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.
Families for Children are specialists in placing Priority Children. Priority children are identified as;
- Sibling groups (brothers & sisters who need to stay together)
- 'Older' children over the age of 4 years.
- Children with complex needs (this could be a disability or health need, or additional emotional need)
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.
Brother & 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.
Many of these children have been through difficult experiences and for some, have been the only constants in each other’s lives. Separating brothers and sisters because an adoptive family cannot be found, can cause further anxiety and loss and creates a whole set of additional issues for children who have already had a very difficult start in life.
Our priority will always be to find homes for children together, however for some children, finding homes separately may give them the best opportunity to form a relationship with their adoptive parents and recover from the impact of early maltreatment. In these circumstances, the building of brother and sister relationships will still remain a priority.
Could you Adopt more than one Child?
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 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 Complex Needs
Around 40% of children waiting for an adoptive family have an impairment or some form of complex needs.
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
Our Family For Me project is designed to find adoptive families for specific children who have been waiting for a for a long time to find a permanent family of their own.
The Family for Me project reaches out to people who have not yet considered adoption as a way of growing their family, and who are not currently approved as adopters. These might be people who have birth children who are growing up, or who have experienced looking after children with additional needs but have not previously considered giving a child a permanent home... could this be you?
For more details of the children we are family finding for please visit www.familyforme.co.uk
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
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.