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About adoption

Adoption means making a positive difference to a child’s life and providing a happy, loving and stable home and family, where they can grow and thrive. You have the chance to change the life of a child in care by becoming an adoptive parent.

Take a look at our video about adoption.


When you adopt a child you take on all the responsibilities and rights for the child that the birth parents had; you are the child’s permanent parent.

We try to find the right family for all children who need to be placed for adoption. We greatly value our adopters and do our best to make the adopting experience as clear and straightforward as possible. We know that taking the first steps to becoming an adopter can be very emotional. Our staff will put you at ease and support you every step of the way.

Contact us today if you're interested in adopting.

Read our recruitment strategy [PDF]

Read our statement of purpose [PDF]

Read our adoption panel information pack [Word]

Read our annual report for 2023-2024 [Word]

As well as mainstream adoption, there are other types of adoption:

Fostering for adoption

Fostering for adoption is a scheme for children who are in care and likely to be adopted, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family. This early permanence option provides the opportunity for very young children to be with their potential adopters from the earliest point possible. There's lots to consider when you foster to adopt and it's not always possible, but talk to us and we can help you understand if this could be an option for you.

Step-parent adoption

Step-parent adopters have to apply to adopt step-children, the main difference in the process is that a court decides to approve adoption, rather than a panel. You need to have lived together for at least six months before you can apply to adopt a step-child. However, many courts will not consider applications from people who have been together for less than a year.

Step-parent adopters are assessed with the same principles that are applied to adoptions of children from foster homes, including requests for references and a DBS police check to confirm that you have no convictions or cautions that would prevent you from adopting.

A report will be presented to court by a supervising social worker. There is a court fee for each application, which the applicant needs to pay directly to the court.

To find out more, call the Local Authority for the area you live in and they can guide you through the process.

Intercountry adoption

Intercountry adoption is the process of adopting a child from overseas. Potential adopters have to be assessed and approved by a specialist UK agency, there are costs involved and different legal pathways.

If you’re thinking about adopting a child from a different country, contact the Local Authority for the area you live in and they can guide you through the process.

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Adoption East Midlands provides the full range of adoption services across the region. If you live in or near to the East Midlands, we can help you along your journey to adopting a child.

Get in touch with us now