Placing children for adoption across Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

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The Children

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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.

Many of the children we place for adoption are vulnerable and have complex needs resulting from early childhood traumatic experiences, including abuse and neglect. They may have had many moves and been cared for by different people and this will have affected their ability to make secure attachments. Whilst most children will settle down with the security and love offered by adoption, they will always carry some effects of their early experiences which require adopters understanding and management in a meaningful and mindful way.

Families for Children place children of all ages from birth to 10 including single children, sibling groups (where brothers and sisters need to be adopted together), children from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and with varying degrees of additional needs.

In the past most of the children adopted were babies who were relinquished by their birth parents, often due to societal and personal pressures.

Nowadays the majority of children who have a care plan for adoption have been removed from their birth families by a court process due to them being at risk of significant harm. These children are placed with foster carers on a temporary basis whilst official legal orders are sought, and a permanent new family is found for them by the Local Authority responsible for their care.

In order to be able to place a child for adoption they need to have been issued with a Care Order and a Placement Order from the court.

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Priority Children

Families for Children are specialists in placing Priority Children. Priority children are identified as;

  • Sibling groups (brothers & sisters who need to stay together)
  • Children with additional needs (this could be a disability or health need, or additional emotional need)
  • 'Older' children over the age of 4 years. 

We have many years’ experience in placing children that fall within these groups, 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 specifically adopting from these groups of children.

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.

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Older Children

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 or 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 it 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.

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Fostering for Adoption

Could you foster a baby or child with the possibility of adoption? ‘Fostering for Adoption’ 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 for Adoption page

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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 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.

Did you know? We host Information Sessions too!

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Our Families

Read case studies from families who have adopted through FFC.

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