What type of children are waiting to be adopted?
We are looking for people to adopt children of all ages who are from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. In particular babies by foster to adopt, sibling groups, older children (usually up to the age of 8 years) and those with additional health and development needs whose future development is unclear. It’s best to either give us a call or come along to one of our information evenings where you can learn what types of children are waiting to be adopted, as this can change.
How is adoption made legal?
Once a child has lived with you for at least 10 weeks an application can be made to the court for an Adoption Order. A social worker helps you complete your application to a court, usually a local County or Magistrates Court. In due course you and your child are asked to attend Court for the Adoption Order to be made.
Do birth parents and other relatives have any contact with their child after adoption?
Each child’s situation will be different but where possible children will have direct contact with some of their birth family for example parents, grandparents and siblings. It is also usual for there to be an exchange of written information, perhaps once or twice a year, via Adoption Connects.
Do adopted children want to trace their birth parents?
Most adopted children are curious about their history and birth family, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t love their adoptive parents. Since 1975 adopted people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have had the right to see their original birth certificate when they reach the age of 18; in Scotland the age is 16 and this right has existed since legal adoption was first introduced.
Some people are satisfied with the fuller knowledge and understanding gained in this way, while others want to try to trace their birth parents or other family members.
Do siblings have to stay together?
Siblings placed together are children who have a strong bond with each other and will benefit from staying together as a sibling group. We strive to keep siblings together but occasionally they may be placed apart if this is appropriate.
Do you get support once the adoption has gone through?
Yes. We have a full training programme you can access including elearning. You are legally entitled to an assessment of your adoption support needs until your child is 18 years of age. You can find out more about adoption support here.
Do we need to have a lot of money to adopt?
No, not at all. All you need is to have a sensible attitude toward your finances and be financially stable.
Is there an age limit to adopt?
There is no upper age limit to adopt, you just need to be 21 years or over. The most important thing to consider is the needs of the children and if you can support them through to independence.
Older and more experienced people could take on the care of older children for example, provided that they will have the health and vigour to meet the child’s needs and be there for them into adulthood.
Can I adopt a child if I smoke?
There is no blanket ban on adopting and being a smoker, but it will be one factor taken into consideration.
If you smoke the social worker will discuss this with you and signpost you to services who can support, you to stop smoking. The council has a policy that a child under 5 years will not be placed with prospective adopters who smoke.
Do I need a big house to adopt?
No, however, it is preferable that the child should have their own bedroom so you should have a spare room available.
Do I need to own my own home?
No, you can apply to adopt if you rent or own your home. What matters is that you can offer the child a stable home.
Will I have to give up work if I adopt?
Most children who are placed for adoption will have some additional needs and some may be less able to cope with day care, so it is very important for children to have consistency of carers.
We operate a flexible approach to employment by adopters, but it is expected that wherever possible one of a couple or the single person will take leave from work for at least 6 to 9 months after a child is placed with you. Adopters are entitled to adoption leave and we can provide further information on this.
I hold strong religious beliefs; will this be a difficulty?
We welcome applications from all communities and all religious backgrounds and recognise the commitment often shown by those with strongly held beliefs.
We’ll chat to you about your religion and beliefs during the assessment.
If I am approved how quickly will a child be placed with me?
It depends on the children who are waiting to be adopted and the needs of the child you are able to consider.
If we cannot place a child with you within three months, with your permission, your details will be placed on the National Adoption Register and search for a child from national agencies.
How do I get access to information regarding the child I wish to adopt?
We look to find out as much information about our children as possible e.g. medical, background, family health, their appearance, skills, achievements and the reasons why the child is being placed for adoption.
This means we can know the child well enough to match them with a person or family who can best meet their needs.
It also allows us to give you as much information as possible and for us to record the information for the child.
We give information to adopters so that they can pass it on to the child gradually at appropriate times as he or she grows up.
How can I prepare for adoption?
There are some things you can do to help you and your family prepare for adoption and for the arrival of a child such as:
gaining an understanding of the adoption process and of children who are waiting to be adopted, through recommended reading, training courses and accessing of information through relevant organisations
gaining experience of other people’s children through voluntary work, babysitting for example
prepare your wider family for adoption, including development of a good support network and people who can support you
consider the impact of adoption on your current lifestyle
consider your present and future financial situation, including plans for continuing with employment after a child is placed with you including any child care implications
starting to think about a safe and stable home, making sure there is space for a child to join your family home
thinking about your physical and mental health, ensuring, as far as possible, that you will have the necessary health and energy to meet a child’s needs into adulthood.