Yes. Two people who are living as partners for at least two years in an "enduring family relationship" are welcome to adopt and we would consider a relationship of 2 years minimum to be appropriate.
There is no bar to single people applying to adopt. In fact, for some children it may be better for them to be placed with a single adopter. As part of your home assessment we would need to consider carefully your support network to adopt.
Financial support may occasionally be available where adopters are able to meet our current adoption priorities, and possibly for those thinking of adopting a group of brothers or sisters, or a child/children with additional needs such as disability.
Certainly. We particularly welcome people who have raised their own children. This experience can often make you ideal adopters for older children or those with additional needs.
That's a myth. Prospective adopters should have secure accommodation i.e. a house or flat, which can be rented or mortgaged. There must be sufficient room for a child to sleep and play and older children of different genders will need a separate bedroom.
Yes, you can. Adopters are expected to take some employment leave in order to settle a child into their family and home. The period of time is based on Maternity Leave but may need to be longer for pre-school children. Since 2015 Statutory Adoption Leave is equivalent to Maternity Leave entitlements.
This is not the case. There are many pre-school children needing adoption. We also need adopters for older children, as well as brothers and sisters (of various ages) who need to stay together. Children aged over four and children from particular black and minority ethnic groups wait the longest for adoptive families, alongside children with additional needs and/or disabilities.
This is also known as early permanence for children. Most adopters follow the traditional route of being approved as adopters and then having a child placed with them when the court agrees a plan of adoption and makes a Placement Order. For a small number of children, where the local authority thinks the plan for them is highly likely to be adoption, the child may be placed with the adopters before the court grants the Placement Order. This is known as Fostering for Adoption because the adopters initially act in the capacity of foster carers for the child. If the court later agrees to a plan of adoption, these adopters can then be matched with the child and go on to legally adopt them.
This allows the local authority to place babies and young children in their permanent home at a very early stage. It reduces the number of moves a child experiences which is known to benefit them in the short and longer term. However, there is no guarantee that the court will grant the Placement Order and therefore the Fostering for Adoption carers need to be prepared to help return a child to their birth family if that is what the court finally decides.
We are particularly interested in extending early permanence to older children, some of whom will have been in the care of the local authority for some time where a return home to family has proved unsuccessful.