, so your experience could help.
3. I'm unemployed. Can I get financial support if I adopt? You can adopt if you are unemployed or on a low wage. You could get tax credits, benefits and support such as a Disability Living Allowance if you adopt a disabled child.
4. I don't have my own house. Can I adopt? In England you can adopt even if you aren't a home owner. You need to have the space and a safe place for children to grow up in. You may even get priority for council housing.
5. Am I too old to adopt? As long as you're over 21, you can adopt. There is no upper age limit. You do need to be healthy enough to look after a child. British National Adoption week falls in October.
You can find out more about becoming an adoptive parent on the First4adoption website.
Here at Legal Choices, you can learn about family issues and sources of support.