What is adoption?

Some children cannot be brought up by their own family. There are different reasons for this, and these children will need a new lasting home. Adoption is a way of giving children a permanent new family. Adoptive parents should care for you as if you had been born to them.

What’s the difference between being in care and being adopted?

Many children in care go home after a short time. Being adopted means having a new family for life.

  • If you are adopted, the law says you no longer belong to your birth family, although you may still have contact with them.
  • When you are in care, your social worker and carers share responsibility for you with your birth family. If you’re adopted, your adoptive parents have all the responsibility.
  • An adopted child usually takes the last name of the adoptive family.

Can my foster carers adopt me?

Foster carers don’t usually expect to adopt the children they look after. It does happen in some cases but there are all sorts of reasons why people may not be able to adopt. Talk to your social worker or someone else you trust about this. You should be involved in planning for your future, and this might include talking about adoption.  


If I was adopted, would I ever see my birth family again?

This will depend on the reasons you were not able to continue living with your birth family. If you talk about this with your adoptive family and social worker, you may be able to have contact with your birth family if everyone agrees this is right for you. When you are 18 years old you can make your own decisions about whether you have contact with your birth family, and have help to look for them if you have lost touch.

Read about some young people's experiences of adoption, click  Adoption

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