Waiting to become an adoptive parent – the facts

8 January 2015

In the past two years the government has introduced wide-ranging reforms of the adoption system to make it faster and easier to adopt.  This has been great news for prospective adopters who can now expect to know if they have been approved to adopt within six months.

During the last few months there has been a reduction in the number of children being granted adoption placement orders by the courts. This means that, in some areas of the country, there has been a “slowdown” in the adoption process with several adoption agencies temporarily suspending their recruitment of potential adopters for younger children.

However, most agencies continue to welcome adopters for specific groups of children.  These include: those over 3 or 4 years of age, children in sibling groups, children with disabilities and additional needs and children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

If you do find that some agencies in your area are not currently recruiting you are free to contact other agencies elsewhere. Call our friendly advisers on 0300 222 0022 for more information and use our new adoption maps to find out more about the numbers of children waiting to be adopted in different parts of the country.

Useful things to do if you’re waiting to be approved to adopt

If you are temporarily unable to find an agency that is recruiting don’t be discouraged. The situation will change and there are lots of positive steps you can take to improve your readiness to be an adoptive parent. Things you might want to consider include:

  1. Gaining additional experience with children by volunteering to help at a school or nursery. Spending extra time with the children of friends and family.
  2. Thinking about your home and whether there’s anything you can do to make it more child-friendly.
  3. Looking at your finances and considering steps you might take to ease money worries.
  4. Reviewing your work situation and checking whether your employer is family-friendly.
  5. Identifying people who will be able to supply you with a character reference.
  6. Taking a holiday! Once you begin the adoption process, you may find it harder to take a longer holiday and once children join you it may not be possible to do this for a while.

You can find lots more information about preparing to adopt here  

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