All children placed for adoption have experienced loss, change and adverse early experiences. This can have long term impact on aspects of a child’s intellectual emotional and social development. Children may also have physical or learning disabilities or genetic or medical conditions requiring extra care and support. Occasionally a birth parent or parents may choose to relinquish their child for adoption.
As an adoptive parent you need to help a child understand their circumstances in an open and supportive way. You also need to provide a secure and stable family environment. There is a need for adopters prepared to care for siblings groups or who can support ongoing contact between children and their siblings or birth family members.
children under 2 years
Few children under 2 year of age are available for adoption. Early life experiences can still impact on their future development
children 5 years and over
Older children need adoption as well; the majority of children requiring adoption are around school age. These children may have been living with foster carers for a long time while attempts were made to return them to their birth family’s care. Once adopted they may retain a degree of contact with their birth family, this could be in the form of an annual letter. Some children may need additional support due to the impact of their early life experiences.
children with disabilities
Children with a disability can need additional care so adopters need to have the time, patience and skills to provide this. Children may have been born with physical, emotional or learning impairment or could have been injured resulting in them needing additional support.
Sibling relationships are important for a child’s sense of identity and security. By keeping children together their sense of safety, wellbeing, self esteem and sense of belonging is promoted. While there are benefits to adopting siblings – they can help each other retain memories, have a shared history and can help ease the transition to a new family – they will have their own individual needs.