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What is it?

Fostering for adoption places a child in local authority care with approved adopters who receive temporary approval status as foster carers. If the court agrees that the child should be adopted, and the adoption agency approves the ‘match’, the placement becomes an adoption.

During the fostering stage of the placement you may be asked to bring the child for contact with members of the birth family at a supervised contact centre.

Why choose fostering for adoption?

Fostering for adoption offers a number of obvious advantages for the child:

  • Children are placed with carers who may become their adopters, providing them with stability and security at an early stage
  • It avoids the damage caused by ending temporary foster care relationships, which they will have experienced as the primary parenting relationship
  • It allows the bonding period with adoptive parents to begin sooner.

Is it the right thing for me?

It’s highly likely that fostering for adoption will lead to adopting the child, but you would have to deal with the uncertainty of this outcome. You would need to think about the possibility of the court not agreeing the adoption plan and the child leaving your care.

It can be a very distressing time for carers and it’s important to consider what support you might need and how you typically deal with stressful or upsetting situations.

There will be specific issues to be thought about in fostering for adoption placements and you should try to identify what this might mean for you and your family and then discuss this with family members and close friends.

Fostering for adoption is still in its infancy and may only apply to a very small number of children within a local authority.