Northern Ireland

The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland and you're interested in adoption, you begin the process by contacting either a local health trust or a voluntary adoption agency (Adoption Routes and Family Care).

The Regional Adoption and Fostering service can give you information on the adoption process and can direct you to your local adoption agency. 

In Northern Ireland the process from initial enquiry to approval by the Adoption Panel takes on average from 18 months to 2 years.

As well as accessing all of our standard support services – our magazines and Online Community - our members in Northern Ireland can access the following:

Dedicated Helpline

028 9077 5211
Calls will be charged at standard network rates.

Dedicated support for Northern Ireland is available from our Northern Ireland Helpline from Monday to Friday, 10am to 2:30pm.

Support groups

Support Group News Mar - Apr 2018

We currently run support groups in the following areas:

  • Antrim
  • Belfast
  • Coleraine
  • Enniskillen/Omagh
  • Foyle
  • Dungannon
  • Newry/Banbridge
  • North Down
  • South Down (Lisburn)

Groups are run by Volunteer Coordinators – adoptive parents who listen to the needs of local members and provide appropriate advice, encouragement and support to adopters and prospective adopters.

Information and training as well as support is offered through the groups on a regular basis.

Newsletter for Northern Ireland

Mar 2018

Jan 2018

Training and support

To find out about training workshops contact the Adoption UK Northern Ireland office northernireland@adoptionuk.org.uk


‘Therapeutic Education Support Service in Adoption’ www.tessani.org

Consultation Response - ACB Consultation

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Adoption UK’s response to the draft Adoption and Children Bill by sharing your views at the consultation meetings we held or completing the questionnaire we circulated to members highlighting some key questions. You can read our completed response document here.

The cover of the reportListen Up - Speak Out!

In 2013 we surveyed our members about their experience of the adoption journey. The resulting report - Listen Up - Speak Out! - provides everyone in the adoption arena in N. Ireland a better, evidence based understanding of how adopters view the adoption process and the challenges they face. 

The cover of Let's Learn Together

Let's Learn Together

Find out more about this handy guide for parents and teachers of primary age adopted children at school.

Let's Learn Together workshops: Check back for future dates.


Advisory Group

Adoption UK in Northern Ireland is represented by the Northern Ireland Advisory Group, a group of adoptive parents and practitioners with local knowledge who provide advice on adoption policy and practise issues.

Their advice is used both to develop Adoption UK's services for adopters and prospective adopters, and to respond to government.


Post adoption services

Each Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland should have a clear post adoption strategy for working with and supporting adoptive families.

Post Adoption Services in Northern Ireland
Contact the Adoption UK Northern Ireland office to find out more about adoption in Northern Ireland or to join your local support group northernireland@adoptionuk.org.uk



Connecting or Disconnecting? Adopters experiences of post adoption contact and their support needs

Thank you to all our members who took part in the survey of post adoption contact undertaken by Queen’s University, Belfast and funded by the Health and Social Care Board. The full report, “Connecting or Disconnecting? Adopters experiences of post adoption contact and their support needs” , compiled by Dr Mandi MacDonald, can be accessed from the link below. 

Connecting or Disconnecting Report

Care Pathways and Outcomes Study

Queen’s University Belfast have produced a short film to encourage young people to get involved in a research study they are currently undertaking which is exploring outcomes for young people who were formerly looked after by Health and Social Care Trusts in NI.

Adoption UK NI have been supporting the research team with this study. You can watch the film and find out more about the reasearch by clicking on the following link https://vimeo.com/200783861