What is adoption?
Adoption is the placement of a child on a permanent basis with a family who are not their birth parents. Adoptive parents have full legal responsibility once the adoption process is complete. Choosing to become an adoptive parent is a life changing and extremely rewarding decision for both you and the child or children you adopt.
Becoming a legal parent
When you adopt, you provide a secure, loving home to a child - for life. Like all parenting, it means sticking with it through all the ups and downs of family life. When you adopt a child you become their permanent legal parent.
A child's well-being is the most important thing; so while, in the past, adoption used to be seen as a service for adults, today a great deal of focus is put on children's needs first.
The adoption process
The adoption process is often thought to be very long; in fact it usually takes around six months to be assessed as an adoptive parent. Then you will need to be approved, when your case is heard by an Adoption Panel and a child or children can then be matched with you.
After a child comes to live with you and is settled into your family, an adoption order will be made. At this point the child will usually take on your surname and, like any parent, you will care for them into adulthood.
Who are the children?
Experience has shown us that for children aged one to nine years old, adoption can be the best option and offer them the best life chances. There are few very young babies available for adoption in the UK; often very young babies will have a degree of uncertainty about their health or development.
Children needing adoptive families come from a range of ethnic backgrounds. We try to place them with families who can reflect or support their heritage, because it is very important that children grow up with knowledge of their backgrounds and develop a good sense of their identity.
Some children needing adoptive families will have disabilities or additional needs. Some of the children waiting will be brothers and sisters who need to stay together. All of them will have experienced separation, loss and instability at a young age. They often feel rejected and responsible. It will take them time to trust you and they will need you to understand this. We can offer the training and support you need.
Want to know more? Why not come to our next information evening.