Adoption is the legal process by which a child or a group of siblings who cannot be brought up within their birth family become full, permanent and legal members of their new family.

Adopters become the child's legal parents with the same rights and responsibilities as if the child was born to them.  

The majority of adopted children have suffered significant abuse, violence or neglect in their birth families and most have spent time in foster care.

Adoption gives children a second chance of stability, permanence, and the love and nurture that all children need. The outcomes for adopted children are better than for those who stay in care. However, adoption is not a silver bullet. The trauma suffered in early childhood is carried with children into their adoptive families. Those families need consistent, specialist support to help them give their adopted children the best possible chance of a brighter future.  

Next: Who can adopt?

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