About the children
All adopted children are individuals who need to be carefully matched to the right family. We take great care to get the right match so that our adopters and their children can have the best chance of a happy future together.
What type of children could you adopt?
Every year we place, and continue to support, a substantial number of children with their adoptive families. Some need placements on their own. Others are brothers and sisters who need to stay together.
While most of the children are White British we also have children from the range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds represented in our area, including Asian, African, African Caribbean and mixed heritage children.
It is rare for very young babies to be placed for adoption and the majority of those needing families are aged between one and four years.
We always have some school age children and there is also a great need for adopters who are willing to take sibling groups of two or three children. Wherever possible we make every effort to keep siblings together. Some children will have brothers and sisters who remain within their birth family or who are adopted elsewhere.
How old are the children?
It is very rare for babies to be given up voluntarily by their birth families. Nearly every child we place has been removed from their birth family and, due to the court process, the majority of children we place are at least 12 months old.
Children needing adoption may be older dependant upon their age when the plan for adoption is made and the complexity of the court proceedings.
What are the children like?
Many children placed for adoption are at risk of, or have experienced, abuse and/or neglect in their birth families. Some children may have physical or learning disabilities. The one thing all these children have in common is that their birth parents are unable to care for them and they need a new, permanent family.
What if I have children of my own?
Many people successfully parent both birth and adoptive children together. In fact some children benefit from being placed within a larger family. Usually we would only place an adoptive child who is younger than your birth child by at least two years.
Will I be told about the child’s background?
It is very important that you know as much as possible about the child’s past. The law says the adoption agency must give you all the information it has about the child. This includes details about his or her background, time in care, school history and any medical needs. This knowledge will help you to understand the child when they come to live with you, help the child understand the circumstances of their adoption and help you find the best way of supporting them in the future.
Will the child still see their birth family?
It is rare for adopted children to see their birth parents face to face following adoption. All adoptive parents are required to provide information for the birth family of their child via the agency’s post box scheme. Most children benefit from continuing to have information about their birth family or other important people in their lives.
Adults adopted as children have expressed how important it was to them to know about their past and where they came from.
The level of contact suggested depends on the child and the situation. As every case is different, this is something that will be discussed before a child is placed with you. At the very least it will be post box once per year.
Adopting sibling groups
Most adopters come to the team wanting one young child. Prospective adopters are usually unaware that we have a lot of brothers and sisters that need to stay together who also need adoptive homes.
By adopting a sibling group, adopters can have a ready made family and the children get to grow up with their brothers and sisters.
Sometimes we may have a single child to place for adoption, but we are aware that a younger sibling may also become available for adoption too. In this instance we would generally approach the adopters of the first child to take any subsequent children if appropriate.
Applications from adopters wanting sibling groups will be given priority and you may find that you will not have to wait very long for a placement following approval. However taking on a sibling group is a challenge and people wishing to do this are advised to get as much 'hands on' experience as possible with children in the age-group they wish to adopt.
Adopting further children
If you have adopted one child then wish to add to your family by adopting another at a later stage, you should contact the adoption team and discuss this. You will have to complete another assessment, but every effort will be made to help you do this.
Write to us: Fostering and Adoption Centre, Halford House, 91 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1HL
Ring us on: 0116 454 4540 - Social worker available 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday
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