If you are just setting out on your fostering journey, it is important to note the difference between fostering and adopting – it might not always be immediately obvious, which is why it is vital to do adequate research before committing to anything.
If you are currently fostering a child and are looking to adopt them, there are a few things you will need to know about this process. When you begin your fostering journey, the main reason should not be because you want to adopt. Adopting a foster child is not always possible, as complications can arise (such as them still having legal ties to their birth parents). It can however still happen.
Local Authorities will only approve foster carers adopting a child or young person if there is no possibility of them returning to their birth family. Fostering is generally considered as a temporary basis. It is designed to keep young people out of dangerous situations or when they have no one else to care for them.
Your foster child may have already become a significant member of your family, which is why you may now be wondering about adoption, but from fostering, it isn’t a straightforward process.
To even begin thinking about adopting your foster child, you need to follow the UK adoption requirements. These include:
- Being over the age of 21.
- Having a permanent home in the UK.
- Being prepared to undergo several thorough assessments.
The approval process for adoption may appear similar to the foster care approval process, but it is not the same. Waiting for approval for adoption can be a lengthy process and can take a while for your application to be approved. If you are considering adoption from fostering, there are a few things you need to know.
Fostering for adoption
Before anything else, you will want to get in touch with your foster care service. When you have a chat with them about this, they will be able to give you all the relevant information you need when deciding whether you would like to adopt.
If you decide you still want to go ahead with the process and you meet the criteria stated above, you will have to decide whether adoption is the right thing for you and your circumstances. This is a massive decision and should not be taken lightly; you need to think about the implications to yourself, any family you may have, and your existing commitments.
Once you have come to the decision that adopting is the right thing for you, and everything else is in place to do so, you can begin the fostering for adoption process.
Fostering for adoption is a government approach that aims to make the adoption process quicker and less emotionally draining for the children involved. This approach was also put in place to prevent children being moved from one home to the next and gives them a stable, consistent home far quicker. For the children involved, having uninterrupted care is crucial for their development and general physical and mental wellbeing.
- The UK Government have plenty of advice for anyone who is considering adoption or fostering.
- Adoption UK have a wealth of information about adopting, it is also a registered charity providing support and advice for adopted people and others who adopt.
- Coram provide a helpful guide all about Fostering for Adoption here.
If you have any further questions or wonder whether you can adopt a child from foster care, you can give us a call on 0800 566 8317. Alternatively, you can contact us online here.