The first thing to note is that adoption is about caring for someone else's child. It always has to be borne in mind that however, loving, stable and close a relationship develops between adopters and their child or children there will always be the fact that they are not the child's birth parents to be considered. No amount of love can make this fact disappear.
What adoption does is to provide the legal basis for the assumption of parental responsibilities in respect of a particular child by someone, or in the case of a couple (they need not be married, and they can be hetrosexual, gay or lesbian) by them both, who are not their natural parent. In the UK there were around 5,000 children adopted in 2000, but quite a number of these involved adoptions by a step-parent.
The government want to see the number of 'looked after' children being adopted increase. There were 3,200 children adopted from care during the year ending 31st March 2010. There are estimated to be many more children who would benefit from being placed with new families, and where adoption is the plan for the child. Most of these children are four years and older, and many are part of sibling groups. Nowadays, adoption is used to provide permanent families for children of all ages, from infants to teenagers.
This site is about safeguarding and championing the welfare of children.
One area we focus on is adoption. Please visit our page on using this site in order for you to be able to get the maximum benefit from all the information that we have available.
When you adopt a child you become the child's legal parent and they will usually take your surname. They will also inherit from you just as if they were born to you. Upon the granting of an adoption order the child's natural parents will no longer have any rights or responsibilities towards the child.
It is always our recommendation that you discuss your adoption application with a solicitor prior to, or just after your application is considered by the adoption panel. Adoption is a major decision in everyone’s life, including yours, and should only be made after considering the legal implications fully.
You can apply for an adoption order as soon as the child starts to live with you but your application will not be heard for at least three months. If the adopted child is a new-born baby the three months can only start when they have reached six weeks of age. If you adopt an older child or one who has special needs you may wish to wait a while before applying for the adoption order. If you are adopting a child from overseas an adoption order cannot be granted until the child has lived with you for twelve months.