What is Adoption?
Adoption is a way of providing a new permanent family for a child not able to be brought up in their birth family. It’s a legal process that permanently transfers parental responsibility from a child’s birth parents to their adoptive parents. The child becomes a full member of their new family, the same as being born to the adopters.
Choosing to adopt a child is an extremely rewarding lifelong commitment which as in all families has highs and lows, but you’re never expected to go it alone. We offer a comprehensive adoption support service delivered via ourselves and through our partner agencies.
How does this differ from Fostering?
Fostering is an arrangement that allows a child or children to live with a family until circumstance enables that child to return home, live independently or move to an adoptive placement. When a child is fostered, the Local Authority usually shares parental responsibility with their birth parents. Parental Responsibility does not pass to foster carers.
Becoming an adoptive parent - what’s expected of me?
Children who need adoption come with different experiences. Many will have experienced emotional abuse or neglect. Being separated from people who they are attached to can be a very distressing experience, and some children may not understand fully what is happening. Children are individuals and will react differently to these experiences - some may appear angry while others will become withdrawn. All of them will need your understanding, support and love to help them though this difficult time.
Personal qualities matter far more than circumstance. What’s most important is that you can feel empathy with a child, and have lots of patience and time to help them adjust to their new family and surroundings. You’ll need to be non-judgmental about the child, their background, and their family. Children will have had different experiences and come with differing needs, and you will need to have the ability to meet their social, emotional and physical needs. Helping a child develop a sense of identity and self worth as they develop is important; you can help this by supporting and facilitating contact with their birth family. Generally being a positive role model can really help children to reach their potential and of course having a good sense of humour always helps!
Adoption is such a life changing experience for both yourself and the child you adopt it’s important that you learn as much as possible - reading through this information is the first step. We offer lots of opportunities for development and training throughout your journey.
Types of Adoption
You may be interested in adoption for a number of reasons. You can find out more about adopting a child you are related to, adopting a child who lives oversees or adopting concurrently (caring for a very young child whose plan is not yet fixed).