The Children we place
Many people considering adoption have not had their own birth children, and are looking for a baby or very young child. These children are placed the quickest.
All children waiting to be adopted are vulnerable, and have experienced some form of trauma in their early life, either physical or emotional, and many have additionally experienced other more extreme forms of abuse too.
Fostering to Adopt
Could you foster a baby or child with the possibility of adoption? ‘Fostering to adopt’ is used for babies and children who are in local authority care where the plan is likely to be adoption, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family. The majority of children go on to be adopted. To find out more visit our Fostering to Adopt page
Families for Children are specialists in placing Priority Children – identified as sibling groups, children with additional needs (this could be a disability or health need, or additional emotional need) and older children over the age of 4 years. We have many years’ experience in placing children that fall within this category, and have developed a wide understanding of the type of support needed to support these more complex placements. We always welcome enquiries from people who feel that they could consider adopting from these groups.
Like all those waiting to be adopted these children are often vulnerable and have experienced extreme trauma in their early life in the form of both physical and emotional abuse from their birth families.
Sibling Groups (Brothers & Sisters)
The placement of siblings (brothers and sisters) together is one of the biggest challenges in adoption today.
Nearly half of the children awaiting adoption are sibling groups and are looking for a family who could offer a loving home to a brother or sister as well. Most of these are groups of two children who want to stay together Research indicates that it is often in the best interests of the children that a sibling group stays together as separation could result in further traumatic experiences and anxiety for the child (ren).
What would I need to enable me to consider taking a sibling group?
Being able to Adopt a sibling group will very much depend on individual circumstances, relationship and support networks and whilst the idea of a ready-made family, can be appealing you may want to consider the points below;
- Do I have the space, time and energy to devote to more than one child?
- What might be the impact of two or more children joining the family?
- What support is available to adopters of sibling groups?
Many children who are looking for an adoptive family are not babies or toddlers, but school-age children (5 years and up) who may have lived for some years with one or both of their parents a family member, or they may have had to move in and out of Local Authority foster homes. The sad reality is that as children get older it becomes increasingly difficult to find adoptive families for them.
Some of these children will have suffered neglect or abuse and all have had the trauma of being separated from their birth families. The damage caused by chaotic or difficult early experiences can last for a long time. Children learn not to rely on adults who are going to disappear from their lives, so they may find it difficult to become attached to a new family and act up in an effort to get the attention they have been missing.
However, in a loving, secure home most of these children can thrive when they realise that they really are part of a family. Many older children invest fully in the idea of moving to a new family. They remember what happened to them, they sometimes have lovely “wish lists” of what they would want, and understand what is going on.
Adopting an older child is not an easy task but with preparation and patience you can change their world forever and will be a deeply rewarding experience.
Children with Disabilities
Around 40% of children waiting for an adoptive family have an impairment or some form of special need or disability.
If you think about a child with a disability, what comes to mind? Is it a picture of difficulties and obstacles? Do you imagine that you will not be able to cope if caring for a disabled child, that it will be too difficult, too much of a commitment? You might envisage frequent medical appointments, complicated care arrangements, or a child unable to play or communicate with you. All of these things can seem quite daunting and may perhaps frighten people off from considering caring for a disabled child. For many people, disability can carry an overwhelming label, which obscures the actual child within. Many parents of a child with a disability would agree that the special bond between you really makes you appreciate the small things; making each personal achievement of the child an amazing milestone.
We can offer support to enhance parenting to meet a child’s individual needs. We work closely with Local Authorities and health professionals to help assess the social, emotional and physical needs of each child, ensuring that our families are aware of their entitlements and services available to them to meet their child’s needs.
Family for Me Project
The Family for Me project hopes to raise awareness of the children who are waiting the longest and plays an important role in finding families for the children we know are waiting.
The website features anonymised profiles of the children we are trying to find families for, which will include information about the children’s personalities along with real anecdotes about what it is like to care for them, to try and encourage people to consider whether they could be the right family for the child.
For more information on the children that the project is looking for families for, please visit Family for Me.