FAQs about adoption

I want to adopt a child as young as possible. What are my chances of being matched with a baby?

Most children adopted from public care have been through court proceedings. To make sure that adoption is the right decision and that parents have had a fair hearing can take several months. There are very few children under one year old available for domestic adoption. The average age of children adopted in  England and Wales in the year ending March 31, 2013 was three years, eight months. Only two per cent (90) of the adopted children were under one year old

Can I adopt a child with a different ethnic background from my own?

Recognising the increasing diversity of the UK population we try to match children to be a good 'fit' with their adoptive family. You don't have to share the same ethnic or cultural background; however, adopted people need to balance two identities during their life so adoptive families need to demonstrate their ability to promote positively their child’s birth heritage, including any religious background.

How long does it take to adopt?

The assessment process is divided into two stages.  The first stage should take two months to complete while the second stage should be completed within four months from your notification that you wish to proceed through to the signing off of the decision to approve you as an adopter(s). We often take less time than this. The assessment may take longer for some applicants who have very complicated backgrounds or if unforeseen events arise during the assessment. In these instances we may ask you to take a break from the assessment to help to resolve the issues.

Do I have to live in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster?

We generally accept applications from people who live approximately an hour’s travelling away but we make exceptions for people that can meet the needs of children who may wait longer for an adoptive family; for example sibling groups from all backgrounds, children with disabilities and children over four years old.

Do adopted children have contact with their birth relatives?

Yes. Children may keep in touch with their birth family through a mediated letter box service – their adopters exchange letters and cards with the birth family, usually once or twice a year. Some children also see their birth relatives. This is with their adopters’ agreement and Hammersmith & Fulham, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and City of Westminster are always there to support direct contact arrangements.

Get in touch with us
0800 781 2332
020 8753 2303

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24 hours freephone
Next working day call back service.

Adoption - children