This page provides answers to some frequently asked questions on adoption, Adoption UK and the Online Community. If your question is not included here, then please contact us using the links at the top of the page.
registering with the Online Community is quick, easy and free! On the homepage of the website there is a link New users register here - that will take you through to our registration form where you should follow the simple instructions to set up a username and password. Please choose a username that protects your identity.
Follow the Join Adoption UK link from the homepage and follow the instructions given. Alternatively you can call us on 01295 752240 and organise your membership over the phone.
Joining Adoption UK means paying our membership fee to become a full member of the charity, and being able to tap into a wealth of adoption support services. Membership can cost just £42. If you are a member you will still need to register with the Online Community to access the full range of online features. When we talk about ‘joining us’ on the Online Community we mean registering with the Online Community, which is free. Registering will enable you to make full use of the website features such as message boards, e-Library and Ask The Parents. Register with the site now...
Once you have paid your membership fee either online or over the phone, your details will be passed to our Membership department for processing. In the next few days you will receive your membership number, a new members’ pack and current magazines. Please allow up to ten days for processing and delivery. For access to the Adoption UK Members' Area and Children Who Wait Online, contact the webmaster with your Online Community username and your postcode and we will upgrade your access for you.
The problem may be that you are a member of the Online Community but not Adoption UK (for which you pay a fee). Access to these areas is only allowed for members of Adoption UK who receive Adoption Today. Access to Children Who Wait Online is only available to members who also receive Children Who Wait magazine. Once you have joined Adoption UK, please allow one full working day for us to process your membership and give you access to these areas. If this time has elapsed and you still do not have access, please email the webmaster with your username and post code, requesting access.
This is likely to be a problem to do with the passing of 'cookies' on your computer (cookies carry information across from the main site to the message boards). If you go into the internet settings on your computer and alter your security and privacy settings to low and make sure they allow cookies, this should solve the problem.
You have come to the right place! This is what Adoption UK is here for. There are many features on our site which you can use to find information and support, including the Message Boards, e-Library and Insight, a resource base full of real-life first hand adoption experiences. Join Adoption UK and we can guide you to all the reading material you will need to find out what it is really like to be an adoptive parent. You can communicate with other people who have adopted children, and you can ask our helpline advisers all those questions you are most anxious about. Our links page lists other useful sites and Find an Agency gives all the adoption agencies in the UK. Try obtaining the booklet Adopting a Child from BAAF, as this will give you a good idea of the process which lies ahead. Good luck!
This is a difficult time – we know – and the desire to get through the 'process' quickly so that you may have a child in your family is entirely normal! We really understand your frustrations but sometimes it is no bad thing to take your time to get to grips with what adoption will really be like for you. Have a look at the Adoption Standards to check out if things have really drifted beyond reason, also talk to your social worker about your concerns. As an Adoption UK member you can call the Adoption UK helpline on 0844 848 7900 for a chat to see if there is something specific we can suggest relating to your particular case.
Yes! Being single is not a barrier to adoption. Indeed, some children thrive on the undivided attention of a single parent although other family members, friends and work colleagues’ support is very important. Through Adoption UK you can meet or speak to other single people who have adopted children, so be confident in your enquiries. Our Message Boards are a great source of information as you can ask questions about adopting as a single person and other members, many of whom are experienced single adopters, will answer them for you.
For support and information about a wide range of adoption issues that may affect children adopted from overseas similarly to those adopted domestically, you will find Adoption UK very helpful and may want to call our helpline for a chat. If you are a member of Adoption UK, we can also link you to another adopter who has adopted from a specific country, through our PAL network.
For practical information covering the process and the requirements of different countries around the world, visit:
OASIS (Overseas Adoption Support & Information Service) on 0870 241 7069
The government is committed to the provision of adoption leave which is similar to maternity leave. Adoption UK can put you in touch with others who have made a range of different adoption leave arrangements with their employers, so, if you haven’t already done so, subscribe to Adoption UK now! Useful information can be found at:
Go along to your local magistrate’s court and pick up an application form for an Adoption Order and inform your social services department, so that the necessary report for the court can be prepared. You may like to look further into the long-term implications of this adoption on your family. Two useful helplines are: Stepfamily Scotland: 0845 122 8655 and Parentline Plus: 0808 800 2222
There could be all sorts of reasons and this is one area where Adoption UK members have a good deal of experience and sensible, down to earth advice to share. As an Adoption UK member you can access a range of relevant publications, library books and reference material which could help you pinpoint the source of your child’s difficulties and link into some appropriate help. Call our helpline on 0844 848 7900 or click on the 'join Adoption UK' button to join now and be put in touch with other adopters with similar difficulties, through our PAL service. As a member of Adoption UK, you can also borrow a book, audio tape / CD or video tape / DVD outlining parenting strategies which you may find useful.
Adoption UK members can access legal advice through our helpline. Our helpline advisers may be able to answer something straightaway for you, or may refer you to one of our Adoption Support Coordinators If you need further support. As an Adoptin UK member it is always worth a call or an email to see how we can help.
We would suggest you contact the following organisations:
Adults Affected By Adoption - NORCAP - a similar organisation to Adoption UK but specifically geared to needs of adopted adults. It runs an Adoption Contact Register and offers support and advice to those undertaking a search for a birth relative. Tel: 01865 875000
Adoption Contact Register – the Government run a contact register on which adult adoptees and birth parents can place their names with a view to being put in touch.
Natural Parents Network - a self-help support group for birth parents who have lost a child to adoption. Tel: 0845 4565031
The Adoption Register for England and Wales provides a free service to adoption agencies to help increase the number of children in public care moving into secure, permanent families. The register has three main functions:
To adopt from within England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you must be habitually resident or domiciled within the UK for at least a year before applying to a local authority or adoption agency to become approved as prospective adopters. You need to stay in the UK throughout the assessment process, and until the court agrees to an adoption. To adopt from Scotland you need to be domiciled or habitually resident in Scotland during this period before the application. If, however, your country of residence is signed up to the Hague Convention, then slightly different rules apply. For this, and for information on adopting a known child from the UK when you are resident in a country outside of the Hague Convention, you should seek the advice of a solicitor.
You need to contact your local social services department, which has an obligation to provide counselling and information, and to give you written information about the legal consequences of giving your consent to adoption.
A birth father without parental responsibility is not required or entitled to consent to placement for adoption but if the department knows who he is and decides it is appropriate they must counsel and advise him.
This is an enormous decision to make and we would urge you to arrange some counselling to support you through it. We strongly recommend that you contact the Natural Parents Network - Tel: 0845 4565031
No one over the age of 18 can be adopted. They could change their name by deed poll if the wished, but no parent-child relationship would be recognizable in law.