FAQs for prospective adopters

What is 'Children Who Wait'?

'Children Who Wait' is Adoption UK's monthly family-finding magazine and online service. It is available to Adoption UK members who are prospective adopters and family-finding social workers and it is via this focussed UK-wide readership that 'Children Who Wait' assists in finding children in care a forever family.

'Children Who Wait' online offers an easy-to-use flexible and professional service which is both secure and private. Prospective adopters can enquire about children featured via an online enquiry form, which is submitted directly to the child's social worker/agency.

The key objectives of 'Children Who Wait' are to:

  • Increase the number of placements of children in the UK waiting to be adopted.
  • Promote individual children and sibling groups in the UK waiting to be adopted in a comprehensive and positive manner.
  • Raise the profile of 'Children Who Wait' and Adoption UK's services, with the aim of increasing both the membership of Adoption UK and the readership of 'Children Who Wait'. This, in turn, will increase the chances of families being found for hard-to-place children and enable Adoption UK to continue its work in ensuring families receive the support and encouragement they need to help make adoptions work.

Why do agencies feature children on 'Children Who Wait' online?

'Children Who wait' online offers agencies the space for detailed information about children for which they are family finding, allowing a comprehensive profile to be written including information about the child's history, health, behaviour, hobbies and their likes and dislikes.

It is a valuable service for an adoption agency to use in that it helps to increase the number of placements of children waiting to be adopted.

Agencies see 'Children Who Wait' online as being a flexible and easy-to-use service that is both secure and private. They receive enquiries directly from the online enquiry form via email.

Is it safe to feature children's profiles online?

We take the security and privacy of the children featured on 'Children Who Wait' online very seriously. Please read our Privacy page.

Access to 'Children Who Wait' online is restricted to full Adoption UK members (who subscribe to 'Children Who Wait') and agencies that are members of Adoption UK. There is an annual subscription fee to be a member of Adoption UK.

Access is via a secure login control screen, which asks for a username and password.

In visiting 'Children Who Wait' online, users agree to abide by our conditions of use. This includes an undertaking not to misuse information, which should only be used by a named/authorised person in a household who is over 21 years of age, and the outcome if this is not adhered to. These run in conjunction with Adoption UK's terms and conditions of use.

All our staff have been the subject of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. These checks are carried out on a regular basis, every three years, during the time an employee remains working for the charity.

Strict editorial guidelines protect the identity and location of all featured children. These include only using a child's first name, editing out information and/or elements of images which may give clear indications of where a child lives, frequently visits or attends school.

Audio and video clips wherever possible will only feature the child. Any other adults or children shown in a video will only be allowed providing suitable permissions have been obtained.

Access to more information about any of the children who are featured is via direct email/telephone contact with the relevant adoption agency only. 'Children Who Wait' does not act as an intermediary and enquiries are not filtered or progressed by the Children Who Wait team.

The website is hosted on secure servers within the EU.

How does 'Children Who Wait' online help the children who are featured?

'Children Who Wait' online is a fantastic resource for agencies looking for an adoptive family for children in their care as it increases a child's opportunity of finding a loving home. Our online service offers flexibility of content and, thanks to unlimited space on the site, comprehensive details about a child can be given. Children's profiles can be added, updated or taken down at any time, ensuring the information that is featured is the most current available.

This information can include the child's history, health, behaviour, hobbies, likes and dislikes, and any specific requirements dictated by a child's history or the terms of the Placement Order.

How does 'Children Who Wait' online work for prospective adopters?

For prospective adopters, 'Children Who Wait' online is easy to use, search and navigate around.

On the 'Children Who Wait' online home page is a search function.

Choose the drop-down menus to narrow the search to look for children who meet a prospective adopter's criteria. Once this has been submitted, a results page will open showing a thumbnail image of the children who meet the search criteria, together with their name and age.

Clicking on the thumbnail image opens the child's profile page where there is detailed information about the selected child including a description of the child and additional images and video if available.

If prospective adopters are interested to know more about a child or sibling group, they can click on the 'Request More Information' button on the right-hand side of the child's profile which will open the 'Request More Information' box.

This box is for the prospective adopter to complete including their name, email address, telephone number, social worker contact details and location. There is also a message box allowing prospective adopters to provide any relevant information the child's social worker may need to know and the ability to upload a useful document (such as an Adopter Profile).

Once this form has been completed, clicking on the send request button will send it directly to the child's social worker or placement contact.

I think that one of the children featured online could be a suitable match – what should I do?

If you think you would be a suitable match for a child or children featured on 'Children Who Wait' online, you can send an email direct to the child's social worker or family finder using the 'Request More information' button on the right-hand side of the relevant profile. Please be sure to give some details about yourself to assist the family finder in assessing suitable prospective adoptive parents. If you have one, attach a copy of your Adopter Profile which will help when considering a possible match.

Bear in mind that the social worker could receive a number of enquiries relating to a particular child or sibling group - so ensure that you provide a 'snapshot' of your family which allows them to consider how this may work for the child. By including your social worker's contact details in the enquiry, the child's agency will be able to make contact to discuss your circumstances in more detail.

Alternatively, you can request contact details for the agency/social worker for any of the children featured by contacting the Children Who Wait Family Finding Team and quoting the child's reference number (or name and date of birth) as printed within their profile in 'Children Who Wait' magazine.

I've asked for more information about a particular child – when can I expect to hear back?

Once you have emailed the social worker via the 'Request More Information' button, give the social worker time to respond. Remember, social workers may have many enquiries that they will need to follow up to find the best match for the child they are family finding for.

Please be patient, but if you do not receive a response from the social worker, contact them again by email or telephone them or their agency directly. Contact details for the social worker can be requested by contacting the Children Who Wait Family Finding Team - full contact details are featured in 'Children Who Wait' magazine. Alternatively you could find the agency's telephone number on the internet.

I have a query about becoming an adoptive parent – who should I contact?

Adoption UK provides information and guidance at all stages of the adoption process. We believe that peer support and the exchange of knowledge and experiences between adoptive parents is a crucial part of adoption support.

Adoption UK's helpline staff are trained to offer advice and give information. If you would like to speak to one of our helpline advisors please call

England - 07904 793974 & 07539 733079 (Tuesday and Fridays 10.30am - 2pm, term time only)

Wales - 02920 230319 (Monday - Friday, 10am - 2.30pm)

Scotland - 0131 201 2488 (Monday - Friday, 10am - 2.30pm)

Northern Ireland - 028 9077 5211 (Monday - Thursday, 10am - 4pm and Fridays, 10am - 2.30pm)

There is also another organisation which has been set up by the Department for Education called First4Adoption. It provides an information line and can help you find out about the process of adopting in England (not Wales and Northern Ireland). Email: www.first4adoption.org.uk Tel: 0300 222 0022.