We are improving the procedures, services and support around adoption and permanence to ensure that Scotland has a modern, responsive and child-centred adoption system.

Basic information on adopting a child in Scotland is provided by Citizens Advice.

Adoption enquiries should be sent to the relevant local authority contact or government contact.

Improving adoption

Since 2011 we have funded Scotland's Adoption Register that aims to speed up and increase the number of adoptions in Scotland.

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 wrote Scotland's Adoption Register into law. As a result:

  • the Scotland's Adoption Register Regulations 2016 were created to set out the key requirements for supplying, retaining and disclosing information
  • from April 2016 all adoption agencies in Scotland use Scotland's Adoption Register to refer both children and adopters within three months of approval

Improving adoption: background

In 2001 the Scottish Executive launched the Adoption Policy Review Group (APRG) to review Scotland's adoption system and make recommendations to improve it. It produced two reports:

We responded to Phase 2 with a set of proposals, which we consulted on in 2015 (Scotland's Adoption Register Regulations 2016: consultation). As a result, the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill was introduced and passed in 2006, creating the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007.

Interagency fees

An interagency fee can be charged when adopters approved by one adoption agency are matched with a child in the care of another adoption agency.

Following our consultation on Scotland's Adoption Register Regulations 2016 we agreed to endorse the use of the same standard fee structure as used in England for interagency placements, shown below:

For one child: £27,000 For two children: £43,000 For three children: £60,000 For four children: £68,000 For five children: £80,000

Intercountry adoption

The process for adopting children from abroad is similar to domestic adoption but may be subject to additional restrictions or requirements, depending on where the child comes from.

Guidance on adopting a child from abroad is provided on

Anyone considering adopting a child from abroad should contact their local authority's adoption division.

Intercountry adoption: restrictions

Under Section 62 of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007, Scottish Ministers must publish a 'restricted list' that sets out the countries for which special restrictions are in place.

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